Another Tuesday, another couple of ammunition boxes…
Those of you who have been reading for a while will be aware I have a weakness for the humble ammunition box, these two cost me a fiver each so I couldn’t leave them there! Some restoration is needed, but I have done enough of these now that it doesn’t present any difficulties- its a messy job but its just sanding them down and a repaint. The two examples I picked up today are some of the easiest to find, indeed I already have examples of both in my collection. However they are a useful place to store items of my collection and always look good on a display at a show so at that price I was more than happy to pick them up!.
The first box is a 1943 dated B166 box used to carry either 6x 3” mortar dbombs, 6x PIAT bombs or 10x No73 grenades:
I already have a couple of these boxes, but due to their size and depth they are very useful- they are one of the few boxes you can fit a full set of 08 webbing for one thing!
The second box is a 1944 dated H50 box that was originally used to carry a pair of wooden H51 small arms ammunition boxes:
Inside each of these wooden boxes would have been 6 cotton bandoliers of 50 rounds each, resulting in this box holding 600 rounds of .303- quite a weight when full!
I am very pleased with this find as its something I have been after for a while now. This is an example of the folding saw issued as part of the standard kit on British Army tanks and fighting vehicle and to engineers. Originally introduced in WW1 this saw is housed in a leather wallet:
With two belt loops to the rear:One of which shows the pouch to have been made by Jabez Olliff & Co of Walsall in 1918 (?):Inside is a folding saw with triangular teeth and brass loops at each end:
The stampings on the brass ends reveal the saw was made in Sheffield in 1916 by Francis Wood & Son:
Also in the pouch are two wooden handles:
A file for sharpening the teeth on the saw:
And a tool for setting them at the correct angle:
The pouch needs a bit of TLC as the leather is very dry and dirty, but its a nice complete set to add to my growing collection of British Army pioneer kit.
French Language Book
This battered little book was printed in Algiers sometime in the Second World War and as the cover says it was aimed at helping Allied Soldiers learn French:Although I can’t find a date on it, the book refers to the current tragedy facing France (The Occupation). As Algeria was invaded by the allies and the Vichy regime overthrown in late 1942, and France was liberated in 1944 it would suggest this book dates from either 1943 or 1944.
Royal Navy Sweetheart Compact
This delightful little compact has a King’s Crown Royal Naval Oficer’s badge affixed to the front:
This sort of item is typical of the many types of souvenirs produced as ‘sweetheart’ items for soldiers, sailors and airmen to buy as gifts for their loved ones. One the rear of this compact is scratched, ‘Mrs McWalter, 22 Hermitage Road, Crumpsall, Manchester’:
The Windsor Magazine
This rather battered magazine dates frm 1915 and amongst the usual stories and articles that made up the typical Edwardian magazine, are many on different aspects of WW1. We start with ‘The Spirit of Our Army and Its Moral Force in the Conflict’
Before going on to ‘The Dog in Modern Warfare’:
‘Men of Mark in the War’:And ‘India’s Active Part in Medical Relief ‘
All very uplifting stuff, interestingly, there are also some great period cartoons and adverts that use the British Tommy: