A New Year on the second hand market and a good day for pick ups. Although I spend a lot on some items for my collection (more than I tell my wife anyway!) it is the small cheap bits that give me most pleasure and today has been no exception with no item costing more than 50p. Today’s finds range across the twentieth century from the Boer War to the end of the Cold War, but each is interesting in its own right and I am a very happy bunny to have got such a good haul.
First Aid Equipment
Although none of these items is marked with a /|\ stamp, they seem to be representative of the equipment supplied in British Army First Aid kits and will be useful additions to my small, but growing collection of medical equipment:
We have another blue First Aid Dressing (I picked one of these up last year as well), and two different tubes of tannic acid jelly, one of which is boxed. Tannic acid was used for the treatment of burns and was applied over a burn, allowed to dry and then the wound would be dressed. These items seem to have been provided from government stocks for both military and ARP first aid kits, however they will go nicely in my First Aid Haversack.
Ointment Anti Gas No 2 Tubes
These two ointment tubes would have been issued in a tin of eight to every soldier in the second world war. They were for applying to the skin to counter the effects of mustard gas. (For more details on the tins please look here.). I have got a couple of the No2 tins, but no contents for either of them, so these are a nice addition to my collection:Photograph of Crashed Aircraft
This photograph is sadly unmarked with any details of the circumstances but depicts a single-engined RAF plane that has had a bit of an accident:I haven’t been able to positively ID the aircraft type yet, but I am leaning towards it being an advanced trainer rather than a fighter. It looks to have overshot the runway and ended up nose down on top of a saloon car. Two ground crew in overalls seem to be inspecting the wreckage, perhaps they have the job of getting the plane flying again? If anyone can positively ID the aircraft I would be very interested (plane recognition has never been my strong suit)
UPDATE: I have been informed that the aircraft is a Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and that from the camouflage on the wings it probably dates from between November 1940 and April 1941. Many thanks to Andrew Dearlove for the identification.
First Aid Post Shoulder Title
When Britain set up its Civil Defence network at the start of the War it was obvious that First Aid for casualties of bombing would be a priority. First Aid posts were set up in local areas to allow the co-ordination of first aiders, collect casualties and prepare them for transfer to civilian hospitals. Staff who worked at these posts were initially just issued with the silver ‘ARP’ badge to wear on their lapel with their civilian clothes. As the war progressed it became apparent that proper warm clothing and uniforms was needed for these personnel and boiler suits and dark blue battledress was issued. These were worn with a variety of insignia to show members roles. This shoulder title is made of blue wool with yellow embroidered lettering:Boer War Post Card
This post card from the Boer War bears the pre-printed stamp for the Orange Free State, however it has been franked by the ‘British Army Field Post Office South Africa’:
This mark and the sending of it to Liverpool suggest the card was captured stock used by a British soldier to send a message home. The post marks indicate it was sent in January 1901. The writing on the reverse is nearly illegible, but one can just make out a New Year’s greeting:Indian Toy Soldier
Toy soldiers were very popular with small boys across the Empire throughout the 19th and early twentieth century. Made of lead they would be banned today, but children seemed to play with them for generations with little ill effect. As military fashions changed, the soldiers were updated to reflect the latest uniforms and equipments. Toy soldiers fell out of favour in the middle of the twentieth century, however a revival came about but catering for the adult market rather than to children. This soldier, unusually, is of an Indian soldier; possibly a Sikh judging by the beard and turban:
It is marked ‘King Cast’ on the bottom, this company seem to still be turning out small quantities of toy soldiers for collectors, concentrating on the Empire and wars of the nineteenth century.
Southern Rhodesian First Day Cover
This First Day Cover dates to 1943 and was sent to a Leading Aircraftmen Smith at the Royal Air Force Station, Norton:
This station would have been RAF Norton, which was the site of the Central Flying School (Southern Rhodesia) from November 1942, and trained pilots from across the Empire. Presumably L/A/C Smith was one of the support crews for this station and a keen philatelist.
Precautions for Capture Card
This little card, issued in 1951, gives details to British Personnel in case of capture:
Inside are detailed instructions on what information may and may not be given to one’s captors and precautions that should be taken to avoid giving the enemy intelligence:
This card is an updated version of one published in WW2, and is designed to be the same dimensions as the standard AB64 and Paybook, presumably this is designed to fit into the same pocket on the battledress blouse worn at the time.
A Guide to Lagos
This little guide book was published in 1945 for Merchant and Armed Forces going ashore in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria was a British colony at this point and the guidebook highlights leisure facilities, useful contacts and other information for the first time visitor:
At the back of the pamphlet is a fold out map, showing how small the town was at this point (it is worth remembering that today Lagos is a sprawling metropolis):Clothing Ration Book
Clothing rationing was introduced in 1941 and lasted until 1949. It was designed to ensure fair shares for all and to husband slender resources and manufacturing capacity to help the war effort. Each man woman and child was issued with a separate ration book to go alongside their usual one for food. This example dates from 1947-1948:Inside are coloured coupons to be clipped out by the shopkeeper when a purchase was made:People found innovative ways to get around the clothing ration, with upholstery fabric and blackout fabric both being made into garments, whilst parachute silk was highly prized for making underwear with.
Royal Anglian Regiment First Day Cover
This commemorative cover was sent on 12th July 1974 and commemorates the issue of new colours to the Royal Anglian Regiment. It features a picture of a regimental drummer on the front and a special postmark:
Inside is a small card detailing the history of the colours:
Regimental Badge Cigarette Cards
In the days when everyone smoked, pictorial cards were given away free in cigarettes and were eagerly collected and swapped by small boys. Military designs were always popular and these cards depict different regimental badges:Unusually these cards are made of silk with a card backing allowing them to be used in handicrafts. The rear of the cards reveals them to be from ‘Chairman’ brand cigarettes:American Red Cross First Aid Textbook
This text book, dating from 1940, was published by the American Red Cross and details first aid and treatment for accident victims:From the interior we can see it was originally issued to William Roth of Albany:Although war had not yet come to the states at this date, it was clear which way the wind was blowing and based on the experience in Britain Civil Defence was stepped up and First Aid was part of the preparations for war. Happily the continental United States avoided bombing, but the training in these books was invaluable preparation for the thousands who joined the armed forces.
HMS Iron Duke Guide
This little pamphlet is typical of the guides produced for ships in the late eighties and early nineties:These potted histories and guides to individual ships were given away to visitors to the ship on open days and port visits across the world. From the code on the back this one can be dated to 1993. HMS Iron Duke is a Type 23 frigate, still in service with the Royal Navy today.