Tuesday Finds

A pretty quiet day on the market today, with only a couple of pick ups, but nice ones nonetheless:

British Army Cash Tin

In the days before widespread use of bank accounts most working people were paid in cash by their employers at the end of the week. Soldiers were no exception and they would queue up with their paybooks to collect their weekly wage and have it recorded. I believe this tin box is an example of the cash boxes used by the army to store these wages in prior to distribution.

It is a small 2”x3”x2.5” metal box, stamped WD on the top with a loop for a padlock on the front (now unfortunately broken):image

 On the base is the makers name and a date of 1951:imageInside the box was silvered and has space for change:imageI must confess I bought this box without any idea as to what it was, beyond being military, however thanks to a post on a forum a fellow collector pointed me in the right direction for a possible  identification.

RAF Anklets

When the British Army introduced their new uniform and accoutrements in the late 1930s priority went to the Infantry, then the other branches of the army. The RAF and the Navy came further down the pecking order and continued with their existing patterns of equipment into the middle of the Second World War. When they did finally get the new 37 pattern equipment many items were unavailable in the traditional blue-grey the RAF was used to, and army khaki had to suffice. It was therefore the mid 1950s before large quantities of blue grey 37 pattern webbing and associated kit such as anklets and rifle straps were produced.

The anklet was designed to replace the puttees that had been in use since before the First World War. It was actually based on an earlier Victorian design, but made of cotton webbing rather than leather. Anklets went around the ankle covering the bottom of the trouser leg and the top of the boot, preventing damage to both on undergrowth and the like.

This pair of RAF anklets is manufactured in blue grey:imageimage

They were manufactured in 1954 by SC Co, and are marked as a size 3:imageThe buckles are in the post war blackened metal rather than the earlier brass:imageI am very pleased with this pair as I am slowly pulling together the kit for a 1950s aircraftman and these are another piece of the jigsaw. Post war RAF kit is very cheap at the moment and virtually unissued so I am picking bits up where I can.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Finds

  1. Nick Peterken

    I read with interest your comments about the small British Army cash tin. I recently discovered a similar tin in amongst a box of militaria I purchased at auction. The tin has an integral cardboard divider and some wadding which would suggest a use other than cash. I realise the wadding may be later. I would have sent images but this does not appear to be an option. Any thoughts?
    Yours cordially,

    1. hatchfive Post author

      Hi Nick
      It sounds intriguing. I must confess that my identification was very much based on the advice of a fellow collector and I have yet to find documentry evidence of these boxes use. If I hear of any alternative theories I will of course up date accordingly.


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