Over the years we have looked at a large number of different wound and shell dressings on the blog. Some are carried around by soldiers in the field, like first field dressings, others are for use by medics and are either carried in a specific medical haversack or used in dedicated medical posts to dress wounds. Many of these dressings are identical to those produced for the civilian market and not all have the familiar /|\ mark which makes identification harder, but the consensus does appear to be that they are military as well as civilian items and I am treating this example accordingly. The coal mining industry had one of the best developed systems of first aid at the time of the Second World War, mines being very dangerous places. This means that many dressings are called ‘mine dressings’ and the colliery industry seems to have come up with a set of standardised guidelines on what size and shape dressings should be, hence many dressings including tonight’s example, say ‘authorised by mines department’ on them. The Board of Trade’s Mines Department was in existence between 1920 and 1942 which helps provide a rough date for many of these medical items.
Tonight’s dressing is a No15 Large Plain Wound Dressing:This dressing is wrapped in waxed brown paper, with a paper label wrapped around it. The front of this label clearly identifies which dressing this is:The back of the dressing gives some instruction in its use:Note the cloth tape at the top for opening the packaging easily with. At one end of the label is a stag trade mark:With the manufacturer’s details on the opposite side:Robinsons & Sons were founded in the 1830s and specialised in manufacturing both packaging and cotton based absorbent products such as ladies sanitary products and surgical dressings. A company who specialised in medical supplies would obviously be in large demand during wartime and it seems that Robinsons were given a number of very large contracts to produce dressings for the British Government for both civilian agencies such as the ARP and for the military.