Today when we think of the Great War we tend to think almost exclusively of the fighting on the Western Front. This was certainly the main focus of fighting, but troops were deployed across the globe and tonight we have a delightful souvenir from those troops stationed in the Middle East. This cigarette case is exactly what you look for as a collector- it’s attractive, named, dated and even has the location engraved into it!The case is made of brass that has been silver plated and in the bottom right hand corner there is an engraving of the cap badge of the Army Service Corps:The lettering indicates that this case was owned by M/348444 George Armstrong of 1019 Company who were based in Mesopotamia and Persia and there is even a date of 1918. As a collector it doesn’t get much better than this! Sadly I have so far drawn a blank on the man himself, although I have discovered that 1019 Company were a mechanised transport company that was based in Basra in what is today Iraq in 1918, they were issued with Ford vans.
The case itself is quite small and is gently curved on the rear to fit snugly into a pocket, following the curves of the owner’s body so it is comfortable to use:Inside a pair of elastic straps are fitted to hold the cigarettes in, surprisingly they are still supple and a little stretchy even after a century:This is a delightful little object and hopefully the research will come together to help me tell George Armstrong’s story.