Items of militaria can turn up in surprising places and a few weeks back a friend directed me to a large pile of surplus catering equipment. Amongst the civilian items he had spotted a few slotted spoons with military markings. For just £1 each I was the proud owner of three military marked metal slotted spoons:
Two are short handled versions, whilst one is about six inches longer. All are made of stamped stainless steel, with a large head with holes punched through:
These are the same as the utensils in your kitchen and are used to lift items out of liquid and draining them before they are transferred to the plate, they are just a little larger and heavier duty than a domestic kitchen example. They are also fitted with hooks on the end to allow them to be secured to the side of a large pan- fishing a spoon out of gallons of boiling water is no fun! What makes them of interest to our blog though is the markings on the handles. Each is stamped with a /|\ Mark and a date; 1988, 1989 and 1992:
Note also they each have a partial NSN stores code stamped into the handle and the manufacturer’s initials. These sort of items are typical of the quirky items I like to add to my collection, cheap to buy and not worth anything, but still interesting to me and often overlooked by other collectors.