A lot of military items are also used by other branches of the Government and it makes sense to bulk order for everyone and then distribute accordingly. This especially applies to everyday consumables such as stationery and cleaning products and today we are looking at an item that was once ubiquitous- a bar of soap:
These bars of plain unscented soap were used by all branches of the government for decades, including the military and this particular example came from emergency relief supplies carried aboard HMS Invincible. The bar has the royal cypher stamped into the top and in this case comes in an individually sealed little plastic pack. More usually however they were just wrapped in cellophane and packed into cardboard boxes, such as this one, which held 72 bars:
One user remarked of the issue soap:
The stuff I saw was off-white, thinner than a standard bar and quite hard compared to normal soap. It wasn’t bad, though. The bars I acquired lasted for ages.
Another squaddie had a fun way to make a bit of extra money with some issue soap:
I flogged a box of EIIR-marked soap to a yank once. I told him it was genuine Buck House issue. He was well chuffed. Paid for my night out. Result.