Category Archives: cigarettes

ARP Cigarette Cards (Part 3)

We come to our third and final post on the Will’s ARP cigarette cards, looking at another ten examples form this set. I have now managed to add a full set in the album to my collection so we may come back later and look at the other twenty cards in due course.

Card 31- The Service Respirator

This is the respirator designed for the fighting services. It will also be used by members of the civil Air Raid Precautions services who might have strenuous duties to perform in heavy gas concentrations. This respirator gives the same protection as the Civilian Respirator but for a longer period. It is designed so that the weight of the container portion is carried in the haversack on the chest, and the special face-piece allows heavy and accurate work to be performed without difficulty.skm_c45817021416010-copyCard 32- A Heavy Anti-Gas Suit

The illustration shows member of a decontamination squad in oilskin suits, rubber boots and respirators; a hood is also worn, but this is not shown in the picture. This equipment will give complete protection against the liquid or vapour of mustard or other persistent gases. It is essential to have squads of men trained to work in this equipment so that they can deal with and effectively neutralise any contamination which may have taken place. Owing to the fact that no air can get into the suits, men cannot work in them for very long periods of time.skm_c45817021416012-copy-6Card 33- Rubber Clothing

During an air raid the safety of the citizen may depend to considerable extent on his knowledge of how to behave. Splashings from the liquid liberated form certain gas bombs, or subsequent contact with it, produce a serious blistering of the skin. The Government provides each individual with a respirator which is complete protection for the eyes, throat and lungs. Prudent persons, if forced to go out of doors during raids, should provide themselves, in addition, with rubber or oilskin coats and hats, and rubber boots.skm_c45817021416010-copy-9

Card 34-Air Raid Wardens and Civilian Volunteer Despatch Rider

Air raid wardens are volunteers enrolled by the local authority. They are specially trained to advise their fellow citizens on Air Raid Precautions and to act as reporting agents of bomb damage. In the event of an air raid, they would be stationed at “warden’s posts”, perhaps a quarter of a mile apart, or less. The picture shows wardens handing reports to a volunteer despatch-rider. All wear steel helmets and Civilian Duty Respirators. The wardens are also wearing armlets. Note the shading device on the lamp of the motor cycle.skm_c45817021416012-copy-7Card 35- Volunteer Mobile Corps (Owner Drivers)

Patriotic owners of private cars throughout the country have offered their services and their cars free to local authorities engaged on schemes of Air Raid Precautions. Such action has materially helped in providing the necessary transport required for Air Raid Precautions services in many towns and urban districts. This picture shows the drivers of some fifty cars running to their vehicles during a practice alarm at a well-known seaside resort. From their place of assembly, these cars were driven to various strategic points in the town, including the Fire Stations and Police Stations, whence their services were utilized as required, in accordance with a pre-arranged plan.skm_c45817021416012-copy-5Card 36- A First Aid Party

The picture shows the four members of a first aid party running with a stretcher to a place where casualties have occurred. As gas has been used, they are wearing a light suit of protective clothing, with gum boots and Service Respirators. The scheme of Air Raid Precautions provides for the establishment of first aid posts in large numbers, so that they will be within easy access of any casualty. Such posts will be equipped to deal with minor injuries and casualties due to non-persistent gases.skm_c45817021416012-copyCard 37- Supply Depot for Respirators

This subject shows the examination of respirators at one of London’s Regional Supply Depots, of which there are now three in existence to serve the needs of the Metropolis. Ten similar Regional Supply Depots are being constructed in the provinces. Respirators, after being suitably packed for long storage at these Depots, are then to be moved to store centres. Each store centre is expected to house about 30,000 to 40,000 respirators, and its location is to be determined after consultation with local authorities. In the event of an emergency, respirators would be unpacked at the store centres, prepared for use, and issued to the public through distributing depots which would each handle about 4,000 respirators.skm_c45817021416012Card 38- Mobile Gas Vans

Home Office mobile gas vans, two of which are illustrated, are used for the testing of respirators and for the purpose of training men and women under the conditions of an actual gas attack. The vans are so built that a gas cloud can be put up in the body of the van; the white canopies at the back are airlocks to prevent the escape of the gas when the door of the van itself is opened. The picture shows a group undergoing training at Hendon Police College; the respirator in use is the service type.skm_c45817021416012-copy-copyCard 39- Civilian Anti-Gas School

The Civilian Anti-Gas Schools are provided by the Home Office. The first to be inaugurated is at Eastwood Park, Falfield, Glos., while there is another at The Hawkhills Easingwold, near York. The Schools train anti-gas instructors for the public service, for local authorities and others. Sixty students are taken at a time, and the course lasts two weeks. The picture shows postal workers undergoing training. Those on the left, wearing oilskin coats and Civilian Duty Respirators are women telephonists. The men on the right are being fitted with Service Respirators before going into the gas chamber.skm_c45817021416012-copy-8Card 40- Testing for Gas Contamination

The picture shows a member of a Decontamination Squad using an instrument for detecting if the ground has been contaminated with mustard gas. The instrument is painted at the end with a special paint which, when brought into contact with mustard gas, will turn a different colour. The man is shown wearing protective clothing and his Service Respirator, but as he is working after the raid is over, he is not wearing his steel helmet.skm_c45817021416010

ARP Cigarette Cards (Part 2)

Tonight we are looking at the next ten cards in the Air Raid Precautions set of Will’s cigarette cards, you can see the first post here.

Card 21 Light Trailer Fire-Pump

Under Fire Precautions schemes, the Home office is issuing to many local authorities light trailer fire-pumps of the type illustrated. This pump has the great advantage of being easily manœuvred; not only can it be towed behind any motor car, but it is also light enough to be manhandled. It is capable of delivering two useful fire-fighting streams of water, and can deliver 120 gallons per minute at a pressure of 80lb to the square inch. The pump unit can be unshipped from its chassis and carried to any convenient position where water is availableskm_c45817021416010-copy-6Card 22 Light Trailer Fire-Pump in Action

Air Raid Precautions schemes will include ample provision for emergency fire-fighting. The home Office is issuing to many local authorities light trailer fire-pumps, described on Card No. 21. The pump is here shown in action; it has been unshipped from the chassis on which it is usually carried for towing purposes, and is taking a supply of water from a garden pond, to which it has been carried by hand. The light trailer fire-pump can also work from a street mains supply, and is capable of delivering two useful fire-fighting streams of water.skm_c45817021416010-copy-5Card 23 Medium Trailer Fire-Pump

Medium trailer motor fire-pumps will be an important feature in emergency fire-brigade measures. These pumps are towed behind private cars or commercial vans ( in which the fire-men and additional fire-fighting gear may be carried), and can be manhandled over rough ground or debris impassable to ordinary fire-engines or motor cars. A pump of this type will give four good fire-fighting streams of water at high pressure.skm_c45817021416010-copy-4Card 24 Medium Trailer Fire-Pump in Action

Any scheme of Air Raid Precautions must include the provision of a great number of special fire-fighting appliances. Pumping units of the type illustrated will be required in large numbers for use under air raid conditions. They are specially designed for trailing behind motor cars or light lorries. Crews of 4 or 5 trained firemen are required to man these fire-pumps, which are capable of delivering two or more streams of water at high pressure on to a fire.skm_c45817021416010-copy-3Card 25 Emergency Heavy Pump Unit

The illustration shows a high-powered emergency fire-pump, carrying a telescopic ladder. This unit, which has been designed by the Home Office, is capable of delivering over 1,000 gallons of water a minute at high pressure, and is able to supply a number of good fire-fighting streams. There is accommodation on the unit for both crew and necessary fire-fighting gear. The chassis on which the pump is mounted is extremely mobile, and can be manœuvred in a very small space.skm_c45817021416010-copy-2Card 26 Hose-Laying Lorry

For laying long lines of delivery hose, such as may be necessary at large fires for the purpose of utilising distant water supplies, a special motor appliance is used. The lengths of hose contained in the appliance are joined together and specially packed as shown in the illustration, so that they pay out in one or more continuous lines as the appliance is driven ahead.skm_c45817021416010-copy-8Card 27 The Civilian Respirator

This respirator consists of a face-piece, to which is attached by means of a rubber band a metal box containing filters which absorb all known war gases. The face-piece is held in position by means of web straps fitting around the head. When the respirator is properly fitted and the straps adjusted, it completely protects the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs. The strap should be pinned at the right tension, so that the respirator can be slipped on in an instant. This respirator will be issued free to the public.skm_c45817021416010-copy-7Card 28 The Civilian Respirator- How to Adjust it

Great care must be taken to see that the respirator is correctly fitted and adjusted, in order that a supply of pure air, quite free from gas, is ensured for breathing. The respirator is made so that if fits closely round the face, and is provided with adjustable straps to hold it in the correct position. It is important that the respirator be tried on and the straps properly adjusted to the requirements of the wearer (see picture), so that it may be put on at a moment’s notice.skm_c45817021416012-copy-2Card 29 The Civilian Respirator- How to Remove it

The pictures shows the RIGHT way to take off a Civilian Respirator. This should be done by slipping the head harness forward from the back of the head. It is important that the respirator should be taken off in this way. The WRONG way to take it off is by taking hold of the metal box containing the filters and pulling the face-piece off by the chin. By this method there is a danger of bending and cracking the transparent window. If this window is cracked, the respirator is useless.skm_c45817021416012-copy-4Card 30 The Civilian Duty Respirator

This respirator is of stronger construction than the civilian respirator and is intended for those who might have to work in the presence of gas and could not go to a gas-protected refuge room. The respirator protects the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs against all known war-gasses. The face-piece is of moulded rubber, and the eye-pieces are of strong glass. There is an outlet valve opposite the nose; the protuberance at the side of the face-piece can be used to fit a microphone for speaking on the telephone.skm_c45817021416012-copy-3

ARP Cigarette Cards (Part 1)

We have looked at cigarette cards in the past on the blog, and how obsessively they were collected by many in the interwar period. Manufacturers were always looking for new topics to cover on their cards, and in the late 1930s ARP procedures became a very popular subject, no doubt with tacit approval from government who were keen that as many British subjects as possible were aware of what they could do to help themselves in the case of an attack on the civilian population. One of the most common sets was produced by Wills and although I have only thirty of the fifty cards, we are going to take a look at them in detail. Due to the number of cards, this will be split over three posts, each looking at just ten of the cards, the text accompanying each comes from the rear of the card.

Card 1   Choosing your Refuge Room

The picture shows the rooms which should be chosen in typical houses as air raid refuge rooms. A cellar or basement is best of all. In a small house where there is no cellar of basement, the ground floor will be safest, because top floors are always to be avoided on account of the risk from small incendiary bombs. The fewer windows in external walls in a refuge room, the better, and a room of which the window is flanked by a building or a strong wall is more advantageous than one having a completely exposed window.skm_c45817021416021-copy-7Card 2 Rendering your refuge room gas-proof

The red arrows in the picture show the danger points at which gas may enter; these must be sealed as instructed below. Cracks in ceilings and walls should be filled in with putty or pasted over with paper. Cracks between floorboards, round the skirting or where pipes pass through the walls should be filled in with pulp made of sodden newspaper. All ventilators and fireplaces should be stopped up with paper or rags. Windows should be wedged firmly to keep them tight, the frames sealed around with gummed strip or paper, and any broken panes boarded in or pasted over with strong paper. The cracks round doors should be covered with stout paper and the keyhole plugged.skm_c45817021416021-copy-8Card 3 Making a door gas-proof

A carpet or blanket should be fixed over the door opening as shown in the illustration. This should be kept wet and at least twelve inches allowed to trail on the floor. Such an arrangement reduces the risk of gas when the door is opened for use. In addition, if there is a large crevice under the door, a wooden strip covered in felt should be nailed to the floor to make a gas proof joint. The keyhole and all cracks must be stopped up.skm_c45817021416021-copy-9Card 4 Window protection

This illustration shows three methods of preventing fragments of glass flying round a room when the window is damaged by a bomb explosion. (A) By two layers of transparent wrapping material gummed all over the inside of the glass. This admits light. (B) By mosquito netting gummed to the glass. (C) By stout paper pasted on the glass. Should the glass eb completely shattered, then attach by means of thumbscrews to the inside of the window, a frame (D) in which there are two thicknesses of blanket with ½ in. mesh wire netting on each side. Another simple method is represented by a curtain (E) which is let down and fixed around the edges by strips of wood nailed to the window frame.skm_c45817021416021-copyCard 5 Window protection against blast.

Ordinary blast may be shattered by the blast effects of high explosive bombs, but there are various substitutes for ordinary glass that are more resistant. The left hand panes in the picture are of a specially strengthened glass and the right-hand panes are of non-inflammable transparent celluloid 1/10 in. thick reinforced on the inside by ½ in. mesh wire netting. Both offer considerable resistance to blast pressure, although they may be penetrated by steel splinters form bombs. If this should occur, the holes and cracks in the damaged pane should at once be pasted over with stout paper to make the pane gas-proof.skm_c45817021416021Card 6 Types of splinter-proof wall

In the event of an air raid, steel splinters and fragments form high explosive bombs may cause many casualties. It is therefore important to take protective measures against such fragments. The picture shows three types of wall (including methods of improvisation) which will afford protection. The first (right) is brick 13 ½ inch thick. The second (centre) consists of broken brick, rubble or shingle 2 ft. thick between corrugated iron sheets. The third (left) consists of these materials in boxes.skm_c45817021416021-copy-2Card 7 Protecting your windows- a sandbag defence

Walls of sandbags or sacks filled with earth, sand etc., are the best protection for window openings of refuge rooms on the ground floor. The picture shows how this should be done. Walls should be 2ft 6in thick at the top and should overlap the window opening by at least 12 in all round; the base should be wider to prevent the wall collapsing. Such a wall will keep out splinters from high explosive bombs and protect the glass of the window from being shattered by blast. The window must still be sealed against gas.skm_c45817021416021-copy-3Card 8 Equipping your refuge room (A)

Having chosen your refuge room and rendered it gas-proof, you should furnish it with the following articles: Table and chairs. Gum and paper for sealing windows and cracks. Tinned food and a tin to contain bread etc. Plates, cups, knives, forks etc. Books, writing materials, cards etc. to pass the time with. Wireless set, gramophone, etc.skm_c45817021416021-copy-4Card 9 Equipping your refuge room (B)

In addition to those listed on Card No 8. your refuge room should also contain the following articles: Washstand and basin, towels, soap etc. Plenty of drinking water in jugs for drinking, washing, fire-fighting etc. Chamber pots, toilet paper, disinfectant. A simple hand pump for fire-fighting. A box of sand with a shovel. Overcoats, rugs etc. for warmth. Mattress to lie on. Gum boots and mackintosh to go out in after a raid.skm_c45817021416021-copy-5Card 10 A garden dug-out

The picture shows a dug-out which is gas-proof and will give protection from blast and splinters from high explosive bombs. The excavation is in the form of a trench 7 ft. deep and 6 ft. wide at the top and 4 ft. wide at the bottom. The earth sides are supported by corrugated iron sheets held in place by uprights as shown in the picture. The roof consists of corrugated iron sheets resting on wooden joists laid across the excavation. Inside the entrance is an air lock formed by 2 gas curtains. Outside the dugout, steps lead down from one side to the entrance.skm_c45817021416021-copy-6

RAF India Cigarette Case

India has been rightly famous for its brass trinkets for many centuries. Craftsmen in the sub-continent can produce many elegant and richly decorated items with the most basic of tools. These objects have been popular souvenir items since the British first landed in the region in the seventeenth century. By the early twentieth century a cigarette case was a very popular gift to buy, especially by soldiers who had limited access to markets and indeed cash to pay for things. Cigarette packets of the day were flimsy, and with everyone smoking a metal case to safely hold and protect a smoker’s cigarettes was a safe bet as a gift. They were also easy to post due to their small size, fairly cheap to buy and as in this example could be highly decorated:imageThis cigarette case is decorated with an engraving of what I believe to be an Ibis, standing in a river. The inside of the case has space for the cigarettes, which are held in with a simple piece of elastic:imageWhat makes this case particularly nice though is the inscription on the inside:imageThis reads “To my brother Will with best wishes from Sgt. George Goodswen, RAF India”. The RAF had a presence in India from as early as 1913 and during the 1920s and 1930s saw extensive service on the North West Frontier. The use of bombers to take out tribal villages was welcomed by London as they were cheaper than conventional ground forces. The nascent RAF also encouraged their use as it helped justify their own existence in the financially constrained inter war period. The actual results of the air war on rebellious tribesmen is less clear and it seems whilst they had a terrifying effect on the natives, they did not actually achieve very much that was concrete due to the primitive nature of aircraft and bombing at this time.

Benson and Hedges NAAFI Cigarette Tin

Benson and Hedges were founded in Canada in 1873, but the company moved to the UK in 1885. By the outbreak of the Second World War it was one of the largest producers of cigarettes and tobacco in the Empire and supplied a number of brands to civilian and military distributers. When war broke out cigarettes were never rationed, being felt too important for morale. Despite this supplies for civilians were always sporadic at best; the military took priority with free cigarettes given out and subsidised packets being sold through NAAFI stores. This tin is one of those sold in the NAAFI:imageThe front of the tin is a standard Benson and Hedges label of the period, with the words ‘By Appointment to His Majesty the King’ indicating that it dates to before 1952. The reverse of the tin has ‘NAAFI STORES FOR HM FORCES’ impressed into it:imageThis was intended to prevent black market sales of these scarce resources, acquired for the civilian market either by theft or soldiers looking to make a quick profit. How effective this method of fraud prevention was is debateable- there was a large and lucrative black market trade in cigarettes throughout the war. The height of crime involving NAFI stores came a few years after the end of the war when the Redhill NAAFI Warehouse was robbed and 4,000,000 cigarettes taken. Indeed the theft of NAAFI gods was so serious, both in the UK and abroad that it was debated n parliament in 1946 as recorded in Hansard:

Mr. J. Lewis asked the Secretary of State for War if, having regard to the serious position in Salonika arising out of the black market in N.A.A.F.I. supplies, he will take immediate steps to arrange for the confiscation of all British cigarettes, shaving soaps, brushes, toothpaste and other articles supplied by N.A.A.F.I. which are on sale in the markets, shops, kiosks and offered by street corner vendors; and if he will have a thorough investigation into the means whereby these goods have come into their unlawful possession.

Mr. Lawson: The military authorities in Greece are well aware of this problem and as I said in reply to a previous Question by my hon. Friend they are taking all possible steps to deal with the situation, including the provision of guards for stocks during unloading and in transit. I do not consider that it would be practicable to take any action on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend in the first part of his Question. nor would it be within the competence of the British military authorities in Greece.

WW2 British Army Cigarette Tin

Right back at the start of this blog we looked at a number of British and South African Army cigarette tins, tonight we are looking at another little army issue tin. This example was issued to individual troops to give them somewhere safe to put their cigarettes when issued their share with rations and would have held around twenty cigarettes. The tin itself is a small pressed metal container, painted dark green, with ‘CIGARETTES’ printed across the front:imageAs can be seen it is very badly faded, the base of the tin reveals its original colour:imageThe difference in colour is striking! Note also the corrugations impressed in the base of the tin. This is a popular feature of tobacco tins of the first half of the twentieth century and acted as a striker for the matches of the period. The lid of the tin is hinged, with a simple length of wire:imageThe importance of cigarettes to the armed forces in the Second World War is illustrated by a story from 1940 in the wake of Dunkirk, told by L R Childs, a child at the time:

There must have been a signal since the driver applied the brakes and in a flurry of dust and steam the train squealed to a halt. The engine now well over the bridge began panting and puffing as it paused in the sunshine reflecting the exertion of pulling a large number of carriages.
The housewives came out from under the bridge and with us lads and a few more passers by together we looked up at the stationary train.
The carriage windows were down obviously the passengers needed the cooler air, and to our surprise a soldier appeared. A head of unkempt hair, a grimy face and a scruffy army tunic. Eyes blinking from the sunshine he looked down on our silent group.
The youngest of the housewives called up to him, “Are you all right?”
The soldier looked at us, at the houses and shops as if in a dream. He struggled to reply, then said, “I’m gasping for a fag.”

“Cigarette? Yes I’ve got one.” The young lady opened her handbag and extracted a packet.
She lifted her arm as if to throw the packet up to the soldier but realised that it would be futile, the bridge perhaps 30-feet up, a lightweight packet couldn’t be thrown that far. Thinking quickly she called, “I’ll bring these up to you,” and she walked over to the side of the bridge and tried to climb the steep embankment. A daunting task.
She looked at us boys. “You lads, come over here and help me up.” It was a command. We moved quickly but then I paused since nailed to the wall of the embankment was a notice.



“Don’t just stand there. Come on.” She was very determined and I obeyed.
But others had also moved over to the young lady. They were offering packets of cigarettes.
“Take these.” A packet of Players thrust into her bag.
“And these.” Woodbines, Craven A, Park Drive, a dozen packets for the soldiers.
So we heaved, pulled and tugged and to the cheers and encouragement of many soldiers now leaning from windows we got up onto the track.
That lady didn’t stop, she moved onto the bridge with us lads in close pursuit, to where our first soldier was leaning from the carriage window. Taking a packet from her bag she reached up, he opened the carriage door and gratefully took the cigarettes.
The remaining packets were distributed in a flash.

Tuesday Finds

A New Year on the second hand market and a good day for pick ups. Although I spend a lot on some items for my collection (more than I tell my wife anyway!) it is the small cheap bits that give me most pleasure and today has been no exception with no item costing more than 50p. Today’s finds range across the twentieth century from the Boer War to the end of the Cold War, but each is interesting in its own right and I am a very happy bunny to have got such a good haul.

 First Aid Equipment

 Although none of these items is marked with a /|\ stamp, they seem to be representative of the equipment supplied in British Army First Aid kits and will be useful additions to my small, but growing collection of medical equipment:

FullSizeRender1We have another blue First Aid Dressing (I picked one of these up last year as well), and two different tubes of tannic acid jelly, one of which is boxed. Tannic acid was used for the treatment of burns and was applied over a burn, allowed to dry and then the wound would be dressed. These items seem to have been provided from government stocks for both military and ARP first aid kits, however they will go nicely in my First Aid Haversack.

 Ointment Anti Gas No 2 Tubes

 These two ointment tubes would have been issued in a tin of eight to every soldier in the second world war. They were for applying to the skin to counter the effects of mustard gas. (For more details on the tins please look here.). I have got a couple of the No2 tins, but no contents for either of them, so these are a nice addition to my collection:FullSizeRender3Photograph of Crashed Aircraft

 This photograph is sadly unmarked with any details of the circumstances but depicts a single-engined RAF plane that has had a bit of an accident:FullSizeRender5I haven’t been able to positively ID the aircraft type yet, but I am leaning towards it being an advanced trainer rather than a fighter. It looks to have overshot the runway and ended up nose down on top of a saloon car. Two ground crew in overalls seem to be inspecting the wreckage, perhaps they have the job of getting the plane flying again? If anyone can positively ID the aircraft I would be very interested (plane recognition has never been my strong suit)

UPDATE: I have been informed that the aircraft is a Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and  that from the camouflage on the wings it probably dates from between November 1940 and April 1941. Many thanks to Andrew Dearlove for the identification.

 First Aid Post Shoulder Title

 When Britain set up its Civil Defence network at the start of the War it was obvious that First Aid for casualties of bombing would be a priority. First Aid posts were set up in local areas to allow the co-ordination of first aiders, collect casualties and prepare them for transfer to civilian hospitals. Staff who worked at these posts were initially just issued with the silver ‘ARP’ badge to wear on their lapel with their civilian clothes. As the war progressed it became apparent that proper warm clothing and uniforms was needed for these personnel and boiler suits and dark blue battledress was issued. These were worn with a variety of insignia to show members roles. This shoulder title is made of blue wool with yellow embroidered lettering:FullSizeRender2Boer War Post Card

 This post card from the Boer War bears the pre-printed stamp for the Orange Free State, however it has been franked by the ‘British Army Field Post Office South Africa’:

FullSizeRender4This mark and the sending of it to Liverpool suggest the card was captured stock used by a British soldier to send a message home. The post marks indicate it was sent in January 1901. The writing on the reverse is nearly illegible, but one can just make out a New Year’s greeting:FullSizeRender7Indian Toy Soldier

 Toy soldiers were very popular with small boys across the Empire throughout the 19th and early twentieth century. Made of lead they would be banned today, but children seemed to play with them for generations with little ill effect. As military fashions changed, the soldiers were updated to reflect the latest uniforms and equipments. Toy soldiers fell out of favour in the middle of the twentieth century, however a revival came about but catering for the adult market rather than to children. This soldier, unusually, is of an Indian soldier; possibly a Sikh judging by the beard and turban:

FullSizeRender15It is marked ‘King Cast’ on the bottom, this company seem to still be turning out small quantities of toy soldiers for collectors, concentrating on the Empire and wars of the nineteenth century.

 Southern Rhodesian First Day Cover

 This First Day Cover dates to 1943 and was sent to a Leading Aircraftmen Smith at the Royal Air Force Station, Norton:

FullSizeRender6This station would have been RAF Norton, which was the site of the Central Flying School (Southern Rhodesia) from November 1942, and trained pilots from across the Empire. Presumably L/A/C Smith was one of the support crews for this station and a keen philatelist.

 Precautions for Capture Card

 This little card, issued in 1951, gives details to British Personnel in case of capture:

FullSizeRender12Inside are detailed instructions on what information may and may not be given to one’s captors and precautions that should be taken to avoid giving the enemy intelligence:FullSizeRender14

FullSizeRender13This card is an updated version of one published in WW2, and is designed to be the same dimensions as the standard AB64 and Paybook, presumably this is designed to fit into the same pocket on the battledress blouse worn at the time.

 A Guide to Lagos

 This little guide book was published in 1945 for Merchant and Armed Forces going ashore in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria was a British colony at this point and the guidebook highlights leisure facilities, useful contacts and other information for the first time visitor:

FullSizeRender16At the back of the pamphlet is a fold out map, showing how small the town was at this point (it is worth remembering that today Lagos is a sprawling metropolis):FullSizeRender17Clothing Ration Book

 Clothing rationing was introduced in 1941 and lasted until 1949. It was designed to ensure fair shares for all and to husband slender resources and manufacturing capacity to help the war effort. Each man woman and child was issued with a separate ration book to go alongside their usual one for food. This example dates from 1947-1948:FullSizeRender10Inside are coloured coupons to be clipped out by the shopkeeper when a purchase was made:FullSizeRender11People found innovative ways to get around the clothing ration, with upholstery fabric and blackout fabric both being made into garments, whilst parachute silk was highly prized for making underwear with.

 Royal Anglian Regiment First Day Cover

 This commemorative cover was sent on 12th July 1974 and commemorates the issue of new colours to the Royal Anglian Regiment. It features a picture of a regimental drummer on the front and a special postmark:

FullSizeRender9Inside is a small card detailing the history of the colours:

FullSizeRender8Regimental Badge Cigarette Cards

 In the days when everyone smoked, pictorial cards were given away free in cigarettes and were eagerly collected and swapped by small boys. Military designs were always popular and these cards depict different regimental badges:FullSizeRender19Unusually these cards are made of silk with a card backing allowing them to be used in handicrafts. The rear of the cards reveals them to be from ‘Chairman’ brand cigarettes:FullSizeRender20American Red Cross First Aid Textbook

 This text book, dating from 1940, was published by the American Red Cross and details first aid and treatment for accident victims:FullSizeRender21From the interior we can see it was originally issued to William Roth of Albany:FullSizeRender22Although war had not yet come to the states at this date, it was clear which way the wind was blowing and based on the experience in Britain Civil Defence was stepped up and First Aid was part of the preparations for war. Happily the continental United States avoided bombing, but the training in these books was invaluable preparation for the thousands who joined the armed forces.

 HMS Iron Duke Guide

 This little pamphlet is typical of the guides produced for ships in the late eighties and early nineties:FullSizeRender18These potted histories and guides to individual ships were given away to visitors to the ship on open days and port visits across the world. From the code on the back this one can be dated to 1993. HMS Iron Duke is a Type 23 frigate, still in service with the Royal Navy today.