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1903 Pattern Equipment
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 Personal Kit

Correspondence
Edged Tools
Glasses
Handkerchiefs
Identification
Kit Bag
Lighters
Polishing, Washing & Shaving

Rations

Sewing Kit
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Protective Gear

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Specialist Clothing

Tank Crew Suits

 

Lighters

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Wartime cigarette package, metal match case, and brass lighter.
Artifacts courtesy The Calgary Highlanders Museum.

Cigarette smoking was extremely popular in the 1940s, in civil as well as military life, at a time when the health risks associated with the practice were not well known.  Many men picked up the habit as a result of their military service, and the hardships they had to face.  Cigarettes were given as gifts by charitable organizations, as well as being part of the daily rations.  This created trouble in England, where shortages of cigarettes in the civilian world led to a large black market for the product. 

More than one Canadian has reported that their German enemies always smelled of Turkish tobacco, and wondered if the Germans thought that the Canadians in turn smelled of Virginia tobacco.

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The Ronson lighter was a commonly carried item by Canadian soldiers.  In civilian life, the Ronson's slogan was "lights every time", a slogan applied to the Sherman tank, whose faulty ammunition stowage and gasoline fuelled engine caused them to burn without fail when hit by German anti-tank rounds.  The Sherman also became known as "The Ronson" by Canadian soldiers.

The lighter at left has been personalized with a miniature cap badge (of the Edmonton Regiment) and by having the soldier's name and regimental number engraved upon it.  Below is the standard Ronson.  Artifacts courtesy The Calgary Highlanders Museum.

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Canadian brand cigarettes were sought after in Europe; the alternative was hated brands like Victory, which were included in the Compo rations.  Note the label on the Sweet Caporals at left, imploring "Don't Forget The Boys Overseas: Send them "Sweet Caps".  Use back for order form."

  Artifact and photos courtesy Jim Curley

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