BEF British ww2 1937, canvas sheet for vehicle ?

Discussion in '1940' started by Tommy4, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Tommy4

    Tommy4 Junior Member


    Last year I've found this canvas sheet in a garage near by Dunkirk

    It is dated 1937, maker is Adam & Lane London (they also made flags)
    It also has the W/|\D marking with the letter "U"

    Large size +3m x +/- 7meters

    It has a color tag: orange white orange
    also marked B3.B3. 10X6

    Does anyone knows what the use is of this canvas sheet?
    Maybe the remarkable markings can help?

    I think it is vehicle related, but which vehicle?

    I can use any information

    Thanks a lot

    Attached Files:

  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    What a great find in that condition !

    It looks to be a standard 10' x 6' (ten feet x six feet) tarpaulin used for sheeting loads etc.

    The three stripes indicate the unit's 'movement code but the orange colour is a puzzle - Is it 'buff' or 'ammunition yellow' ? The two outer stripes indicate the '10's of the the unit code (in this case a 6 or a 3 and the white is 9) and they have painted '6369' next to the marking - This could be the full marking ? We should have to find a unit with a serial which ended '39' or '69' but I'm not sure that it will be possible to reduce it to one unit, simply a number of possibles. I'm on the case !

    I've had a look through the only list of BEF movement serials that I've found at Kew and there are no 6000 series numbers and 16369 doesn't seem to be there either. However, there are gaps in the dates early on. Andrew (May 1940) may have more information. The other possibility perhaps is that it relates to 1944/45 rather than 1940.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Wishing you luck identifying the tarpaulin.
    I agree with you on the excellent condition of the find.
  4. Tommy4

    Tommy4 Junior Member

    Thanks Rich,

    Can it be related to (one) type of vehicle?
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don' think it's a vehicle-specific tilt / bache. 10 x 6 seems to be a standard tarpaulin size. All equipment from vehicles to kit bags was supposed to have the painted stripes to ensure everything was thrown into the right heaps and picked up by the correct units when unloading ships. This tarp looks almost new. It must have been a unit that had only just arrived...or maybe the 6000 series numbers related to stores items. I don't know.
  6. Tommy4

    Tommy4 Junior Member

    Ok thanks.

    Are there pictures of similar tarpaulins?
    The tarpaulin is found around Wormhout (well known place of WW2)
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  7. REME245

    REME245 Member

    Early dated canvas sheets are rare to find full stop. Its good to be see the original colour as well in use at this time.

    A lot of the current vehicle canvas manufacturers don't like stocking anything other than American Olive Drab which is totally wrong for British vehicles until past mid 1944.
    For the bulk of the war brown canvas was used to match the brown paint which replaced green paint early in the war.
    Sand seems to have been the early war colour or the light green canvas which was used for a lot of auxiliary purposes.

    All AFV's and Carriers carried rectangular sheets to cover turrets or similar.

Share This Page