Ration tins, significance of MB-markings

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by 8RB, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    In accompanying photos you can see a military cigarette ration tin and, what I suppose to be, a civilian tin. They are both from my collection and they both are from "The Greys" cigarettes. As can be seen they also both have a comparable marking on the side of the lid. Military one reading "3MB", supposedly civilian one "MB13". Could it be that the "civilian" one is also military (I sometimes read that earlier on in the war there were no specific military tins) and what is the significance of markings like "3MB" (which you find on most ration tins) anyway?

    Cheers, Ronald.

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    That's a really nice one, in the past I've been told MB was for metal box Metal Box Co - Graces Guide and I've also been told it was a kind of code so the manufacturing location couldn't be traced back and revealed as a target, but not sure if there is anything to that.

  3. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

  4. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have got any ideas or information about the "civilian" tin being military or not?
  5. ardenneswoodwalker

    ardenneswoodwalker Junior Member

    I believe it referred to the box design, shape, size....... in other words a cataloque number for a tin, MB standing for Metal Box.
    The Greys Tin is a civilian tin .
  6. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply and very plausible explanation. I will also check my other tins to see if numbers for similar sized are matching. I will let you know!

    With regards to your remark "The Greys Tin is a civilian tin" however... they are both The Greys tins... :D. I suppose you mean the MB13 one and I expect your are right. I will hang on to it however just in case someone at some point would ever prove the opposite...
  7. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

  8. ardenneswoodwalker

    ardenneswoodwalker Junior Member

    Sorry, yes the second tin was the civilian one, .. some do have NAAFI Stores marked on them to denote tax free for service use.........

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