WW2 Cigarettes

Discussion in 'General' started by marcus69x, May 23, 2007.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    By the second month inside Burma, the men of Chindit 1 were smoking Burmese cheroots, or local tobacco rolled in the pages of the books officers had brought along on the operation to read. Byron, Pope and of course good old Shakespeare, none survived the need for a good old puff.
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  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thread resurrected after twelve years :) I was a young man when this one started ! Sadly, the habits reinforced by the issue of cigarettes caused more premature deaths among servicemen than all the Axis forces combined.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    My father, the smoking London Kerryman, actually lived a year longer than Monty, the non smoking London Derryman... they were born 3 miles apart.. the distance from Peckham to The Oval..
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  5. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    A letter home from Italy:

    " I am enclosing some copies of Eighth Army News. I think you should enjoy reading some of the articles, especially don’t miss the articles by Desert Rat. Feel some of these are written tongue in cheek. On scanning through I realise there is quite a lot of mention of the old “V” cigarette. They are deadly cigarettes, and I can assure you these gaspers play quite a large part in our daily life and get a whole load of attention paid to them. I personally would like to know who was the responsible one for sampling them first of all and then saying, 'Yes, we’ll place a contract with you for supplying the 8th Army'."

    And subsequent letter continued with the criticism!

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  6. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I was just talking to husband the other day about my Dad, who was in the RNVR, having been a heavy smoker until his death.
    He said, he probably started when he was in the Navy. He smoked Senior Service, like Bexley's Dad.
    He died aged 84, but not from smoking.
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  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Memories of the days of the fag.

    My father smoked Senior Service,Players and Craven A when he could get them,the latter being strong and produced a fair amount of choking smoke.

    During the war,I remember that our local shop which my mother patronised the ration books at,used to put 40 Churchmans aside for my father each week.He never smoked Woodbines,the ones that were available in small paper packets holding five fags...those who did seemed to acquire the nickname Woodbine Willies from children.

    The same local grocery shop....remember it well.... issuing gas masks..... remember queuing up for the issue of mickey mouse gas masks for my young sisters.

    Visual effects of smoking,the local market town had a genteel hotel where on market days,the bar used to be packed with farmers.Consequently the ceiling was permanently heavy brown colour stained.The days when after being in a bar,clothes stunk of cigarette smoke.

    Postwar,I remember in the RAF that Players cigarettes could be accessed on overseas duty free of duty as I recollect.These were in a metal drum which held 25 cigarettes.There were always custom inspectors to hand when aircraft returned from a detachment abroad ready to ensure that the Crown were not deprived of duty payable.
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  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I was down the Churchill War Rooms a few years ago and spotted this:

    churchill (2).jpg
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  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Happy to clarify !
    Never local brands but certainly unmarked as to what brand they were, probably "Players" or Gold Flake, two popular brands of that time.
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  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    While I think of it...................
    At a recent hospital visit I was asked "Do you or did you ever smoke ?"
    I recalled that in the Forces it was not uncommon to smoke 80 a day and no-one ever warned us of possible side-effects !!!!!
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  11. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    My Dad smoked Turf when he came back from Germany but he switched to Woodbines after a while. I don't know if either of these were service issue but he stopped smoking Turf because the local shop could no longer get them.
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I would think that it was a case of keeping the troops happy with home comforts...often in both world wars, photographs of informal groups showed that there was many military personnel engaged in the habit of smoking.

    It was not until the early 1950s that some medical specialists drew a connection between lung cancer and smoking.From what I remember there were many interested parties who dismissed the evidence.

    Similarly a connection was established between the use of asbestos and lung cancer about the same time.The use of blue asbestos,the favoured industrial thermal insulation was found to be the most potentially dangerous of the three in use....blue,brown and white.
  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Dad was a FEPOW. Christmas card in 1944 from a fellow prisoner:


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