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WWII "R.F.M.P. Reserve Medical" pannier--wicker with canvas

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Trunks1992 of 2651Old Bentwood  Trunk -- Green and Brass ??dad found at garage sale
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (2 items)

    I'd love to know anything at all about this small trunk. It's 31" by 13.5" by 14.5" tall. Wood and wicker inside. Outside is a green canvas-y material with leather, rope, and chain accents. Top lifts and front folds down to reveal a wicker inside with a main compartment and a divided bottom compartment. Writing inside (see fourth picture) is hard to make out. I believe it says John and Sheffield. Not sure what else, and I'm not sure what the three-part triangular symbol means. Bought 8-10 years ago at a yard sale. Not in spectacular condition, as you can see, but not terrible, either. Some discoloration (and I'm sure fading), and the leather isn't in great shape. Some searching shows it likely to be a World War II medical pannier. Not sure how common they are. Anyone?

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    1. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      I can't believe I didn't see this till now. It's pretty cool, whatever it is.

      I can't tell you much about it, but that three part triangular symbol is a British Broad Arrow mark - used to designate that this was property of the British Empire.

      My opinion only is that this was made before WWII. My opinion is based on the fact that this is made with leather, wicker and rope. By WWII, I would think that some of these parts on something like this that was government issue would be made from cotton webbing.
    2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      I stand corrected! Here's a medical pannier from 1940
    3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Here's one with all the equipment inside:

      Now if only I could figure out what RFMP stood for!
    4. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      OK, I think I have it. I read a bit on that last link I posted, and realized there were different types of Panniers, such as the Surgical pannier, The Field Medical pannier, and the Reserve Field Medical Pannier. Each had different contents, so I think this one had to be identified on the outside as the Reserve Field Medical Pannier – Which could be abbreviated R.F.M.P. !
    5. janeste, 9 years ago
      Wow--thanks so much for all your research! So nice to have it figured out. Since I bought it at a yard sale, I knew nothing about it. It didn't occur to me till now to try to learn something more. I'd found your first link, which is how I'd dated it in the first place, though of course I'm not sure whether that's reliable or not. I'm happy to learn about the British Broad Arrow, to see the pannier fully equipped (though honestly, I don't understand why these are called panniers, since they seem pretty large to be carried like a pannier), and to have the RFMP mystery solved. Going now to read the spanglefish article. Thanks much! Now I just need to figure out where this is going to live around here as we're shifting things around. The leather's not perfect, to be sure, but it's a cool piece.

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