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WW1 Sailors Ditty Box

River Rat1

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When I went to boot camp, the US Navy gave us a cheap cloth bag called a ditty bag where you keep small personal items. The British Navy back in the day issued sailor ditty boxes the slats on the lid you put your letter a spot for an ink well before the fountain pin. And you can keep your valuables locked up. Has the sailor's name it was issued to on a brass plaque I just bought this today on eBay. I have another that was not great shape had to replace the lock it was missing the inside was trashed up. So I made a watch box out of it for my WW1 trench watches since the box was from WW1. This one in great shape think my small military badges and wings and other small military collectable will go in it. Paid 70 pounds for it a cool military collectible for beginners that don't break the bank. They show up regularly on eBay and I bet they are easy to find in antique shops in England and I bet some passed by then without realizing what it was. Think these were issued from WW1 to WW2.


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Here is my first sailor's ditty box I added to the collection really beat up and missing the lock. Fixed lock with period correct lock put in form for my WW1 trench watches.




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This 'Ditty Box' was brought home by my Great Grandfather who served in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Made from an old ammunition box this one was split and used as a sowing box after the war.






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Nice hold on to it family history. My sister has my grandfather's wooden chest he got in China in the 1920' or 1930's  when he was in the Navy all hand carved with brass pieces in the chest a really cool thing don't have photos of it.

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Some info I found. About the Ditty Box.

The "Ditty box" was an issued to sailors by the Royal Navy from the 1870's until 1938. They were for keeping personal valuables and went with the Sailor as they changed ships during their career.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought this a while back on eBay. The seller used eBay Global Shipping to ship it to me from England to the USA. Well eBay global shipping has always been a bad experience for me as a buyer. This time no different. It got stuck for 11 days as a restricted item. Took the seller and me complaining until they figured it was a little wooden box. Was supposed to get it on September 14 well got put in a shipping container a few days ago so I guess it's on a container ship on the slow ride to the states. Then a tracker trailer rig when it gets to the states no air used. So, if you use eBay to buy or sell. Don't use it as a seller to prevent bad slow shipping feedback and if you are a buyer ask shipping method and tell the seller not to use eBay global shipping the slowest way to deliver stuff. I bought an Australian Navy deck clock from a seller in England got it 3 days later on my doorstep fastest ever why he did not use eBay global shipping he used FedEx. Still hoping this shows up. Even Royal Mail faster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Received it the other day took 25 days to get it. Wished eBay had feedback on eBay global shipping, so the seller doesn't get the one star on shipping. Still amazes me the royal mail got a deck clock to me in 3 days from England when eBay sellers don't use eBay global shipping still think that was a fluck and don't happen often. The locks are original has a 1915 English penny with W.W. stamped on the coin the initials of W. Wright the sailors name on the brass plate on box, so box is from WW1. The key original has a number 7 on the key probably key size.

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