Tin Map Case

The Battlefield Sat-Nav

This map case belonged to Captain J. G. Crabbe of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Royal Scots) Greys during the First World War.

At first glance it might seem insignificant compared to a soldier’s gun or items of uniform, but it was vital. Captain Crabbe would have used this to protect one of his most important documents. The map would help him get his bearings on the battlefield, to know where he was being told to attack and what the terrain surrounding him was like.

In the First World War trenches were horrible places full of mud, stagnant water, rats, and more mud. The case would help keep the map dry and usable. This wasn’t a new idea for the war. The case has a special protective coating called a tagger varnish which was used on tin boxes from the 18th century to the end of the First World War.