Years ago I bought this 1127 pages thick book in England as a reference for the Second World War Stuff I was collecting. I still use the book as great reference not only for my collection, but also for my paperwork. I find lots of products, names, etc. in it which helps me in the search for wartime paperwork.
Founded in 1871, the Society of Army and Navy Stores was formed by a group of Army and Navy officers to provide basic necessities and luxuries of life to all members, namely British officers, serving soldiers and their families. Other groups associated with service life such as canteen workers were also permitted to become members. Financed with an initial capital outlay of fifteen thousend pounds of share capital, the society was based on the cooperative principle with share dividends available to members.
Following the depression of the 1920’s with the reduction in trade, the membership base was broadened to permit the general public to become members free of charge. In 1934 the society’s name was changed from Army and Navy Cooperative Society Ltd., to Army and Navy Stores.
The company produced a catalogue from which a broad range of products could be ordered and delivered cheaply. This reproduction of the 1939 catalogue illustrates perfectly the products and the lifestyle of Great Britain at the outbreak of the Second World War.