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Metal Jerry Can for water


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

No it wasn't. I don't know when such stampings were introduced. What impressed me was that it seemed to have only one layer of brown paint that could well have been original or at least some time in it's career that someone thought it appropriate to paint it brown with white embellishments.

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  • 8 months later...
Never thought about putting it between the seat on my series 1


A Pukka metal water Gerry Can is one thing, but for the Landy owner that support carrier that sits over the middle FFR battery box is the 'Holly Grail'.


They are getting harder to find, especially the early ones that had the diagonal support legs.

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  • 1 month later...
I was lucky enough to buy two 1944 Briggs Motor Body made water jerricans yesterday and under the flaking black paint on both of them is very clearly the original brown finish. Coincidentally I have recently borrowed the rather esoteric french-written jerrican book and having studied the (black and white) illustrations in it am of the opinion that the overall wartime finish is in a colour which seems lighter than black.


I for one when restoring these cans will be opting for a brown finish.


On a similar related note, are we also to believe that the WD stamped petroleum spirit 2 gallon cans should also be finished in brown from new or retrospectively painted by the military ?


Another further question is:-

Was there a 2 gallon can manufactured exclusively for water ?


I ask this because I have a 2 gallon can that I have just been looking at which differs from most that I have seen in that it has neither any " Petroleum Spirit " markings or WD stamp but is stamped 3-40 underneath. It carries not the usual makers name (Valor) but " FF & S Ltd. There is also an eye on the neck of the can which seems to be for a cap securing chain and the cap is unmarked.

There is very little paint on this can but if I had to guess ,I would say that this can was originally brown but has been overpainted black with a silver top like the silver colour the "flimsies" seem to have been painted.


Could this can have been exclusively intended for water ?


I would like to ask this question again as I have as yet not found an answer. Can anyone help please.

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  • 1 year later...
Yes worms all over the place now! There was a very long thread some years ago & lots of merriment from two people who don't come on the forum any more. To save wading through all that I have teased out the documentary basis for the colour debate.


It is traditionally believed that post-war water jerricans should be black with some of the detail picked out in white. However studying consecutive Regulations show that this colour scheme was perhaps not always appropriate.


Most jerricans I have seen have been ones restored in black or actually have the original paint that was black or seemingly appear black in black & white photographs. But I present the documents for you to decide.


Regulations for the Army 1947 Pamphlet No.3 Supply of Equipment. Army Code No.1804




There were no amendments & the consecutive document states the same.

Equipment Regulations 1955 Pamphlet No.2 Supply of Equipment Army Code No.10835




There were amendments to the 1955 document in 1961 & were incorporated in to the new Regulations which now stated black was to be used.

Equipment Regulations Pamphlet No.2 (1961) Supply of Equipment Army Code No.13104




As these documents were consecutive I took it to mean that the change from brown to black was authorised in 1961. However it has been pointed out that this is contradicted by this.


Equipment Regulations Pamphlet No.9 (1959) Marking & Painting of Vehicles, Army Aircraft & Equipment. Army Code No.12473




However this document is not relevant to the argument. Firstly it appears to be describing jerricans for fuel, as they are to be painted Olive drab or Light stone there is no mention of water jerricans. Secondly the reference at the bottom of the page to “Paint, finishing, G.S., gloss, brushing, Black” is actually related to the left hand column which is referring to “4(E) P.O.L. tanks & pipes (iv) ladders & platforms”.


Yes I know that there will be people who will say that Regulations are only there to be broken. Clearly they have been! But I am surprised that a few brown one's haven't as yet cropped up.


So anyone tempted to go brown? I’m not necessarily suggesting you should, but there are the documents, you decide!




Hi all, I know it's been a while since anyone added anything more to this thread, but I have recently picked up a metal water can from a local auction.


The can is dated 1954 and I assume that it has its original BLACK paint.


Whilst cleaning it up I found RAF and 21C/2879 stencilled on one side, there is evidence of the indentations painted white (sprayed not brushed) and white markings under the handles, again sprayed on.


The black paint only has a layer of red oxide primer under it so I assume that unless there was a refurbishment programme for Jerricans that this was originally supplied in BLACK.


Just another curio to stir the mind






Edited by lclynne0874
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  • 1 month later...
The 1944 Water dated seem to be making good money now, last one I bought cost me £50, possibly a result of this thread!


The most I have paid is £25 for a 1944 can & that was at the last Dallas Dig out.

I also have 2 x 1943 cans which both cost me £15 each at 2 different events but that was a very lucky find as 1943 is rare & I've seen 2 go on ebay for just under £150 each !!! over the last 12 months.

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