Salvage (1942)

A piece of  ephemera from Dad's Army days in Kent during WW2 (1942). A sheet of mimeographed paper typed both sides from the Tenterden 'Salvage Officer,' one G.D. Forder. Possibly such leaflets were from a national template, although no record of this leaflet is forthcoming. Bones were much wanted (even if gnawed by a dog) - these could be used in making glycerine (for high explosives) also candles and soap.
 Salvage has now become recycling and generally they don't refuse bones but no longer solicit them.

Tenterden Rural District Council

5 East Hill
Tenterden Kent.
6th May, 1942.

G. D. Forder,

Dear Sir or Madam,


Salvage is vitally important.
Shipping is limited an many supplies formally drawn from the Far East and other countries have been cut off. So we must utilise to the utmost every bit of material which can possibly be got at home.

Local Authorities everywhere have been urged to arrange for its collection. Their resources of man power and equipment are fully taxed, and other overtaxed, and need to be supplemented by voluntary help.


The things most urgently needed are waste-paper and cardboard, metal of all kins, bones, rags and rubber.

Waste-paper and cardboard.

Waste-paper and cardboard of every kind and form is urgently needed, including newspapers, magazines, books, cartons, wrapping paper ext. At the Paper and Board Mills these are re-pulled and converted into paper and fibre-board.
These, in turn, are made into containers (and washers) for shells and bombs, cartons for explosives, fuses, targets, packing cases for supplies for the troops, and papers for acres of purposes.


Practically every kind of metal article is good salvage, as metals are raw material of most munitions. You will realise the difficulty now of getting scrap iron from America or tin from the Straits Settlements, yet we must have these, as well as copper, brass and zinc, for all types of munitions. To show what scrap iron and scrap steel can do -  a ton will provide the steel for 100 Bren Guns; five tons will provide it for 250 A. A. Shells; twenty tons for a Cruiser Tank, one hundred tons for a 15-in. Navel Gun.


These are of vital importance. Out of bones we get fats for making glycerine (for high explosives), soap and candles; glue for camouflage paint and all sorts of woodwork; the remainder makes feeding meal for cattle as well as fertiliser for food crops. Bones are just as useful after cooking or gnawing by the dog. They are best kept in a lidded tin, with perforations but a box will serve.


Rags are also in great demand. Cotton rags are needed for paper-making and for wiping-cloths in out munition factories. Woollen rags, after being sorted into many grades, are sterilised and processed and go into the manufacture of blankets, cloth, battledress, etc.. Rags should be kept dry and as clean as possible; badly soiled stuff can be used for making roofing material, but should not be mixed with cleaner rags.


You know that Malaya and Java are our chief sources of rubber so you can imagine how seriously the war there has affected our supplies. Every kind of rubber scrap is valuable, including old tyres, inner tubes, hot water bottles, gum boots, rubber mats, etc.. Waster rubber, after treatment at reclamation plants, helps to make new tyres for Army lorries and aeroplanes, fire hose, etc..

Salvage is now at a high point of National effort and your enthusiastic co-operation is earnest desired. The active help of every householder is important and urgent.

Please communicate with your local Chief Salvage Officer, his name and address is attached.

Yours faithfully, G. D. Forder,

Salvage Officer.

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