Woolwich Royal Artillery Canteen Token VF
Woolwich Barracks was the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Artillery from 1776 until 2007 when it was relocated to Larkhill Garrison in Wiltshire, housing at its peak as many as 4,000 personnel. The soldier’s mess was an essential part of any barracks and provided food, drink, and a chance to socialise. These ‘Canteen Tokens’ are wonderful pieces of that history dating from around 1850 when Gregory Browne obtained a concession from the Royal Artillery to operate canteens at the barracks. These are quite large 34mm tokens struck in bronze with GREGORY BROWNE TENANT BY APPOINTMENT OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT and the arms of the Royal Artillery in the centre on one side and ROYAL ARTILLERY CANTEEN WOOLWICH on the other side. Usually, they are stamped with a number in the centre, probably indicating a table number, but others have no number on them. All of these would have been used daily by the service personnel as their meal pass at the time and are quite scarce so are available in very limited numbers.