EVERYBODY used to smoke in the old days, before they realised the dangers.

I wrote about cigarettes being issued to servicemen in the First and Second World Wars as part of their rations.

Robert Higson, of Stainland, was in the forces in Germany from 1955 to 1958.

“All soldiers received 200 Senior Service cigarettes every week as part of their pay.

A pack of 200 was given to you on the Friday pay parade along with your money.

“Non smokers could request money instead of cigarettes, in which case they were given an extra ten bob (10 shillings or 50p). I do not think anyone ever took this option as, invariably, we non smokers sold our cigs to the local German workers for 10 Marks. At that time, there were 12 Marks to the Pound, hence we about doubled our money.

“The practice of giving cigarettes as part of your pay certainly continued until 1957, when I think it stopped. Can you wonder that the lads smoked when 20 fags only cost a shilling (5p).”