Tag Archives: mustard gas

Tuesday Finds

This will be the last Tuesday Finds post for a few weeks as I am away in Cyprus with the Navy for a couple of weeks. Despite that, today has brought up some very nice finds…

Ointment Anti Gas Jar

This huge stoneware jar is clearly marked ‘OINTMENT ANT-GAS’. One of the problems faced in the First World War had been with gasses in their liquid state, especially mustard gas, which clung to skin and clothes and inflicted terrible chemical burns. To counter the effects of this, special ointments were created that could be applied to affected skin to neutralise the gas or dilute and wash it away.photo 1This jar is probably for civilian ARP use, and is impressed with a maker’s mark for Doulton and a date of 11/56:photo 2Magnetic Marching Compass Mk1

This bakelite compass was standard issue to officers throughout the Second World War. It has a hard shell to protect it:photo 4On the other side is a description and the broad arrow showing it is WD property:photo 3Inside there is a basic compass with which to take bearings and for map reading:photo 2Map reading and compass have been seen as essential military skills from the eighteenth century onwards and the increasing sophistication of maps over this period is directly attributable to the military mappers of the Ordnance Survey.

Respirator Glasses

These glasses were issued to short-sighted troops and were specially designed to be used under gas masks. The springy steel holds the glasses tight to the face allowing a good seal:

photo 1Inside the case is a set of instructions to the soldier issued the glasses:

photo 2Royal Signals Cap Badge

This wartime cap badge is for the Royal Signals and features the messenger of the gods, Mercury, representing communication, the corps raison d’être:photo 7Sweetheart Brooch

This little brooch is made from three WW1 uniform buttons soldered onto a simple pin clasp:photo 6photo 5

This is a particularly common design of ‘trench art’ brooch. I am unsure if this is actually true trench art, or a commercial piece produced as a souvenir for the battlefields of France and Belgium in the 1920s.


One thing I always pick up if they are cheap are general service buttons. these are the most common form of button used on British Army uniforms and have the royal coat of arms on them:photo 1

These were used on woollen uniforms and on tropical uniforms and it is especially on the latter that you find the buttons missing as they were designed to be removable. I normally have a small supply in stock though to replace them and restore a uniform to its former glory.