This nasty looking weapon is described in the original IWM accession register of 1917 as a ‘Casse Boche’ with the suggestion that it was used by the French in the 2nd Battle of Champagne in 1917. It is constructed from a naturally gnarled piece of wood, weighted with lead and fitted with iron spikes. It is too long to make an effective club if the leather hand grip is held. It may well be that it was intended primarily as an officer’s walking stick.
Six studies of British and Commonwealth soldiers in different kits by Jeane Berene-Bellecour.
Clockwise from top left: a bare chested Australian wearing a slouch hat. A soldier in winter kit with a sheepskin gilet, a purple scarf, tin hat and carrying a stave. A raider wearing a canvas gilet and balaclava, smoking a pipe. A Scottish Highlander in full kit. A soldier in ordinary kit and smoking a pipe. A New Zealander wearing winter kit, including a belted sheepskin gilet.
New Zealand troops of the 9th (Wellington East Coast Rifles) Regiment being issued with their rum ration at Fleaurbaix, June 1916.
Leather-bound length of MG08 barrel, with leather wrist strap used as a trench club. This unusual (possibly unique) trench club is probably German in origin. It is constructed from the cut-down barrel of a German MG 08 machine-gun, which has been bound in leather. The barrel, evidently, had been discarded due to damage, or having simply become worn-out.