Category: gas mask

Gunners wearing gas masks operating a 18 pou…

Gunners wearing gas masks operating a 18 pounder during an exercise in taking up battery position at Saint-Leger-aux-Bois, 5 August 1917.



Upon a recent trip to Budapest, I found myself inside a spectacular historical exhibit documenting the disproportionate effect the Great War had on a country only secondarily involved in it. Featured in the foremost above photos are wax sculptures exhibiting the transformation of Hungary’s cavalry from their archaic, flamboyant kit to the frighteningly more modern counterpart. The third photo was another wax figure, this time of a small child in a youth’s gas mask playing with her tricycle under eerie lighting. (Új Világ Született [A World Reborn] Exhibit, Western Budapest, Hungary).

Thanks @selfregard-less for these great pictures. I love to see how the war is treated outside the Anglosphere and this exhibit looks fantastic.




“After a while I became aware of a different sound…the
dull thud caused by gas shells. A moment later and I could smell the deadly
poison. I reached for my trusted gas mask and, much as I dreaded to do so,
pulled it on. The mask is safe, but it is the most uncomfortable thing I ever
experienced. If anyone wants to know how a gas mask feels, let him seize his
nose with a pair of fire tongs, bury his face in a hot feather pillow, then
seize a gas pipe with his teeth and breathe through it for a few hours while he
performs routine duties. It is safe, but, like the deadly poison which forced
its invention, it is not sane…”

July 1918, American Medical Officer near
Chateau-Thierry, France – PUT ON YOUR MASK, YOU DAMN FOOL! at NMHM in
Silver Spring. The exhibit is on display through 2018. – National Museum of
Health and Medicine
– Photo: 1918, American soldiers with gas masks – US National

A French war dog wearing a gas mask and anti…

A French war dog wearing a gas mask and anti-gas goggles at the military kennels at Roesbrugge, 16 May 1916.

French soldier wearing gas mask, Neuville St…

French soldier wearing gas mask, Neuville St Vaast, January 1916.

“June 18-20 1918. Section takes gas test. Grea…

“June 18-20 1918. Section takes gas test. Great discussion in
quarters over our cuisine. Lieut. Jamon wearing two galons today.”

In Dampleux, Aisne, France,
American ambulance driver ‘s Record of S. S. U. 585 – Photo: WW1,
France, American ambulance & truck drivers’ gas drill. La Contemporaine.

                                  “DO NOT GO O…

                                  “DO NOT GO OUT THERE… WITHOUT YOUR MASK

course, we always wore a helmet and carried our gas mask! When
in a forward position no sensible man ever permits himself to be separated from
his mask. We made it a practice not to go even from one room of the house to
another without taking our masks along and placing them in a convenient position where they could be slipped on at a
moment’s notice.”

June 1918, American doctor in France – The Boston Medical
and Surgical Journal
– Photo: famous photo taken 100 years ago today, in Saint Sauflieu, Somme, France.

‘May 31 1918 – We have been having some …

31 1918 – We have been having some mighty warm times, but so has old Fritz… We have taken quite a number of prisoners and also some new territory.
We are having ideal weather and we sure
are making Fritz busy. I wish I could tell you of the sensations we have when
travelling through a shell torn area, the big shells exploding all around
you, etc. It will keep for a long time. We won’t readily forget
these things. The good Lord surely has been with me, as I am in good health,
and so far have escaped unhurt. I was in a gas attack, but fortunately I
was able to get my mask on in time, and only got a bit of it. Tell Mom not to
worry about me.‘  

In the Cantigny sector, letter home – American ambulance driver, attached to
the 1st division.

Pennsylvanian Voices of the Great War: Letters,
Stories and Oral Histories

– Photo: WW1 American ambulance driver wearing his gas
mask from the fabulous Amherst Black Cats’ Twitter feed.

“We were each given our own gas mask – a compl…

“We were each given our own gas mask – a complicated ugly thing, but an item we must keep
with us at all times… So
you see I’ll be well protected from effects of gas if I ever come into contact
with it.”

WW1, France, American nurse, Helen fairchild’s
letter – We Also
Served: The Forgotten Women of the First World War
– Photo: Tuesday, May 21, 1918 American nurse wearing her gas mask. – Archives du Ministere de la Culture, France.

More about American hero Helen Fairchild @ “Roads to the Great War”, also this website

Indian soldiers coming over the trenches at …

Indian soldiers coming over the trenches at the entrance to the gas chamber during gas training, 1918.