Respirator Instructions for WW2 Soldiers

Contributed by Irene

Respirator Instructions for WW2 Soldiers

Tucked inside my late father's Soldier's Service Book, I found this little booklet of instructions on using a Respirator to protect against gas attacks.My father's Service Book was stamped five times to certify that his equipment,(presumably being worn at the time),passed the Gas Chamber tests. Several pages of the booklet detail instructions on how to cope with Liquid Blister Gas,a hazard against which the respirator offered little protection. There is a very stark warning: "One drop of Liquid Blister Gas in your EYE will blind you". Page 11 contains a cartoon to impress on the soldier the vital necessity for following the drill, showing a soldier called Bill, safely returned home to his loving wife , contrasted by a gloomy drawing of an unmarked grave for Charlie, who forgot to carry out the drill. The final page of the booklet simply states - WHEN GAS COMES, KEEP CALM, ACT WISELY, CARRY ON. My father (like many others I suspect) rarely spoke about his experiences in France and the Middle East. For those of us who have never lived through a war situation, it is a grim reminder of the everyday horrors of the situation.

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