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Artefact of the Month

FIRST WORLD WAR WALKING STICKS

Since warfare began, fighting men have brought back souvenirs from the conflicts they have been involved in. The air wars of the First World War were no exception and the Museum displays in the recently refurbished First World War exhibition a fine set of walking sticks made from parts of aircraft of the Great War.

From left to right in the photograph, the first stick is of a traditional design with a carved hand piece, enhanced with a polished metal band inscribed with an unidentified crest. It is believed the wood was from a crashed British aircraft and the metal band is from the crashed German Zeppelin L33. The second stick from the left is of a plain traditional design with a palm handle and the third from the left is a copy of a British Army Officer’s trench stick, probably owned by an Army Officer who volunteered for flying duties in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The fourth from the left has a crested silver band and ivory or bone hand grip and the fifth is a plain traditional stick with a black band and black lettering indicating that it was from a crashed de Havilland DH9 aircraft.

The stick at the far right is believed to have been owned by an RFC pilot who notched up his victories on the stem of his smoker’s pipe (see photograph). As can be seen, the pipe stem was then used as a walking stick handle!

THE WALKING STICKS ARE DISPLAYED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR EXHIBITION IN THE MUSEUM’S TANGMERE HALL.

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