John Staple’s Souvenirs of the War in the East

My thanks again go to Simon and Christine Briggs for kindly sharing with us John Staple’s photographs from Salonika, Egypt and Turkey and for taking the trouble to photograph his interesting collection of ‘trench art’ souvenirs. These photos are reproduced below with notes from Simon.

On the shell case is engraved, in an elaborate script, “Souvenir Balkans 1915 – 19” and the initials “JS” [John Staple]. On the base of the shell case, it says “DUSSELDORF” and also “RhMF 1912” and it appears to be for a 75mm weapon.

Trench art gong made from a shell case. From the collection of John Staple of the Army Service Corps Remount Service

The airplane is a rifle cartridge with wings and tail plane made from sheet brass (the rudder is missing). On the top wing is engraved “Souvenir from Salonika 1917” and under that “JS”.

Trench art aeroplane. From the collection of John Staple of the Army Service Corps Remount Service

There are 2 matchbox covers, one with a German belt buckle – “GOTT MIT UNS”.Brass matchbox cover. From the collection of John Staple of the Army Service Corps Remount Service.

The copper one has lettering on both sides but I don’t recognise many of the characters although it does say “1918”.

Trench art copper matchbox cover. From the collection of John Staple of the Army Service Corps Remount Service.

Is the script Russian or Serbian? If you know and can tell us what it says please leave a comment.

 

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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