Original British WWII Wood Air Raid Alarm / Gas Rattle - Maker marked and dated 1940

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. In WWI poison gas was introduced, now totally outlawed as inhumane. With all the noise in the trenches, the wooden gas rattle was adopted to alert soldiers in the trenches of an impending attack. These rattles had a totally unique sound, and were quite jarring, being able to be heard above the din of war.

The fear of course once WWII began was that the NSDAP War machine would reintroduce poison gas, which would be delivered by aerial bombardment. We now know that no one used poison gas as a military weapon in WW2, so the Gas Rattles were instead used to warn people to get to shelters before air raids commenced. They became somewhat redundant once the country was covered by Air Raid sirens, but nevertheless in the early days every resource was put to use.

The upper wood surface is stamped with the suppliers ID of S21 in a triangle under a military Broad Arrow and DATED 1940. This example is very sturdily built, and even has a galvanized steel cover that produces the sound. There is a piece of wood attached to it that the clapper hits, making this the loudest rattle we have ever encountered, as most we have had were incomplete, missing the metal resonator.

An early authentic Air Raid warning rattle from the London's Blitz.
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