Poison gas was one of the most fearful weapons of its day and added a terrifying new dimension to modern warfare. In 1915, the only item a soldier had to protect himself from the harmful effects of gas was a shell dressing, soaked in his own urine and then tied around his face. By 1918, the British Army had developed a range of invative protection methods that heralded the birth of the modern day military respirator. Throughout both World Wars, Great Britain led the way in developing anti-gas techlogies. Today, items such as respirators and anti-gas equipment are highly sought after by the enthusiast. What the collector lacks is information and reference photographs of such items, and he also has little information available to him on topics such as preservation, manufacturer details and safety aspects of handling these items. This book aims to provide a useful, full-colour reference guide for the discerning collector and for all students of militaria, as well as providing a brief history of the development of gas warfare and equipment.
Thomas Mayer-Maguire has been extensively involved in First and Second World War 'Living Hisotry' for a number of years, having presented many educational displays across the country. Tom is a professional engineer who has been an avid militaria collector for many years. He helps to run the Tommy Atkins Historical Society, a Living History group based in the Midlands. Tom has always had a keen interest in anti-gas equipment and military respirators. This collector's guide is the culmination of many years of collection experience and historical research. Brian Baker has been extensively involved in First and Second World War 'Living History' for a number of years, having presented many educational displays across the country. Brian is also a militaria enthusiast who has a particular interest in the Home Front and Civil Defence. He is the founder of 'Doing our bit', a historical group regularly doing talks for local schools around Leicestershire.