paper knife/kukri, Mesopotamia/Bagdhad WW1

Catalogue number
  • EPH 1979
Department
Exhibits
Materials
  • whole: metal
Dimensions
  • whole: 185.0
Alternative names
  • full name: paper knife/kukri, Mesopotamia/Bagdhad WW1
  • simple name: TRE
Category
souvenirs and ephemera

© IWM (EPH 1979)

Purchase & License
Label

This souvenir 'paper knife' was brought home by John Denny, a Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) orderly who had served in Gallipoli and the Mesopotamia during the First World War Paper knives made from battlefield scrap were a common form of 'Trench Art' during the First World War. This example is made from a piece of copper which has been hammered into a blade of similar shape to a Gurkha 'kukri', with a handle formed from a Turkish rifle cartridge. The copper used to make the blades of such knives was usually taken from the driving bands of artillery shells. The driving band was a copper strip fixed around the body of the shell. Upon firing, as the shell moved up the barrel of the gun, the soft copper band engaged with the rifling of the barrel, ensuring proper 'obturation'.

Physical description

knife a copper sliver cut into the shape uf a kukri with a Turkish cartridge case used as a handle, the bullet having been split to accept the blade

History note

John Denney served as an orderly in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and was landed at Gallipoli, evacuated by RN and then served in Mesopotamia

Inscription

MESOPOTAMIA -1916.17. FALL -OF -BAGDAD. MARCH -11 1917. -.-

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