An improvised rifle breech cover made from a knitted brown fingerless glove, the cover shows signs of wear and dirt with mud granules clinging to the woollen texture.
An improvised rifle breech cover used by Second Lieutenant Austin Lampard who served with his elder brother, Paul, with the 1/1st Battalion, The Honourable Artillery Company on the outbreak of the First World War. They were embodied at their Drill Hall in Finsbury, 4th August 1914. Following assembly and further preparation for overseas service they proceeded to Belhus Park (Aveley) Essex, on the 12th September, before embarking for France. Landing at St Nazaire on 20th September the 1/1st HAC were first held in reserve (GHQ Troops) until being assigned to the 3rd Division on 10th November, deployed between St Eloi and Kemmel, south of Ypres. Whilst in the trenches, Paul, a lance-corporal, was killed by a sniper as he stood beside his brother on 7th February. Moments after that incident a sniper (possibly the same) hit Austin's rifle, shattering the wood furniture.
The Battle of Verdun (21 February-15 December 1916) became the longest battle in modern history. It was originally planned by the German Chief of General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn to secure victory for Germany on the Western Front.
'Over The Top'. 1st Artists' Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917, by John Nash.
Brothers Paul and John Nash were both commissioned as official war artists during the First World War - Paul from 1917 and John from 1918. Prior to becoming official war artists, both of the brothers had seen active service on the Western Front.
The trench warfare of the Western Front encouraged the development of new weaponry to break the stalemate. Poison gas was one such development. The first significant gas attack occurred at Ypres in April 1915, when the Germans released clouds of poisonous chlorine.