trench art

Other Metal Items - Paper knives

trench art paper knives

Other items made from metal include paper knives, again a common sight, being relatively easy to make and portable. 

This selection gives you an idea of the various forms they take. 

The top one has a bullet casing handle but actually uses a fleschette for the blade, a fleshette being an early form of anti-infantry weapon for use by aeroplanes – basically handfuls of these sharp metal spikes would be thrown from an aircraft into the trenches below – prior to developing the capability to mount machine guns on planes.

The next two are made from the copper drive band that goes round the shell itself that sits in the rifling in the barrel to make the shell spin as it travels up the barrel. 

Below this is one made from a shell fragment – long jagged shards of iron - craftsmen would hammer and re-mould the bottom half into a blade, leaving the top section as was to make the handle.

The bottom example is the more common version, using a bullet handle and a cut out section of shell casing for the blade.  This one was made from a rifle cartridge that was fired over the grave of Lt John Reynolds Peyton, Royal Navy, who was killed on 4th November 1918, exactly a week before the armistice, while serving on the frigate HMS Ambuscade and is buried in Windsor.

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