Trench Art

I have inherited from a cousin a few bits & pieces of furniture and a few shell cases converted to walking stick stands etc. Among these items is what I suspect is a trench art book mark that would have been made by or for his father, who served in the PPCLI during WW1. The name tapped into the metal and the "PP" seem to confirm this (I can't confirm the Service Number without digging into boxes). Can anyone confirm if the Crows foot with a "C" around it (pictured) looks correct? It looks to be a piece cut out of a cartridge case, shaped and flattened.

What other interesting (family) pieces of trench art or family pieces does anyone have? Additionally (gen question), did this "Trench Art" only really last during WW1, or do people have examples of servicemen/women turning their hands to something in Afghan/Iraq?

Bookmark 1.JPG
Bookmark 2.JPG
Bookmark 3.JPG
Bookmark 1.JPG
William Scully of Montreal was/is a major supplier of metal capbages, regimental buttons etc to the Canadian Forces, so I expect that the broad arrow with the C is correct.


War Hero
It isn't Trench Art bookmark. It is what we called (Brits) a "button stick." You slipped the slot behind the button so that you could polish brass buttons without getting polish on the fabric of your uniform.
As far back as 1980 (in the R.Signals ) we still had as ATs in Harrogate 1935 pattern webbing. With brass fittings.

Having to take apart the webbing to polish the brass , then use VIM to scrub down the webbing as Blanco was Hard to get .


I had one like this, lost it ages back, the plain one you show seems to be a privately purchased one

Button Stick (1917?)

WW1 British Army Private Purchase Button Cleaning Stick The Kitchener

WW1 British Army Private Purchase Button Cleaning Stick The Kitchener

Found this thread looking for tips on how to polish brass. To answer the piece on contemporary 'trench' art I'd have to say the answer is yes. The Falklands Armourers certainly used to be good for trench art, of all sizes, a speciality being a bell or gong made from a 105mm shell, with the clapper either being the fuse or sometimes things like a .50 cartridge spliced in. Whilst down there in 2006 I had them make me a snuff box out of what turns out to be a 3lb shell - not sure what from - they put a Falklands £2 coin in where the percussion cap went. Same tour I brought back an ashtray from a 105mm.

Fast forward to 2012 in Afghanistan, the contractors in the vehicle bay - I forget the company but worked at Bastion alongside the REME - were doing stuff like .50 bottle openers or .338 cufflinks. I commissioned a one-off candle stick holder. It is a cut-down 105mm shell. There is a bit in the middle with holes coming out - that has .338 cartridges coming out for the arms. On top of those are cut down .50 cartridges for the candle holders. Of note, I watched the shell being fired from the Bastion gun line, by 19 RA, in support of a RAF Regt deliberate night op.

In a piece of karma - the contractor said it was a ****** to make and he wouldn't do any more like that - it is an absolute bastard to polish.

If of interest, I can pop some pictures on when I get home.

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