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Looking to learn more about this gas mask my grandfather gave to me several years ago. I believe it is perhaps a WW I mask made by the British? Thanks for any info!





Edited by JoelMertz
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It is technically called a 'Small Box Respirator' or 'SBR' for short and was developed and first issued by the British Army in late 1916.  It was quickly adopted by Canadian, Australian and other Imperial troops as well, and was issued to the American 'doughboys' when they arrived in France in 1917.  

There should be a nose clamp inside the mask and a mouthpiece.  Soldiers were expected to be able to don and secure the SBR in under ten seconds when a gas alarm went. [Every section of the front line trench would have a 'gas sentry' who carried a gas rattle or a 'gong' made from an old shell casing.  Breathing through the mouthpiece - which is hard work, btw, drew air through the canister or 'box', which was packed with layers of charcoal and quick lime.  It came in a small haversack and usually had a small booklet to record use, as the canister was replaced after 10 hours of use, where possible.  Both sealant, to ensure it did not leak at the edges, and anti-fog gel for the eye pieces were also issued.

Here is a good site with more details and below are two photos of the SBR worn in the 'ready position'.  The strap on the haversack can be shortened so that it rides high on the chest,m with the flap open, for quick access.  

SBR in use.jpg


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