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Thread Topic: GAS MASKS
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date November 22, 2011 @ 9:45 AM
 GAS MASKS/forgotten his gassy!

Mike Laughton
November 22, 2011 @ 9:45 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I wonder if anyone else has vivid memories of wartime gas masks. This subject isn't solely related to Stamford and people all over the country would have had the same experience as Stamfordians.
I can remember being fascinated by the gas masks in the attic of our home when I was a small child. The gas masks were issued to everyone at the beginning of World War II as it was feared the NAZI's would launch gas bombing attacks on civilian populations. Adults had gas masks that covered the whole face and there were special gas masks for babies where you actually put the baby inside the contraption.
I was born in 1943 so was issued with a baby mask but there were other gas masks in the house up until the 1950s. I know I enjoyed playing with them as an infant. I think they were all recalled and collected by the government in the 1950s.

John Tyers
November 24, 2011 @ 4:35 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

From time to time, the gas masks had to be modified which was an excuse for school lessons to be temporarily abandoned and a change of scenery while we all trooped to the town hall for such work to be carried out.  One modification I recall, although I do not know why, was the insertion of a rather attractive green coloured ring between the rubber facemask and the goofy like breathing thingy.  Who can forget also, the little sneaks in class at St. Johns who would pipe up with the inevitable "Please Miss, so and so has forgotten his gassy!" which it was compulsory to carry with you to school in a tin such as I possessed compared with the rather more sophisticated canvas bags which some of the girls affected.  On the occasions when the air raid sounded, we would sit in the brick built surface shelter wearing them, the boys effecting loud trumpeting noises through the masks and annoying the teacher in charge.  I think we now know that if the enemy had used gas, those masks would have been ineffective but I suppose they were good for morale!
Kate: O yes, I love it!