German gas mask and case, circa 1915-17
Gas masks provided some protection from the various types of deadly gas used by the opposing sides during World War One.
Tear gas and the deadly chlorine and phosgene gases were widely used, but the irritant mustard gas was the most effective in disabling troops.
Mustard gas had a devastating effect on the skin and eyes, often leading to blindness, and, when inhaled, resulted in blistered lungs and throat.
It could linger in the soil for months until reactivated by heat.
This German gas mask is on display at the Gold Museum as part of the Shrine of Remembrance’s exhibition Australia Will Be There, on show until September 18, 2016.
Written by Katrina Nicholson, Centenary Exhibition Research Officer, Shrine of Remembrance