A World War 2 gas mask

There probably is hardly a local museum in the country which does not have a gas mask. At Market Lavington Museum we have more than one and readers in the know will be pleased to hear that ours have been for treatment to remove the very dangerous asbestos which was incorporated in them.

This is one of our masks.

World War II gas mask as used by Bruce Gale of Market Lavington

This style of gas mask was army issue, which suited its owner for he, Bruce Gale, was a member of the Home Guard.

Bruce, more correctly Edward Bruce Gale, had been born early in 1901 in Market Lavington. His parents were John, a plumber and painter, and Harriet. In 1901, as a tiny baby, Bruce lived on High Street in Market Lavington. He was still there in 1911 with his parents.

The 1926 electoral roll suggests that the family favoured middle names, for our Edward Bruce, by then a voter, was listed as Bruce and he lived on High Street in Market Lavington. So, too, did Harriet and also Henry, which was his father’s middle name.

Edward married Theresa Amor during 1926. The couple lived on The Spring in Market Lavington.

Our Bruce died in 1981 and is buried in Market Lavington churchyard.

Of course, in the end there were no gas attacks on Britain, so the provision of the masks was a precautionary measure that never had to be put to the test.

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