These simple wooden rattles came into use by the British
during World War I as an alert system to warn of a mustard gas attack.
An early hand-inscribed version was inked "2nd Batt
Devonshire Regt Trench143 1916 Gas Only, Rotate in 3 second Bursts"
on one side and on the other "If you see's it, rotate it, If you
smells it, you's too late, mate".
The example pictured here was found during the
summer of 2009 in the region of Noville (Basstogne), and attributed to WW-II U.S. Paratrooper
(Photos courtesy of Fabian Boons)