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Trench Art

A trench art heater.

WW1 Trench Art

By Collections blog

This WW1 Trench Art from the Museums store shows what soldiers could create with used objects while they were stuck in the trenches.


The first item is an Ash Tray which has been made from the bottom of a shell. As you can see some of the pieces of the shell have been melted and folded outwards to fit cigarettes in them.

The next item is what we think is a lamp or heater. But could also possible be another ash tray looking at the design.


Trench art is any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war or civilians where the manufacture was directly linked to armed conflict or its consequences. It offers an insight into not only their feelings and emotions about the war, but also their surroundings and the materials they had available to them.


Not limited to the World Wars, the history of Trench Art spans conflicts from the Napoleonic Wars to the present day. Although the practice flourished during World War One, the term ‘trench art’ is also used to describe souvenirs manufactured by service personnel during World War Two. Some items manufactured by soldiers, prisoners of war or civilians during earlier conflicts have been retrospectively described as trench art.

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