Dennis' Militaria
Gas Masks, Uniforms, and Vehicles of the World Wars

May we never forget those who fought and continue to fight for freedom and peace.

The Red Cross celebrated 100 years of service in 2009!

I would like to say right here and now how much The Canadian Red Cross has been a front-runner in serving not only during war and peace, but on the home front of every kind of emergency that pummels mankind. Your dedication on the front lines and other fields of battle have not gone unnoticed, your kindness and assistance to our veterans is appreciated by those in service and their families alike. Two World Wars and many, many services provided in Peace Keeping, supplying services to the war-torn and poverty stricken alike.

Remembrance Week 2009

My display of Remembrance this year was held at the Coast Mountain GM showroom on Highway 16 in Smithers, BC. We had three school field trips come in to see and learn about the history and how children were protected from the possibility of gas attacks in other countries. They particularly enjoyed getting into the back of the 1942 Ford CMP (Canadian Military Pattern) truck I had outside (If anyone happened to get a photo of this, I would really appreciate getting a copy, my email link is at the bottom of this page, and thanks in advance). Individuals coming in were given a history of the various items as well. Visitors came from surrounding areas as well as Smithers: Kitwanga, Hazelton, and Telkwa. I really enjoy being able to answer questions and tell the history, especially to the school children who usually ask some very good questions. I also always have information directed to children, such as animals at war, postcards, bookmarks, etc. which comes from Veteran's Affairs. I would like to thank Veteran's Affairs for their continuing support, Coast Mountain GM for the use of their showroom, the schools and others who came to view the display and learn about our history.

Smithers Remembrance display 2009Smithers 2009Smithers 2009
Smithers 2009”SmithersTrailering the truck to Remembrance display
Trailering the truck to Coast Mountain GM

My daughter has turned her blog over to Remembrance Week with her own insights and thoughts.
Her blog is:, The Canadian Optimystic Otter. Please copy and paste, I can not get the link to transfer properly.

Featured on this page are various pieces from my personal collection, as well as a little bit of historical information. My specialty is Gas Masks from WWII, with some from WWI. but more recently I have also been restoring Canadian WWII army vehicles.

The photo above appeared with an article "House of History" in the Interior News in Smithers September 9, 2009. Behind me are WWI postcards framed on the wall. Many overnight visitors have been shocked to find these soldiers sharing their bedroom, which we call the WWI room. The article is no longer on the internet.

Important note: It's important to be aware that old gas masks are dangerous to your health and may contain asbestos, chromium 5, mold, fungus and possibly residual agents left over from tests or training. These masks are of historical value only! Do not wear not even for Halloween. Filters also have a short lifespan, and the filter is designed according to the gas used. In WWII, filters were continually being modified. There is no guarantee that surplus masks are not defective. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Shown below are several thumbnail views groupings at various venues
Please click on the images to see a larger view:

school project abbotsford bcmaple ridgecoquitlam
school project abbotsford bcmaple ridgecoquitlam
Telkwa Rangers BBQ”transportingCanadian Ensign
Telkwa Rangers BBQtransporting trucks 1200 kmCanadian Ensign, the flag we fought under in the World Wars
my trucksradio van restoringcurrent restoration
my truck packetradio van, first project for restorationcurrently in restoration

This military chauffeur uniform was last worn by Sgt. Ted Styles in 1958. He chauffeured Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip for their royal visit to Vancouver. 1958 was the B.C. Centennial.

WWII Gas Protection for Children

The following are a two types of gas protection used for very young children during World War II; although they are both German-made, I will put up several other countries' protection over the next few weeks. I chose these for their uniqueness:

Baby German cradle

1.This German infant cradle/mask is pump-operated. In the photo above, the main cradle has been assembled and is sitting on the original box with the pump and hose. (Click on the photo scan to see some illustrations of how to assemble the cradle/mask; click on the illustration above to view a larger image of the instruction coverpage.)
The pump uses the standard large, flat filter found on all civilian German gas masks. The infant is placed into the cradle through the side. There is an opening on the top of the mask with a glove attached inside. The infant's mother could attend to the baby by inserting her hand into the glove.


2.This is the German child hood gas mask, with pump attached. Again, I've scanned a few of the illustrations from the instruction folder; the assembly instructions can be viewed by clicking on the photo, and a larger view of the instruction cover can be viewed by clicking on the small illustration above.
The pump could be hand or foot operated. The parent could wear or carry the pump itself. German mask filters were all interchangeable, a feature that was not employed in masks of some other countries. A sort of one-size-fits-all, much easier to find a replacement if one's filter became damaged.

Always on the lookout for inexpensive mannequins and large dolls; also vintage clothing for my display.

Member of Western Command
Member of Military Vehicle Preservation Association

Some Related Links

Books of Remembrance, a set of books inscribed with the names of Canadians who fought in the wars and died, during or after. The books are kept in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, but they can be viewed on-line. link updated 10/30/09
Maple Leaf Up, (member) "...Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the
memory of the all-volunteer Canadian Army Overseas in World War II"
WW2 Photos - Canadian Forces
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Canadian War Museum
NBC Defence (NBCD) Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defence; an excellent historical collector's reference site
The Chemical Weapons Convention - A guided tour. Did you know the first international agreement limiting the use of chemical weapons dates back to 1675? Check it out here.
The World at War, history of WW 1939-1945.
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association (Cavalry)
Seaforth Highlanders History
The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)
U.S. Quartermaster Museum
GoodReads World War 2 Buffs, a reading and discussion group

Contact me if you have any comments or questions: Dennis

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Created and maintained by Betty
Updated Jan. 15, 2010