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Predicate Object 09 Sep 2014 2014-09-09T00:00:00.000Z 2014-09-09T00:00:00.000Z 2014.65.1 Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 2014.65.1 Gift of Mr Percy Smallfield 2014-09-10T00:00:00.000Z 1 2020-06-10T20:09:10.852Z 70 communications/wars trench warfare/wars World War 1/wars souvenir/wars soldier collectors/wars German listening post bell with bullet hole, WW1 Souvenired by Pte William M Smallfield, New Zealand Rifle Brigade in 1917, while serving on the Western Front. 17735 Rifleman William M Smallfield (3rd Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade) joined the New Zealand Rifle Brigade in 1916 aged 21. He left NZ for the UK with G Coy, 16th Reinforcements, on board SS Mokoia. After a period at Sling Camp he made his way to the Western Front where he was wounded in In February 1917, spending some days in hospital before returning to the battlefield. After two and a half years on the Western Front he finally returned to his family in Auckland. As part of trench warfare, listening posts were set up in no-man’s land between the two front-lines. The bell was acquired from a German Listening Post. William sent it home in August 1917. He wrote to his mother on the 1st of August 1917, “I am posting a biscuit tin full of souvenirs (the last tin you sent me) in a few days now, a Boche “Listening Post Bell”, and several other odds and ends of great interest.” William Smallfield did not explain to his sons what the bell was used for, but it may have been used as part of an alarm system. A year earlier, William wrote of in his diary of his own first experience at a listening post. Diary entry, 4 December 1916 Rose at 6 am for “stand to”. Breakfast at 7 am, and fatigue from 9.30-11.30, carrying riveting frames to the front line from our supports. Dinner at 12.30, and fatigue from1.30-3.30. Stand-to from 4-5, tea at 5. That night for the first time I was placed on listening post, and had my first experience out in “no-man’s land”. We were given the next morning off for sleep, and in the afternoon we practised putting up barbed wire entanglements. We were to go out that night to put up coils of entanglements but it had to be postponed owing to the necessary wire failing to arrive from stores. So had a good night’s sleep. German listening post bell with bullet hole, WW1, souvenired in 1917 by 17735 Sapper William M Smallfield, New Zealand Rifle Brigade while serving on the Western Front. bell, hand
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