Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This was sold to me as a Belgian gas mask, but as the text on the instruction sheet is french, not french and flemish I suppose it may be a french one? Any opinions?

Anyway it will be a nice addition to my collection, but if Belgian it would be the most interesting to me.

It is named, but I cannnot read it well in the auction photos, perhaps it will be easier to read when I get it. Looks like R.R. Curtis
SS.LL ??2

I bought it a $77 + postage, a fair price? (Anyway, I was willing to pay that, so that's its value, just wondering whether that's high or low.)

Any comments are welcome. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,311 Posts
Hey Bayonet Collector,
This looks to me to be a very nice French ARS 17, bear in mind that the French supplied the Belgians with their masks too. but as you have already observed, the instructions are only in French. I think you paid way too much for this, but I will help you out by taking it off your hads for the price you paid, he he. actually, you got a very good price in my opinion, as these are difficult to find is this condition.
Best wishes
Gus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,311 Posts
Hey Big Commander, If I am looking at the right mask in the link, it is the typical leather mask that is like the German Lederschutzmaske, the one Bayonetcollector has is the rubberized fabric that is the correct French ARS 1917. I have been told that the leather masks are actually post WWI, but have not confermation of that. That leaves one thinking that the standard French ARS17 was used by many Belgian soldiers.
Best wihses
Gus
PS I paid nearly $125 delivered, for my example of an ARS17, it is in better shape, but it is dted in the 1930s
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now, this gets a bit more interesting...

I tried to look at that name again. Looks like it says R.A. Curtis S.S.U ??2. Curtis, that's not a french or belgian name?

A quick internet search turned up this page:
http://chezjacq.com/ssu_14_extract.htm

It is a list of american volunteer ambulance drivers in france and a Roger Arnold Curtis from Marlboro Massachusets. This might actually be the owner of this gas mask? Would they have used french equipment?

JPS, Gus, chip, anyone... is this possibly correct???
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
As mister Curtis was in the 14th this is what I found on him:

Section 14.Left Paris March, 1917; became Section 632, December, 1917
Attached 55e D.I.., March to August, 1917; 8e D.I., September, 1917, to February, 1919.


source: http://www.gwpda.org/memoir/AFShist/AFS3i.htm#appf

Meaning that these ambulance personnell served the french 55th infantry division march to august 1917, then the 8th division from september...

Now, can anyone tell me what these infantry units participated in at that time?

If this is really that mister Curtis mask he was a volunteer who went to europe before the United States entered the war, so no mystery that he'd use french equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,311 Posts
Hey BC
This is a very interesting mask indeed, yes I would expect it to be the mask of Roger Arnold Curtis , giving it some very interesting history, as the Ambulance drivers that volenteered for France were issued French equipment.
Best wihses
Gus
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Gus and Big Commander.

Now, I have no detailed litterature on the french army during WWI. Does anyone have any book about where the different units fought and when? I'm referring to the 55th and 8th infantry as mentioned above. These ambulance drivers were assigned to specific units and followed them, so everything these units took part in, SSU 14 took part in.
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
6,214 Posts
The list shows he was a student at Harvard. Perhaps the Harvard University Alumni Association might have more information about him?

Harvard Alumni Association
University Place
124 Mt. Auburn Street
6th Floor
Cambridge, MA
02138
Tel: (617) 495-5731



Regards.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The mask arrived today. There is no doubt, the name and unit were read correctly so I'm certain that this is the mask of that particular ambulance driver.

It is well marked. A large TO stamp on the left side (size?) also several stamps on the straps. Also L.H. 197 I is stamped on the left side.

The cardboard bottom is present in the can. Below that the spare glass is still there, in pristine condition.

A button has been sown to the end of the canister strap to connect it to the bottom flap. Interesting modification.

A fascinating item with lots of history to it.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top