Petrol Lighter – WW1 Trench Art Lighter – Brass Pocket Lighter


Original trench art petrol lighter, in beautiful condition. The flint wheel detaches from the body to renew the flint, the spring and screw are present.

There is a screwed, brass snuffer attached with a safety chain to one of two eye loops, concealing a wick.

I have put in a new flint, so its a little stiff until it gets worn in, just add lighter fuel and away you go. There are a few surface scratches but that is about it regarding condition.

The front of this piece has French wording going around the outer edge which reads ‘ LA DEFENSE DE VERDUN – ON NE PASSE PASS’ which translates to ‘ THE DEFENCE OF VERDUN – WE DO NOT PASS’

The date in the middle of this piece is 1916, there are two other names on this old pocket lighter: FLEURY and THIAUMONT.

FLEURY is the name of the village Fleury-devant-Douaumont:

The village was located at the key point of the Verdun battlefield.

The remains of Fleury can be found just after the memorial museum, which is built on the site of the former railway station.

Fleury-devant-Douaumont is one of nine villages that was not rebuilt after the war. The ground is still so full of ammunition, metal and other objects that it was not possible to consider coming back to them.

The village suffered most during the last of the major offensives by the Germans between 21 June and 12 July 1916.

The German High Command had, by then conceived the intention of pushing on past Thiaumont, through Fleury, on towards Fort Souville and hence into Verdun.

The village of Fleury formed a key strategic point and in the course of terrible fighting changed hands sixteen times. The distance between the two front lines was negligible and both sides suffered heavy casualties.

If Fleury could be captured it offered an important advantage to the Germans as it was situated at the head of a ravine leading down towards Verdun, between the forts of Froideterre to the north and Souville to the south. With Fort Vaux captured in early June 1916 the Germans had come to believe that rather than just bleeding France to death there was, now, an actual chance of capturing the gate to Paris.

The final major offensives by the Germans pushed on towards the former Chapel of Sainte Fine (Where today you will see the wounded lion memorial) and reached Fort Souville.

THIAUMONT is the name of the fort: When visiting the Ossuaire at Douaumont it is quite easy to miss the shattered remains of the minor fort of Thiaumont to its left.

These Ouvrages were meant to fill the gaps between forts, more as part of the greater defensive network than as the last line of resistance.

In the case of Thiaumont it was more of a shelter than a fort being equipped with a MG post and room for fifty soldiers.

Its strategic position was important because, along with Froideterre it guarded the ridge leading south-east which formed the last line of defence before the River Meuse and Verdun Town. Its position also flanked the village of Fleury which was to be the scene of some of the most intense of the fighting.

Thiaumont was occupied for a moment at the beginning of June 1916 but the French almost immediately retook it.

The battle was to rage in this area throughout the summer and the ground held by each side in turn, changing hands some 14 times. The results of this terrible conflict are all too apparent today.

On 21 June 1916 whilst still in French hands, the fort came under heavy 420mm shell fire and was badly damaged. The weight and power of these shells can be judged by the shattered observation turret.

Little is left of the shattered remains of Thiaumont
The following day the Germans launched a major assault with the intentions of taking the final ring of defences and marching on victorious into Verdun by the 25th.

A key part to this assault was a massive bombardment using what they called Green Cross gas shells. These used a new form of phosgene gas and one which the French gas masks were ill equipped to deal with.

On 23 June 1916 the Germans launched their Infantry offensive and men from the Bavarian 10th Regiment managed to overwhelm the small French garrison.

For three months the battle raged backwards and forwards as one side pounded the fort with artillery fire and then the other.

Finally on 24 October 1916 French soldiers finally managed to re-occupy the position on a permanent basis.

By now the fort had been reduced to pieces of tangled, metal rods and collapsed concrete.

A great item for collectors of militaria or antique lighters, a great birthday gift, anniversary gift or a for any occasion.

1 in stock


WW1 Trench Art Lighter.

A great item for collectors of militaria or antique lighters, a great birthday gift, anniversary gift or a for any occasion.

3.5 CM /1.34 Inch Diameter

1.1 CM / 0.5 Inch Depth.

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