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Service Gear - Entrenching Tool

From the Collection of Lara RSL Sub Branch McClelland Ave Lara Victoria

Wooden handle with a metal pike and offset spade. Pitted with rust and age.
H28cm x L30cm x W13cm
Object Registration
lara, rsl, ww1, military equipment
Historical information
This WW1 Entrenching tool belonged to Robert Errol Hilliard 6832 of the 1st 21st Battalion.
He entered the A.I.F as a clerk and quickly obtained the rank of Sergent. He arrived in France, Christmas 1917.

Robert was wounded in action on the 10.4.1918 at the Battle of Messines, part of the last German offensive. He was gassed from an exploding shell.

The day after he was wounded, the British situation was desperate that Haig issued his famous "Backs to the wall" order.
When Made
This tool is significant to the collection as it belonged to a local serviceman from Lara. This entrenching tool is representative of the type of equipment that was issued to infantrymen. Every member of the Australian Imperial Force recieved an entrenching tool, which wasused to dig holes and protect them from oncoming fire and resulting injury. More than simply digging tools, however, entrenching tools such as this one were also used as weapons in hand-to-hand combat. The infantrymen considered the bayonet to be too long to be an effective hand to hand weapon and tended to use the entrenching tool instread.
Last updated
11 Apr 2019 at 11:11AM