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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Trench Lamps


humber1
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More by accident than design I aquired three of these lamps recently which I believe are known as Trench Lamps?

All three needed new oil tanks manufactured due to thinness of the original metal. I used road lamp burners which seem to be the closest pattern currently in production. The only main difference appears to be the original pattern had a ceramic head where the wick came out.

I am assuming the pattern on the right is the earlier type (?) but can anyone add any more detail? The left hand pattern has a strange flip up top. Was this designed to allow a mug or mess tin to be heated?

post-36469-1231780313.jpg

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I have seen similar lamps, with ceramic wick holders, that came from the railways (which doesn't necessarily mean that yours aren't trench lamps - there was a sort of generic outdoor oil lamp called a storm lantern which probably spawned all sorts of varieties including today's hurricane lamps)

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Centurion

All oil lamp burners of this type at the time had ceramic throats. Its just a sign of early manufacture.

Both of these lamps are WW1 dated so if they are not military all the Living History Guys who use them in there displays have got it wrong.

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Centurion

All oil lamp burners of this type at the time had ceramic throats. Its just a sign of early manufacture.

Both of these lamps are WW1 dated so if they are not military all the Living History Guys who use them in there displays have got it wrong.

Yes I know all lamps once had a ceramic wick holder I was merely pointing out the age of the railway lamps I'd seen. (My father had a pair)

Unfortunately dates are not conclusive - not all non military manufacturing stopped during the war - as I said there was probably very little difference (if any) between a lamp made, say, for the railways and for the army. Do they have anything like a broad arrow on them? In any case all sorts of lamps would make their way into the trenches so its not a case of re enactors getting things right or wrong.

I wasn't having 'a go' at your lamps merely pointing out the difficulty of distinguishing military lamps from other lamps.

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What Centurion said. Without a broad arrow, or one appearing in context in a contemporary photo, they could be absolutely anything. A WW1 date does not make them military lamps. Nor does the fact that the Living History chaps use them.

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Loads of these turn up in northern France. I have quite a lot of them.

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