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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Condoms


RobL
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According to the highly accurate wikipedia - "During World War I, the United States and (at the beginning of the war only) Britain were the only countries with soldiers in Europe who did not provide condoms and promote their use" - so, does anyone have a potted history of condoms issued to British soldiers in WW1, and better yet, anyone have a photograph of what they looked like and the packaging?

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Not a direct answer to Rob's question, but Australians at Wiltshire camps going on leave ()usually to London) were issued with condoms, not always of the best quality, and a prophylactic Nargol, or Blue Label, kit. This was a cardboard packet containing calomel ointment (to be applied by both man and woman before intercourse) and jelly (to be applied internally afterwards after the man had urinated and washed himself, preferably using the antiseptic Condy's Fluid). This gave some protection against gonorrhoea, syphilis and chancre. But the soldier's companion might resent the time taken to apply ointment to herself, which was liable to cause her physical irritation, especially when done a number of times a day, and the man might be too drunk and over-eager to 'irrigate himself with a bucket siphon apparatus'. Returns from Hurdcott Camp near Salisbury show that in March 1918 10,008 men accepted 9,916 preventatives, though in May the previous year 665 men accepted 772; one infers that some men were resolved not to give into temptation but that others thought they might indulge themselves more than once.

Moonraker

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