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Remembered Today:

Losing false teeth


roughdiamond
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Reading "Diary of an Old Contemptible" and the diarist Edward Roe of the East Lancs makes much of the fact that whilst serving in Mespot, a common way of avoiding frontline duty was to "lose" your false teeth, the reasoning being you couldn't eat the hardtack ration biscuits without them, so you were kept in the base areas till replacements arrived which could take months.

He relates that the common loss was due to "Mal de Mer" on the boat to Mespot, however the best one was a man who claimed a Jackal stole them from the glass next to his bed.

Anyone else came across similar accounts in personal accounts of the War or official documents of men being excused front line duty due to lack of dentures?

Sam

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It certainly happened after D-Day when so many pairs had been lost due to sea sickness that a unit of tooth makers had to be sent to make them on the beaches.

I only hope they weren't issued full of sand

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Only this afternooon did I find a court of enquiry into a man who damaged his upper dentures while cleaning them in a trench at Bailleul in July 1918. It was decided that the man had damaged his dentures through a fault of his own during service and he should replace them at his own expense.

Perhaps an event like this needing a court of enquiry suggests that damaging false teeth may have been quite common.??

TEW

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately I don't know the source for this letter - a colleague sent me the image.

post-33278-0-44689300-1418729659_thumb.j

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I was looking at the 50th DIV ADMS recently - through Sep 1915 and in to 1916 they had around 10 men at any one time with the F.Amb awaiting new dentures (and usually 1 or 2 officers as well).

Craig

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Unfortunately I don't know the source for this letter - a colleague sent me the image.

attachicon.gifDental loss WW1.JPG

Jacob Barton - many Service Records in Ancestry. The letter is probably from these.

Name: Jacob Barton

Birth Date: abt 1890

Age at Enlistment: 25

Marriage Date: 28 Jan 1909

Marriage Place: Register Office Cockermouth

Residence Place: 32 Derwent Street, Cockermouth Cumberland

Document Year: 1915

Regimental Number: 178932

Regiment Name: A Vet Service

Kath.

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Slightly off-topic, but here is a Tempy Surgeon RNVR's reaction to denture problems:

post-33278-0-18495100-1418731925_thumb.j

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PS: Kath, many thanks for those details of Jacob Barton.

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Interesting thread - I wonder if anyone was ever charged for "wilfully casting away their dentures in the face of the enemy".

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Interesting thread - I wonder if anyone was ever charged for "wilfully casting away their dentures in the face of the enemy".

Sorry Sir, I couldn't cast away my rifle so I used my dentures instead. It would probably shock them enough to let you get away.

Craig

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"In the teeth of fierce opposition ... "

;)

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"In the teeth of fierce opposition ... "

;)

:D very apt!

Well...here's my contribution from David Rorie, A Medico's Luck in the War. Around June 1915 so early days for the 51st Highland Division. He might not have been so keen to recover them later on in the war.

imagejpg1_zps147c4568.jpg

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