Title: "Gas Defence" 1917
Source: Archives of Manitoba P4216 Miller, Blanche Collection File 3 – Fisher, John T. (Jack) Lt. 1917 –Lecture Notes, Certificates re: gas
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How to carry the Box Respirator and the P.H.
1. Carry the Box Respirator slung on the chest as in the "Alert"
position, but with the satchel flap buttoned.
2. Carry the P.H. Helmet slung from the left shoulder perpendicu-
larly downwards, the sling passing under the belt.
3. The Box Respirator and Helmet must be outside all other equip-
Action to be taken on Gas Alert.
1. Unbutton the Box Respirator satchel but leave the flap in position.
If you have no Box Respirator, carry the P.H. Helmet in the "Alert"
2. Put the chin strap of the steel helmet at the back of the head so
that the helmet can be quickly removed.
3. See that nothing is slung across the chest which might interfere with
the rapid putting on of Respirator or Helmet.
Action to be taken on Gas Alarm.
1. Immediately put on your Box Respirator. If you have no Box
Respirator, put on your Helmet.
2. Rouse all men in the trenches, etc., and warn all employed men.
3. Let down the blanket curtains of protected shelters and fix them
in position. 4. Stand to arms.
Action to be taken during a Gas Attack.
1. Do not move to a flank or to the rear. Do not go into any dug-
out unless you are wearing a Respirator or Helmet.
2. Move about as little as possible. Talk only when absolutely necessary.
3. Look out to help men who may be wounded, or whose Box
Respirators or Helmets may have been damaged.
4. If your Box Respirator is damaged and you have to change to the
Helmet, hold your breath until the change is effected.
Action to be taken after a Gas Attack.
1. Do not take off your Mask or Helmet until ordered to do so.
2. Clean and dry your Respirator Mask and treat the eyepieces
with anti-dimming composition.
3. Replace your Box Respirator or Helmet in the "Alert" position and
be prepared for another attack.
4. Do not go into any shelter until it has been ventilated by fires or fanning
unless you are wearing a Respirator or Helmet.
5. Clean your arms and ammunition and re-oil them.
Anti-Gas Appliances must normally be inspected once a week and daily
during "Gas Alert. "
The following points are to be attended to: -
A. – Box Respirators.
(a) Box, facepiece, noseclip, mouthpiece, eyepieces and elastic must
be in good order.
(b) Facepiece must be firmly attached to the mouthpiece and to the
elbow tube.
(c) Metal tube inside mouthpiece must be about ½-inch back from the
opening of the mouthpiece.
(d) Rubber tube must be intact and firmly attached to the box and elbow tube.
(e) Expiratory valve must be tested by removing the box from the
satchel and pinching the rubber tube so as to prevent inlet of air, at the
same time attempting to draw in air through the mouthpiece. It should not
be possible to draw in any air.
(f) See that air can be drawn freely through the box.
(g) Whipcord must be present and not knotted.
(h) Any small perforations in the facepiece must be temporarily repaired
by applying pieces of adhesive plaster from the repair outfit to the perfora-
tion, both inside and outside the mask. The adhesive plaster must be large
enough to overlap the hole all round.
(i) Replace the box in the satchel so that the facepiece comes to the face
without twist on the tube. Fold facepiece carefully and replace in the satchel
so that the expiratory valve is not likely to crumple.
B. – P.H. Helmets.
(a) Satchel and wallet must be in good order.
(b) Helmet must be properly folded with the valve flat and no strain
on the flannelette round the valve seating.
(c) Joint between the parts of the valve must be tight and should grip
the flannelette. Mouthpiece should be horizontal. Rubber valve must
be fastened securely to the metal. Valve must be tested by breathing through
it. It should not be possible to breathe IN easily through it. The valve
rubber sometimes becomes hard; this is remedied by breathing out through
the valve for about a minute at each inspection.
(d) Eyepieces must be screwed up tightly from the inside and must
grip the flannelette. Screw threads must not be crossed. Glasses must not
be cracked or loose.
(e) There must not be the smallest hole through which gas might enter.
Particular attention must be paid to the flannelette round the eyepieces and
valve seating
(f) If helmets become so sodden with water that it is impossible to
breathe through them, they must be condemned.
C. – Anti-Gas Goggles.
(a) The windows must be unbroken.
(b) Elastic or tapes must be in good condition.
After each inspection, the windows should be treated afresh with anit-
dimming composition.

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