Found in Belgium

Discussion in '1940' started by mannhenry, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    Hi all,
    We were staying with a family in Belgium last weekend and our friends showed us some things that were found in his fathers farm house attic. There is some sort of hood made out of a waxed material, a pair of smoked goggles and a book with the owners name and date written in it. I hope someone seeing these pictures can enlighten us as to what the things are and who the person is.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'd say the googles are a cut down gas mask, as well as the strap that's there it appears there have been another 2 straps at the top - the hood is a British Anti-Gas helmet cover

    Alistair
     
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  3. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    Hi AB64,
    Was it common for troops to carry gas masks?
     
  4. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    Just to mention the farmhouse was in a tiny village called Kaster.
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I read his name as Alexander Cowau - and there are a number of Cowau's born & bred in Scotland - as I dont have access to Scottish records perhaps some more research in that area might help. I believe there were Scottish regiments around that area in 1940 - the Black Watch for example Battle for the Escaut 1940

    TD
     
    Tony56 likes this.
  6. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I think I would go for Alexander Cowan, the 'n' in both names looks the same?
    Cowan.jpeg

    By the way - what is the book, any clues?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    The name appears/banner to be Alexander Cowan, Croix 1940.

    The glass appears to be similar to that found in old welding gear. Perhaps an Engineer?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
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  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Standard in WW2 until about 1943
    The goggles look as if they are cut out of one of the WW I early gas hoods
     
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Seems to be the same as this Belgian Gas Mask SACIC M1934 WW2 same maker marks etc - I'm guessing cut down post war to make goggles - welding or motorbike or something
     
  10. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Possibly :
    1489728 Gunner Alexander COWAN 9 Battey 3rd Searchlight Regiment Royal Artillery
    Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 18.40.35.png

    Enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1938
    Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 18.42.05.png
    Originally posted as missing, now not missing in France 1940

    The war diary would confirm if the unit were in Croix, Belgium in 1939/40
     
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Could be but the eye pieces appear larger on the M1934. I would agree on the reasons for the cut down - except that gas mask goggles would be useless in avoiding weld flash - but it's a matter of post which war.
     
  12. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    Is it not Alexander Cowau, not Cowan?
     
  13. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    I'd be interested to know what the book is and is it in French or English??
     
  14. mannhenry

    mannhenry Junior Member

    It is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in English.
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    They appear to have tinted lenses (like sun glasses), so could they be used by a Searchlight Regiment Gunner trying to avoid very bright light/glare or flash; Guy’s message No. 10 refers?!?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  16. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Whilst a search on either of the 2 main genealogical sites for the surname Cowau produces a few results I have yet to find an actual record showing this name exists. These sites use text reading software and in every case I have seen it is Cowan where poor imaging has caused the software to misread it. Happy to be proved wrong.
     
  17. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    Blimey, glad I asked. Sorry none the wiser...….
     
  18. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    Apologies, looking at the 'n' in Alexander it does look more likely to be Cowan.
     
  19. EdSav

    EdSav Member

    As Tony56 has already pointed out.
     
  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    It was translated AFAIK by Richard Burton - the Victorian explorer not the actor - and was in its day a best seller
     

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