Trench Art Explained

‘Trench Art’ – A term used to describe decorative items made from materials that are directly linked to war!

Throughout the First World War and the post-war period, there were so many items produced, that ‘Trench Art’ became the commonly used term.

The term is also used for World War Two items and retrospectively now for pre 1914 items.

Most pieces were made by soldiers as they rested, away from the front line, but also by prisoners of war, soldiers recovering from wounds and also civilians in war zones, to sell to soldiers and afterwards to ‘war’ tourists.

Typical items included: Decorated Shell Cases, Cigarette Lighters, Ashtrays, Brooches, Snuff Boxes, Matchbox Covers, and much more.

There was of course a huge amount of material available to make these items, including: Bullets, Shell Cases, Aerial darts, Scrap Brass and Wood.

Many servicemen bought or made trench art as souvenirs for themselves, or as gifts for friends and family.

You can view our Trench Art Items and other Militaria on our online shop