Trench art model of German Taube aircraft : Sapper S K Pearl, 5 Field Company Engineers,AIF

Accession Number RELAWM14149
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Trench Art
Physical description Steel; Brass; Copper
Maker Pearl, Stanley Keith
Place made France: Picardie, Somme
Date made January 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Trench art model of a German Taube type aircraft on a stand. The base is made from an 18 pounder shrapnel fuze with impressed markings '764A V.S.M'. Attached to the top of the fuze is a German small arms cartridge with a copper pin soldered into the bullet. The pin slots into a hole underneath the Taube's fuselage so that the aircraft model rests at an angle on its stand and appears to be banking to the left. The aircraft fuselage is constructed from small arms cartridges; the swept back wings and tail, with the their distinctive scalloped trailing edges, from steel cut from a waterbottle, as is the tail skid. The aircraft nose is also constructed from steel but the four bladed propeller is made from copper. Copper pins attached to the tail and front fuselage section, together with holes drilled in the wings and tail, indicate that this model was once rigged with fine wire, but this is now missing. The Taube has a fixed undercarriage constructed from copper and steel. Black Maltese crosses have been painted on each wing and on either side of the upper tail section.

History / Summary

This model of a Taube type aircraft is part of a collection of trench art made by 6756 Sapper Stanley Keith Pearl, a Tasmanian who served with 5 Field Company Engineers, AIF. He enlisted for service on 9 November 1915 and returned to Australia on 21 March 1919. Pearl subsequently moved to Canberra and was employed as a carpenter by the Australian War Memorial. He supplied the following information about the model, 'This impression of a German Taube was produced on the Somme in January 1917. It stands on a base made from an 18-pounder shrapnel fuze picked up at Gueudecourt. The standard is a German catridge found in Delville Wood and the fuselage is made of French and German cartridges. The wings and tail have been cut from a German water-bottle found at Flers, while the propeller is a piece of the lining of a cordite charge box from a 6-inch howitzer battery near Waterlot Farm.'