Trench art hat pin stand : Sapper S K Pearl, 5 Field Company Engineers, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM14156.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Trench Art
Physical description Brass; Copper; Steel; Wool flannel
Maker Pearl, Stanley Keith
Place made France: Picardie, Somme
Date made May 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Trench art hat-pin stand, in the form of a field daisy. The base is made from part of a 77mm shell case and an 18 pounder nose cap decorated with a brass 'rising sun' collar badge. Set into the top of the base is part of an Engineer's purple wool flannel colour patch, which acts as a pin cushion for the hat-pins. Rising from the centre of the base is a curved copper flower stem with two copper leaves soldered to it. The top of one of the leaves is partially snapped off. There is a steel daisy at the top of the stem. Eleven of its sixteen petals are drilled with a hole to take a hat pin. The centre of the daisy is formed from a brass button.

History / Summary

This hat-pin stand 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 by the Australian War Memorial as a carpenter. He supplied the following information about the stand, 'This stand, in the form of a field daisy, was constructed on the Somme in May 1918. Its base is from a 77-mm shell-case and an 18-pounder nose-cap embellished with the Rising Sun worn by a sapper who was awarded the Military Medal. An Army issue purple-diamond colour patch acts as a cushion, while the stalk is a piece of copper conductor from a portable electric light plant for a searchlight at Aubigny. The "flower" was made from a German water-bottle found near Villers-Bretonneux and a German overcoat button bartered from a "Fritz" prisoner for a packet of cigarettes. The hat pins are from New Zealand and Canadian Engineers' cap badges, bartered for cigarettes, while the pin shafts are spokes purloined from army bicycles.'