Protective face mask for tank crew, 1917 (c).

Protective face mask for tank crew, worn by Sergeant Henry Jarvis, Tank Corps, 1917 (c). Metal eye shield with five slits horizontally across each eye. It features a padded interior and leather exterior with steel mail nose and mouth shield and four tapes for fastening. These masks were issued to all tank crew to prevent ‘bullet splash’ from German Type ‘K’ armour piercing machine-gun bullets. Non-armour piercing rounds could penetrate the armour at close ranges and in greater concentrations. It is likely that they were rarely used due to the pitch-black conditions and the intense heat inside the tank during battle.