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World War I Cartridge

World War I Cartridge

Of all the World War I items in my small collection is a W. R. A. Cartridge dated 1917. The primer has the necessary dent from the firing pin striking it but the cartridge is complete with bullet. However the shoulder of the case (when fired) left a double shoulder effect. The bullet comes out easy enough and mounted inside the base of the projectile is two strong wires that are formed to make tweezer like affair. Knowledge of World War I and the "COOTIES" that flooded the trenches. Upon relief from front line duty and movement to the rear area, a man removed his clothes tor a bath and usually in his underwear he worked to removed the cooties from his clothing after being boiled. The eggs and the dead cooties still hung on in the seams of the clothing. If there was no way to boil your clothes you had to remove the "COOTIES" by hand, some men heated wires and ran them carefully along the seams to kill the "COOTIES" which sometimes resulted in seams opening or easily tearing and in Europe winters this wasn't desirable. So with the homemade tweezers he could pick out the cooties. I got this years ago from the man who got it from the original owner. For the readers information when the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) was formed it originally had a "COOTIE" Club which was quickly absorbed, however for a few years after the VFW was formed you could find cootie club items like patches, paper work, and other memoribilia from the "COOTIE CLUB", and I have no doubt there is still some stuff laying about from the "COOTIE CLUB". My "Cootie" Catcher is a long forgotten part of that War and the VFW.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

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