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Field medical pannier, Berlin, Germany, 1910-1918

The compact medical set was used during the First World War by the German Army. It contains a wide range of equipment needed to treat wounds such as burns and includes dressings, bandages, anaesthetics to numb pain, and sedatives such as opium. Each section of the kit is labelled in German – for example, mull translates to ‘muslin’ or ‘gauze’; verbandpackchen to ‘field dressing’. This pannier was among large amounts of medical equipment and supplies abandoned by the German Army or captured as their troops retreated in the final months of the war.

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    Glossary: field medical pannier

    No description.

    Glossary: anaesthetic

    An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).

    Glossary: opium

    A drug derived from the opium poppy. It has been used to cause sleep and provide pain relief for many centuries.

    Glossary: sedative

    Drugs used for their calming effect, to reduce anxiety and tension. At high doses they cause sleep.