Doc Alexander’s First World War 18-pounder fuse

So this fuse from an 18-pounder First World War shell came to me recently. It was my grandfather’s – Doc Alexander – and it sat for many years on his desk at his office in Calgary. He did serve in the First World War first in mortar unit and then as a stretcher bearer, but I’m trying to figure out why he would be attached to this fuse? It’s solid brass and a thing of beauty in of itself. But the story behind it is a complete unknown. I can’t help but think (being the sentimental, sappy type) that he had a specific and personal connection to the shell this fuse was attached to. As in it dropped out of the sky next to me, and perhaps, was a dud and did not explode. My grandfather was a collector, a pack rat and a thief (he “liberated” his way across Europe collecting all sorts of wonderful things) and he was as sentimental as I am and my dad, perhaps more, which leads me to think there’s a very real reason he had this fuse. Why else would he have it mounted so beautifully? If anyone has any thoughts or theories, I’d love to hear them! It is, after all, conjecture and a lot of fun as a result.

First World War 18-pounder fuse.

First World War 18-pounder fuse.


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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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