Exploring our collection
Wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele
Posted on: November 22, 2019
John William Colpitts served with the Coldstream Guards in The First World War. On 31 July 1917, the opening day of the Battle of Passchendaele, he was hit by shrapnel and nearly bled to death. He believed his cigarette packet saved his life by deflecting the jagged metal fragment. He was still recuperating when the war ended. The piece of shrapnel removed in hospital, the cigarette packet and other items were recently donated to the museum by an unknown donor.