Field operation instrument set in cotton roll within metal box, by Down Bros., London, 1940
Inside the khaki canvas roll are surgical instruments used to treat soldiers on the battlefield and just behind the front lines. The kit contains forceps to remove shrapnel from wounds, scalpels to make incisions into the body and catgut and needles to stitch up wounds. This set, made by Down Bros Ltd, was standard British government issue during the Second World War. The kit would have been stored in a metal box to help keep it clean. The instruments are made from stainless steel so can be sterilised by boiling or heating in a flame.