Secret WW2 spy gadgets to be auctioned in Bristol

secret ww2 spy gadgets to be auctioned in bristol - Secret WW2 spy gadgets to be auctioned in BristolImage copyright East Bristol Auctions
Image caption Among the objects for sale are dominos concealing a map

A collection of “secret spy gadgets” sent to British soldiers trapped in France during World War Two, is to be auctioned.

The objects include dominos which, when pulled apart, reveal a small section of map, and a string vest that could be turned into a rope.

The items were collected over 40 years by former soldier Arthur Muggeridge.

The collection is expected to fetch more than £6,000 when it goes under the hammer in Bristol later this month.

Image copyright East Bristol Auctions
Image caption Secret message capsules were attached to the legs of a carrier pigeons

Other items in the collection include two taxidermy studies of carrier pigeons with secret message capsules, and pens and pencils containing hidden daggers.

Several items, such as a button, a matchbox, a shaving brush and a fountain pen contain hidden compasses.

Also up for sale are a piece of explosive coal, a miniature spy camera and a miniature radio listening device.

The secret items, hidden in everyday objects, were originally distributed by the government department MI9 to British troops stranded in occupied Europe, to help them carry out espionage and sabotage and to escape.

Image copyright East Bristol Auctions
Image caption This lump of coal had a hole partially drilled through it to allow a detonator to be inserted

Auctioneer Andrew Stowe said: “This was real espionage work – secret meetings, coded messages, real cloak-and-dagger stuff.

“A big part of the MI9 operation was sending secret items to troops in occupied territories – useful items like maps, compasses and even secret orders – anything to help them escape or evade capture.

“Very often these items were ‘normal’ items that were sent in aid packages to camps, and the way items were secreted was very often ingenious.”

The collection will be sold by relatives of the late Mr Muggeridge as part of a sale of specialist military, history and transportation auction at East Bristol Auctions on 22 May.

Image copyright East Bristol Auctions
Image caption The items were collected over 40 years by former soldier Arthur Muggeridge

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