This is a civilian respirator or gasmask. This one was issued to a civilian who was living in England during World War II. The mask is made from a light weight rubber and is attached to a canister that filtered out gas when the respirator was worn. These sorts of respirators were issued to all civilians in Britain during the conflict and this object serves to remind us of the strain placed on that island nation as it stood against the Nazi war machine. Not only was there the threat of invasion and the constant bombing from the Nazi air force, but there was also the terrifying possibility of chemical weapons being used on defenceless civilians.