This artefact is a World War One Trench Club used for close combat during trench raids. It is a commercially produced Imperial German ‘Trench Club’ made up of a cast iron cube attached to a flexible coiled steel shaft with a wooden handgrip.
This particular artefact is believed to have been used by 12/413 Second Lieutenant James Alexander Melville of the Auckland Infantry Battalion. Melville sailed as a Private with the Main Body in 1914 and served on Gallipoli and the Western Front. Melville was commisioned in early 1918 and was training with the 44th reinforcement draft in New Zealand when he was killed in a training accident on 15 November 1918.
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