This flare gun was taken as a war trophy. When first received it was heavily rusted and not functioning and totally seized
The gun was placed in a vat of vegetable based rust remover and left for a few weeks. Then cleaned with a wire brush, before being left to soak for another week. After a further clean all the proof marks were viable to identify it correctly. Even more what was highlighted on the side panel. The word POZIERES clearly inscribed possibly with the tip of a bayonet.
The Battle of Pozières (23 July – 3 September 1916) took place in France around the village of Pozières, during the Battle of the Somme. The costly fighting ended with the British in possession of the plateau north and east of the village, in a position to menace the Germanbastion of Thiepval from the rear. The Australian official historian Charles Bean wrote that Pozières ridge "is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth." Wiki ref