The Battle of Verdun was one of major battle during the First World War. This shovel was one of many shovels that was used in digging trenches. These trenches were often filled with mud and rat infested and many soldiers would get trench feet where their feet would swell and numb. This shovel was owned by one of the millitary engineer who dug the trenches at Verdun which he brought back home after the war carved "Bataille de Verdun, 1916" on the handle and kept it as memento.
The shovel was collected after a gravedigger in France bought it and accidentally desecrated some graves when he tried to dig a new grave.