Tag Archives: heirloom

Family Heirloom: Grandad’s Button

11 May

Here is another part of my grandad’s Second World War army uniform, a jacket button from his time serving in the Royal Engineers.

The button is about an inch in diameter and appears to be made from brass. The maker’s name is on the back, FIRMIN LONDON.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Family Heirloom: Grandad’s Cap Badge

28 Apr

I have been showing you some mementos of my grandad’s army service during the Second World War. None of the earlier ones have really been obvious military items, but here is one heirloom that is undoubtedly military.

I don’t think there is much more explanation needed, the cap badge is made from plastic, presumably bakelite, for economy purposes. It has brass fittings on the back as well as the manufacturer’s name: A STANLEY & SONS, WALSALL.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Family Heirloom: Two Lumps of Rock

13 Apr

Continuing on from my previous family heirloom post, below is a photo of another family heirloom, or rather pair of family heirlooms. They are somewhat less practical that the shoe brush last time, in fact they serve no useful purpose other than to illustrate a part of my grandad’s army life.

The story (told to me by my father) goes that these two pieces of rock were pieces of the Rock of Gibraltar brought back from Gibraltar by my grandad who had been stationed out there whilst serving with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War.

Whilst I am pretty certain that he served in Gibraltar (and could confirm that with his service record), I have no way of knowing whether these are in fact bits of the Rock, unless I can find a geologist with some way of analysing them.

However I am quite happy to accept the story that these were souvenirs of his time spent in Gibraltar and have no reason to doubt it.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Family Heirloom: Grandad’s Shoe Brush

1 Apr

Some family heirlooms are more useful than others and this is definitely one of them. Some are meant to be put on display, but this one lives in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.

This is my grandad’s army issue shoe brush, used by him during has service with the Royal Engineers and used by me this morning to polish my shoes ready for work on Monday morning.

Although it is not particularly clear I know it was his brush because it has his service number (1879445) stamped on the top.

One side has the words “WARRANTED ALL HORSE-HAIR  1939″, which is presumably the year and on the other side are the words “BEECHWOOD LTD” which is probably the manufacturer and a War Department broad arrow.

I’m sure my grandad would be pleased to know it is still being used after all these years.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

6 Oct

This interesting item was another souvenir sent from Australia by the BATEMANs to family back ‘home’ in England. Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate when it was sent or to which member of the family it was sent.

An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

It consists of an embroidered handkerchief (at least I think that it is embroidered) pinned inside a piece of folded card, so that the embroidery is visible through the circular whole cut out of the front of the card. Unfortunately some of the colour has run, so both the card and handkerchief have a slight red tinge to them. The embroidery is apparently of the bloom of the waratah.

Handkerchief

Running out of time again, I blame the Bible

28 Sep

This seems to be a familiar story, tomorrow I am heading for Lewes to do some research, but I am not really prepared.

It really is the same old story. I should be looking up references, but I got distracted. Last night sorting through some paperwork I came across a couple of printouts of images taken from what I call “The Trower Family Bible”. It is probably not really a Bible, it is probably actually a Prayer Book or something like that.

So, last night I did a bit of research and began to make sense of some of the names written in the book and started to be able to piece together the story of how the book ended up with my father.

It occurred to me that I hadn’t really looked in any detail at this book for a long time, in fact right back when I was first starting out researching our family.

All through the day I have been thinking about this book and starting to appreciate its importance. So this evening I just had to go and visit my parents and examine it more closely and also get some digital photos of the important pages.

It was even more interesting than I had remembered, there was another page with a few lines of writing (sadly mostly unreadable) that I hadn’t noticed before and even the contents of the book were quite intriguing with details on the different types of religious services.

So I now have another project, to research and tell the history of this book. There aren’t many heirlooms in our family, but this is probably the most important one, and in the future I will explain why it is such a key piece of evidence in my family history.

For now I will leave you with an image of one of the pages about two-thirds of the way through, with an important piece of dating evidence at the bottom of the page, the date MDCCXXXIX or 1739, making this book 270 years old.

The New Testament

The 270 year old New Testament

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