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.
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.
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.
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.
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.