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.
The National Archives have today released the first of a series of videocasts entitled “War on Film” focusing on aspects of the Second World War.
The first videocast is Hope and Glory and is a short but useful introduction to life in London at the start of the war and during the Blitz. It features extracts and footage taken from The National Archives. It can be found on The National Archives website or on their YouTube channel.
Just when my mp3 player was starting to gather dust from the lack of genealogy podcasts, along comes the latest series of Tracing Your Roots on BBC Radio 4. The good news is that the show is available as a podcast from the BBC website (for a limited time).
This first episode is entitled Wartime Losses, and picks up on the Second World War anniversary theme. The programme synopsis gives brief details of the three case studies featured, all people trying to find out more about their fathers.
There is some really useful advice in this programme (links are provided in the synopsis) for people in a similar situation, trying to trace a parent who had been “lost” after or during the war. Two of the cases prove that there can be a happy ending, but it is still by no means an easy task, but there are now several organisations who may be able to help.