« Last post by Susanne on July 12, 2015, 08:59:05 AM »
Meeting 9 July 2015: 12 members attended
Members Forum The one that got away: Family items I wish I could have had
A variety of stories came out of this topic: some touching, others more frivolous. Several were about items linked to a family member’s war service. The story tellers began by giving some background to the person involved. One uncle in law had been called up in 1917 and started in the London Scottish regiment. He was transferred to the machine gun corps and posted abroad when he was 19. He died soon after. His sporran and medals are thought to have gone to his younger sibling and the speaker hoped to be able to find which cousin now had them. Another tale was about the speaker’s father who was killed while on sick leave in 1945 in Northern Italy when he volunteered to act as a stretcher bearer. Two days earlier he had written detailed letters to his mother and sister. A few years ago her eldest cousin had given the speaker the letter to their grandmother. However the other letter to her aunt was disposed of by the aunt’s son when clearing the house. The third war related story was about a grandfather’s medals which had gone to another cousin. It was only this year that the speaker was, at last, given photos of all the medals. The family decision was the medals will go to the son of a different cousin who had himself been in the army and bore the family name. Going back a lot further another speaker regretted not having got a bust of Wellington. This had belonged to his great-grandfather who had joined the army in 1846 and served over 20 years, mainly abroad. His daughter in law had left the bust and some other items to the speaker’s father but the speaker had never seen it and has always wondered where it had gone. Another set of items that only existed as a family tale was an ivory backed child’s hairbrush and comb that had belonged to a grand-mother’s first husband. They, with some amber beads, had been talked about but, if still around, had gone to another branch. Another item was a beautiful tray made in Brazil for a speaker’s father. Originally it hung on the wall at home. Another sibling now has it - but keeps it out of sight. The speaker is considering suggesting that it should go round the family on a rota. Lastly, one item did not get away - although it was a close run thing. A “grubby old book” was being thrown out by her mother when the speaker, aged 12, rescued it. It belonged to an uncle who was pleased it had been saved. He suggested that the speaker could keep it in return for giving his young daughter her old doll’s pram. The book was Camden’s Britannia.