My Family's War Relics
My parents were clearing out a few of their wardrobes and cupboards today and dragged out a few items that belonged to my father's parents. Most of the items belonged to my grandmother, who served in the RAF during the war, but there are a few items that belonged to my grandfather who served in the Royal Artillery, and later in the TA REME.
Most of it's in pretty poor condition (particularly ribbons) but it's very much in the condition that it was left in by my grandparents when they passed on several years ago, and hasn't suffered much more for a few additional years at the back of my parents' wardrobe.
First, some First World War medals that I believed belonged to my great grandfather (my grandmother's father). They're in a cardboard O.H.M.S box bearing his name and my Grandmother's old address, with a return address stamp of the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association of the County of Salop
British War Medal:
I believe is this bar of ribbons belonged to my grandfather:
Showing his awards for the 1939–45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939–1945 and Territorial Efficiency Medal. I believe the actual medals are in the possession of my cousin, along with various other items belonging to my grandfather such as his old No.1 Dress Uniform. As a child I remember him showing me those medals along with a longer ribbon bar, that had a few additional awards, other than those shown here.
For example, my grandfather was also awarded the Imperial Service Medal in 1977:
Though as you see, the ribbon for this one is still encased in the original plastic film. We've also got the citation from the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood that came with the award.
I'll have to see if I can track the rest of his things and take a few photos.
Now, back to items that my grandmother collected:
RAF cap badge, Pilot brevet, Air Signaller brevet, Good Conduct chevron, right shoulder Eagle badge, LAC(W) rank insignia:
Her Defence Medal:
We've also got a cardboard O.H.M.S box for this, with a return address to the Air Ministry (S7d), London, W.C. 2
Now, some interesting items. My grandmother dealt with Axis POWs during her time in the RAF, so she came into possession of a couple of a couple of German decorations that, when I was a child, she told me were given to her as gifts.
We have two Wound Badges in Silver (I think - it's a bit grubby) and Gold, a 1st Class War Merit Cross with Swords (a bit pranged on the corners of the cross), and a cloth German Cross in Gold:
Now, in amongst these items where was also this object, which I'm completely clueless about. It was in the O.H.M.S box containing my great grandfather's medals. I'm not sure whether it was his or not, because like I said; I don't know what it is:
It has a very faint engraving on the escutcheon that appears to me to read "H.H. leer s", but again I have no clue that that means:
If anyone knows what it is, I'd be interested in hearing. I get the feeling it's maybe not military, but I think it looks a bit German, from the shame of the escutcheon and the red, white and black colour scheme (reminiscent of the flag of the German Empire).
01-25-2014 08:58 PM
Nice bunch of medals and badges. timothy
Very nice hoard to find at the back of ANY wardrobe!!!!!
A couple of things - you can upload DIRECTLY to the forum without using hosting services like photobucket because if the link dies, the thread becomes useless.The upload will automatically re-size your images also.
I think there is a LOT of comments coming on all the items - especially that cracker German kreus in gold - and the story of how it all came together is worth a lot too - pity your grandparents have passed on, there would have been more stories I'm sure.
Anyway, thanks for showing them to us and welcome to what is a great forum for collectors!
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
That is a nice collection! Things passed down are naturally more meaningful than those purchased, and that Deutsche Kreuz in Gold in nice on its own merit.
I believe that your unidentified ribbon may bear some type of family coat of arms. The knight's helm often appears on those; I guess that's because they were originally used to identify knights, but I don't know enough to say that with any conviction.
Also, welcome to the forum! I'm sure you will find it an excellent learning tool and source of entertaining reading.
Great stuff you have there mate! If you have a look around the edge of your great grandfathers WW1 meals you should find his name, rank and unit. They are terrific things to have and great items to keep in the family and pass them down to your own kids.
great things you have there. Good things to pass down in the family.
I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.
Very nice collection of medals. So invaluable to know their provenance, too. The fact that you have some family history to accompany them is, in my view, priceless.
Gunner Moss' MIC.
a very nice hidden hoard.