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German & English ww1 & ww2 items about to head to Australia

Article about: Hi everyone, Iím just posting this up for a friend here in Australia. I will copy and past his question here in hope we can get the best advice to help preserve such important historical and

  1. #1

    Default German & English ww1 & ww2 items about to head to Australia

    Hi everyone, Iím just posting this up for a friend here in Australia. I will copy and past his question here in hope we can get the best advice to help preserve such important historical and treasured family items...

    I was recently on a trip to England to visit my family and my 90yr old Grandad was talking about giving away a lot of his belongings that were either his or things he collected from WW1/WW2. I have a strong interest in historical items like these and felt that they should be kept in the family. Needless to say he was ecstatic that one of the grandkids was interested in the stuff.

    Anyway, I ended up bringing back his WW2 RAF formal jacket, side cap, paper flight training maps from 1943, an unused 1941 gas mask and a couple of other things. They are also going to send over at a later date his flight suit, flight helmet with oxygen mask and radio, and flight goggles. They also have a bunch of helmets from WW1 and WW2 and bayonets, medals, WW1 identification cards etc. Almost all of it belonged to someone in the family except for the helmets and bayonets.

    The problem is I would like to take some steps to try and preserve these items especially the maps as they are paper. I am wondering if you know of anyone who could give me some info about what to do with these items or perhaps you know yourself?

    Here are a couple of photos of their mini museum they made above their garage quite a number of years ago...1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg

    - - ------- - -

    Many thanks in advance

  2. #2


    A climate controlled environment is the way to go for this stuff. The paper items I would say the same for. If your friend frames them make sure the paper backing is acid free. I'm sure I am not the only one who would love to see separate threads on these items with better (and more) pictures!

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    Thankyou and yep i asked him to get photographs on each item . Im happy to take pictures for him when it all arrives as i have all pro camera grear for the highest res images of each item

  4. #4


    Hi, nice bit of stuff to have coming to you and good that you are thinking about proper care. You will get a lot of advice, some great, some poor. But have look through here and you will fnd a range of relevant - easy to read and understand professional best practices. CCI Notes

    and I am quite fond of british unit marked WW I helmets if you end up with some you don't care to keep

  5. #5


    Thanks for all the info guys.
    I just showd the guy this thread and he thanks you all for the help. Will try get more pics soon of the rest

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    Another question that i think may be important as i would hate to send him somewhere that may damage the item......

    "The jacket could really do with some cleaning, it has been sitting as you can see on that mannequin for quite sometime. The fabric is still in great condition, not brittle or breaking apart anywhere. Do you think a professional dry cleaner would be ok to take it to?

  7. #7


    What jacket? And fundametally, no, a dry cleaner is never a good idea for historic textiles. gently vacum it and maybe an airing out. If absolutely necessary the wool uniforms can be hand washed with woolite, air dried and then gentle pressed with a steam iron. The leather is not going to benefit from anything but a vaccum inside and being properly suported n a manniquin with no weight in the shoulder seams. don't use any modern leather food with silicone in the formula. Fredelka formula Leather Preservative/Restorer | University Products

  8. #8


    The original pictures i had wernt the best so i asked for better ones to see what he may have.
    Once he gets the items here to Australia i will go around and do a whole lot of better photos and close ups of markings etc for you all. From mysmall amout of experience it looks like there are quite a few good items in there.

    Please omment on anything you with to see better pictures of and i will make sure i get some better shots of them when they arrive in West oz.


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