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Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

Article about: I feel like I have answered this before, but I like these threads, so I don't mind answering again. When I was five I got a bucket of plastic army men for Christmas. I played with then every

  1. #41

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    As long as I can remember I had an interest in "war" Played soldier as a kid, making my own gun outof wood and plastic tubes

    When I was in my teens I bought a RAF battledress in a surplus store. Wore it all the time until it fell apart.

    My grandparents and father survived the Jap camps on the island of Java during WWII. Their few stories fascinated me.
    How they lived, survived and hated the occupation and the Japanese soldiers.
    My grandma refused to bow so she was beaten with a bamboo stick...
    When they all passed away I found nearly everything they saved from captivity in a large wooden trunk
    Their camp dogtags, a few hundred letters and postcards in Malaysian, passports, grandpa's uniform and 1LT stars. U name it.
    Fotos can be found here : Tolbert - bandoeng - a set on Flickr
    It moved me to tears.... My goal is to see if it's possible to write a book about this period of time. Needless to say : I'm very proud of my grandparents !
    Sorry, I dwelled off.

    In the meantime I keep collecting, Dutch(cavalry)uniforms and have a few foreign WWII bits 'n bobs.
    I'm also interested in police uniforms etc.

    Regard from Holland,


  2. #42

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    From childhood, I just simply liked everything about military. Most of my toys were guns, plastic sword, tanks, etc. I made hand guns with wood, wires and clay when I was a child. My Dad threw away one clay gun I made, coz he thought I spent too much time on it rather than on homework

    I just like military, naturally. Probably because of gene? as two of my uncles and three other family members are veterans. I also like drawing, I like drawing everything, but military related sketching is my favourate. History is my interest as well. In my opinion, the very well designed military medals, badges, daggers and helmets, etc. etc. are the great combination of military, art and history. So consequently I fall in love with them and started to collect them when I had income.

    My first medal was a EK2 from WW1. It was in good worn condition. I put it on the table in front of me and stared at it for long time. God, it's from WW1, it might be worn by the soldier in battlefront, there must be lots of story behind it...That's also why I don't just like mint condition items. Some 'bad' condtion items have more stories, even though we may never know what stories they are. I saw a TR EK1 with a bullet hole through its center, its owner might survive the shot coz of it. who knows.

    Anyway, there is so much fun in collection. I also have interests in collecting coins and antique silver.


  3. #43

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    I grew up within the military as my father was a US Army sergeant, so I have always had an interest in 'army things'. I was very lucky to have lived in West Germany as a teenager as we were based in Bavaria with a USAREUR unit based near the East German border. The vast majority of US military bases were former Wehrmacht bases, so I grew up with Third Reich architecture. Many of the symbols were still on walls, etc, only having had the swastika removed. For example, the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt still had the large Third Reich murals on the walls; aryan youths modelled on Greek models, etc. You also still saw a lot of other things associated with WWII still around, this was back in the late 1970s - early 80s. There were the bases of 'Wurzburg' radar stations still to be seen, bomb damage in Schweinfurt (where I went to junior High), WWII tanks were in most of the military bases as monuments - ours was a Sherman tank, the base down the road had a Chaffee. So I was always surrounded by history, not only WWII but the entire German history going back to Roman times. One of the places we stayed had a Roman fort as it was part of the 'Limes', the frontier between the Roman world and the Babarians. When we stayed there it was still a garrison town, this time for the US Army who occupied a former Wehrmacht Pioneer kaserne.(The US Army still called many of their posts Kaserne). I loved Europe so much that I now live here. I live in the UK nowadays.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    It first started when i was 5 or 4. I slept next to a window and i was scared. So i got a toy gun to protect myself (spark my interest with military things). Then i started to read WWII books, me and a freind debated about the war. Even though we didnt really know half the stuff we were talking about. That was when i was about 10. few years later i got idea how "cool" would it be to own a peice of history. Then after my first item i was bit by the bug, little did i know it was going to change my life leaving me broke, but at least i would be happy.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    i started to collect military items as a boy in the fifties, we had an area where they stored most of the old kit for distruction IE, helmets, webbing, vehicles ect. As kids we would climb the wall and throw the helmets over to each other and then do swops, also stupidly scimming some good helmets in the Thames and bombing them with bricks.
    I had some for many years and then just carried on collecting as a teenager. I sold my first collection when i got married and the bits i had left started me off again, so i think it,s a madness,lol. And yes i still collect.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    Im a pretty "new" collector, just started collecting at the beginning of this year when I bought some finnish militaria on a class trip. After that I pretty much didnt know what I would start to collect. At the moment, Bundeswehr and gas masks are what I am most interested in. My interest in history also had its part in starting collecting.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    Always had an interest in all things military for as long as I can remember.
    My late grandfather was a serjeant/tank commander (A/CSM) in the Grenadier Guards in WW2 and I remember him going off on his reserve committment training in the mid/late 1960s. He bought me my first model kit when I was about 5, (an Airfix Churchill tank) and Ive been making the models ever since. He also gave me my first pieces of militaria, his cap-badge, ID tags and mapcase, which I still have and will never part with.

    The war and all its consequences were never hidden from me, in fact, if anything, I was actively encouraged to have an interest in it and history in general.

    There has always been a large "vested family interest" in the armed forces of the UK. Both my grandfathers served with the colours, the aformentioned one in the Grenadier Guards, the other one was a CSM in the Green Howards. My step fathers dad also served in the last war and was taken PoW just after D-Day. My father was in the army, as were 5 of his brothers, the other one was in the RAF and those are just the ones that I know of!
    I served in the TA for 8 years, my brother in the regular army, (DWR), for 16 years and my oldest son is carrying on the family tradition, he's been in the RHA for 5 years and has signed on to do 22+. These are not counting the other members of the extended family who are serving or have "done their time"

    Over the years, like a lot of us, I have dabbled with other hobbies, but I have always maintained my interest in WW2, militaria and history in general

    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  8. #48

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    I guess my interest started back when I was 7-8, my dad would tell me stories about a German plane that was shot down 200 meters from our house, then in 1999 we moved(I am moving back there next year) and there I met the man that changed everything, he was a World War 2 veteran who was in the Norwegian resistance, I will make a thread about him tomorrow because I think this story is worth sharing. I would stop by his house at least once a week and talk to him for 1-2 hours, he was a great man.

    My interest in World War 2 was at a medium state, I read a couple books now and then and saw movies. But one day I was going through some stuff in the garage, I found my father's badges from the Norwegian military/home guard from the 1960-70s and he told me I could keep them, then I was hooked. I collected everything I could lay my hands on(And that my wallet would allow) and my first WW2 item was an American PFC stripe. I started focusing on collecting mainly WW2 items, but if I go to a Flea market and find any sort of militaria for a cheap price it gets snapped up like that.
    This summer was my 5th year of collecting and I would think I have come a long way.

    I have had a lot of hobbies, orchestra, gymnastics, boy scouts etc etc, but this one is by all the best.
    Best Regards

    Vegard T.
    Looking for militaria from 38. Batterie, Heeres Küsten Artillerie Regiment 977, also from 31, 32 and 36. Batterie.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    I have always been trying to find a collecting hobie. I tryed 100 and 200 year old pocket watches (I still love them, I have quite a few solid silver ones) and I like antiques in general.
    But interest in ww1-ww2 has always been there and Reading (I love to read) had made it grow stronger.
    here are some of my "first" books I read that got me interested.

    Best regards, Patrick

  10. #50

    Default Re: Why, when & how did you begin collecting?

    I just love the Michael Morpurgo books

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

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