This year marks 15 years of the Portable Antiquities Scheme as a national scheme. We are sharing a find a day for the whole year. This year also marks 100 years since the end of the First World War so this week we are highlighting finds related to the First World War and Remembrance:
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
Tobacco tin (SUR-961965): An aluminium tobacco or matchbox holder which has been re-purposed from something like a mess tin. It has been engraved with a foliage on one side and the US and UK flags on the other. The spine has the word “Ypres” engraved on it, perhaps to commemorate the owner’s service there.
Decorative band (SUR-4C80E2): An inscribed copper-alloy band made from the driving band of an artillery shell. It reads: E.J.C.James 179203 MTASC (Motor Transport Army Service Corps). Perhaps the shell exploded close to Private James and he kept the fragment as a lucky souvenir.
Medal (SUR-423377): A long service and good conduct medal awarded to Private Alfred Anderson of the 1st Battalion, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. Alfred was sent to France when the First World War broke out. He was captured and sent to Langensaltza POW camp in Germany where he remained for the rest of the war. He remained in the Army until 1926, hence the long service medal.
Medal (SUR-EBD73D): First World War British War Medal awarded to Lorna Marjorie Cambrier Faunce of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD). Lorna served abroad twice during the First World War. She survived the War, passing away in 1969.
Medal (LIN-F6306C): Victory Medal of the First World War, awarded to Sgt Charles William Baggaley of the Lincolnshire Regiment.
Medal (WMID-794AC4): Victory medal awarded to Private Frederick Ford of the 58th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. Frederick enlisted in the AIF in 1915 and served in France, but was injured several times. In March 2018 he was hit by a bomb injuringhis right arm and both legs. He died the following day and was buried in Bauolleul Cemetery in France. Frederick had been married for just 3 months at the time of his death.
Finger ring (DUR-D26B53): Silver finger ring made from a George V half crown. Date 1910-1936. It is an example of ‘trench art’ where commemorative items were fashioned from other objects. Coins turned into rings were particularly popular in First World War.