1. Items from the Brown family of London and Horsham (relatives of Sally Barnes, Wing resident). Sybil Brown worked on munitions at Prewett’s Engineering Works, Horsham. Her younger brothers both served in the war and survived – Noel as a gunner in the Royal Artillery, and Jack as a driver in the Army Service Corps.
b) Autograph book, Sybil Brown.
c) Ypres Sweetheart Brooch.
As wartime tokens of remembrance, sweetheart brooches symbolized relationships, pride, and served as a visual symbol of the constant stream of thoughts flowing between service-people and civilians. Sweetheart brooches came in many forms, often symbolizing a soldier’s regiment and marrying romantic and military imagery.
d) Embroidered scene of Albert 1914. e) Embroidered silk postcard from 1915.
During WWI silk postcards and handkerchiefs were bought as souvenirs by soldiers who were serving on the Western Front. Local French and Belgian women embroidered the different motifs on to strips of silk mesh which were sent to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. It is an example of an industry which appeared as a result of war and must have been a useful source of income for families in France and Belgium.
f) Royal Artillery badge. (The wheel actually turns).
- Death Penny memorial plaque kindly lent LBDAHS.
- 2 badges – Royal Bucks Hussars – “Yeomen of Bucks. Strike Home” and badge with silver figure and motto “Certa Cito” (“Swift and Sure”) of the Royal Corps. of Signals.
- German bayonet/sawback circa. 1915. They were often used for cutting brushes. By 1917 the Germans had ordered all the sawbacks to be removed. (Kindly lent by the Barnes family, Wing).
- Pocket brass extending 4 drawer Telescope marked 1915 (kindly lent by Polly Fleet-Palmer). (Above)
- Trench art paper knife carved by Frank Buckley from 2 Browning 303 bullets with his initials “FWB” carved on it and “PoW Coy. 218” on the reverse.
- Decorated brass German shell case. It was picked up from amongst the ruins of a church in Vouziers in 1918 by the great grandfather of Wing Resident, Richard Godivala. On the back there is a floral decoration and on the front the year and place and a shield shape with the name “Devaux” inscribed. Vouziers is in North Eastern France, the Champagne area, and was occupied by the Germans in 1914 and liberated by French General Gouraud on October 12th 1918.
A wonderful example of Trench Art skilfully completed by Ralph Powton during WWI:
Ralph joined the Durham Light Infantry in 1906 as a bugle player, a skill he’d learnt during his “Band Secretary” days in Newburn-on-Tyne Salvation Army. (see Newspaper photo & article). As a bugle player during 1914-1918 Ralph would have served on the front line which, thankfully, he survived with just shrapnel wounds. Ralph taught his daughter, Maisie, to knit – as you can see he was very skilled with a needle and thread and soldiers of WWI had to darn their own socks or knit new ones, and repair their uniforms. Ralph Powton is the maternal grandfather of Polly Fleet-Palmer, Wing resident.
Illustration by A. Pearse “There’s Daddy” kindly lent by Revd. Helen Barnes, Vicar of Wing. Hanging next to the Mother’s Union Church banner.
Collated and written by Sally Barnes.