Significant Memorabilia.

Discussion in 'Your Collectibles' started by Nostalgair, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi All,

    I initiated this thread on another forum previously and it was very interesting.

    What is your most significant piece of memorabilia? Regardless of perceived commercial value, scarcity or even quality. It is an item that has sincere personal meaning to the individual.

    I fortunately have an array of items from my Dad's service in WWII and Korea, some of which only came to light after his passing. Probably one of the most poignant are the goggles that were blasted off his face during a low level strike in Korea. The frame is buckled and one lens is shattered.

    What is your most significant piece of memorabilia? Pick Just One.


  2. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    For my wife, probably some of the memorabilia we have yet to sift through of her grandfather's time as a DEMS gunner.

    For me, at present, it's a framed print of Robert Taylor's Desert Hawks showing four 3 Sqn RAAF Kittyhawks over the desert and signed by some heroes of mine who I shall never meet - Bobby Gibbes, Nicky Barr, Wilfred Arthur, Peter Jeffrey, Alan Rawlinson, Murray Nash and Jack Doyle. No family connection but men I have admired for many years have touched something in my possession and it is most humbling.

    Will post pics of the print and the memorabilia in the near future once we organise it.
  3. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi Andy,

    Given that your area of interest includes the Desert War and Kittyhawks, have you seen Ted Sly's book, "Luck of the Draw"?

    Like Bobby Gibbes, he's a wonderful chap and will personalise copies of his book. Highly recommended if you get the chance. Here's his website;

    Spitfire books and photos


  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Wow, Owen, many thanks for the link. I do own a first edition of the book which I bought over here and have often wondered, along with the likes of Ron Cundy's A Gremlin On My Shoulder, whether I could send such books to the author for signing.

    I've met a couple of 450 Sqn guys over here in the west but I they flew in Italy so I'm not sure if they had operational time over the desert and knew Ted Sly. They are proud of having served in the Desert Air Force though.
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein Member


    You ask "What is your most significant piece of memorabilia? Regardless of perceived commercial value, scarcity or even quality"

    That's an easy one.

    For me, it's my Army Album, cobbled together in 1946 and still with me today.

    Ron Goldstein's Actual Army Album


  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Oh dear. I think it has to be the Navigators sweetheart brooch i bought on ebay. It came form the lady it was given to and I got little bit of the story with it. I promised her then to take good care of it, and I have done so.
    Other than that its my signed aviation prints. And Andy i still hate you.
  7. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I don't collect memorabilia as such but do have a number of books signed by RAF personnel. What is an ordinary (though usually very well written) becomes an amazing item because the signatures. Most of them had very colourful lives during the war, and part of the joy is knowing that they made it through and part is being inspired to find out more about each signatory. The books I have can be found on this thread:
  8. Keith

    Keith New Member

    Hi Andy,
    Just seen your post on DEMS,
    My best friend was an AB on a DEMS in Australia Waters during the war and complains he never sees any mention of them in the history books,
    His gunner on a Horlekon, I'm not sure if that is the correct spelling, was a Royal Marine Sgt.
    His ship was a NZ merchantman I think it was called the Taranaka.
    I'll show him your post, he will probably appreciate it more than the bottle of Grouse I bought him for Christmas.
  9. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  10. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I know a DEMS gunner who went back and forth across the Atlantic, did a trip up to Russia, then back to America, crossed over on a train, brought back a Liberty ship then ran GI's into Omaha as a landing craft operator.

    But again near impossible to find anything on the DEMS themselves.
  11. andy maines

    andy maines Guest

    Hi all

    My name is Andy Maines and my father (Hugh Maines) was a member of No1 Commando throughout its entire existance. Fortunately I have got a number of his Commando artefacts ie Commando service certificate, Operation Torch cert, Commando fighting Knife (B2 type), campaign medals and the attached photo. This particular photo shows my father and a group of other Commandos in a landing craft having just carried out a raid on the coast of France to capture German prisoners. My father is approx in the middle of the photo at the end of the middle row in the LC, bare headed and looking up. All my father told me about the photo was that it was a raid on the coast of France and that there was the body of German soldier actually still in the bottom of the LC when the photo was taken. Untill recently I believed that this photo was of a raid carried out by No1 Commando against St Vaast Bay in Sep 1941, however having now received a copy of my father's Army records I have found out some info that would suggest that this photo is actually of the first ever Commando raid carried out. The reason that I believe this is that my father's records show that he was in No9, No11 Independent Companies and No1 Special Service Bn prior to joining No1 Commando. No11 Ind Cpy carried out out Operation Collar in June 1940, which I believe was the first ever Commando raid, having read a number of articles on this raid in different books certain details have struck a chord. One of these details is that Lt Col Dudley Clarke went along as an observer and was wounded by a bullet graze in the ear and neck, as you can see in my photo one of the soldiers has clearly got a field dressing which is covering his neck and ear. The second relevant detail that got my attention was what my father told me about the raid ie that they were about to ambush a two man German patrol, when one of the Commando's magazines dropped from his machine gun as he cocked it and thus alerted the patrol. What should have been an easy ambush turned in to a firefight resulting in Dudley Clarke's injury. One of the articles that I recently read recounted that exact same story, so I am fairly sure that this photo is of the Opertion Collar raid, however further research will be required to confirm this.
    I have almost completed mounting and framing all of my father's Commando artefacts, once this is done I will photograph each individual frame and upload it in to this portion of the Forum for any one who is interested. I am a member of the Commando Veterans Association (associate member only) and will be uploading these images on to the CVA forum also.

    Cheers Andy

    Attached Files:

  12. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Nice Andy. Look forward to seeing more.
  13. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Same here, Andy. A fascinating post.

    Keith, I would be very interested to hear more from your friend (As would my father-in-law).
  14. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Great post Andy, thanks.

    Welcome aboard.


  15. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Wow that is certainly a damn good story. Look forward to seeing more
  16. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Hello Keith and all,

    The ship was called TARANAKI official number 149304 built in 1928 for Shaw Saville & Albion. She was broken up in

    There is a photo here: TARANAKI

    DEMS gunners are quite difficult to trace but if anyone needs further information on the subject give a shout back I will help if I can.

  17. war hawk

    war hawk New Member

    What about ww2 rifles? I have a Russian Mosin Nagant, M44 carbine.
  18. Apted Violet

    Apted Violet New Member

    My favourite is the photograph of me as a child that Dad carried with him as POW in Stalag XXB.. It has the POW stamp on it! I can remember asking my Mother to send it to Dad so he would not forget me. Dad was taken at Dunkirk! He DID come home!
  19. cavair

    cavair New Member

    My dad flew back from Far East in bomb bay of Liberator (so he told me - must have been fitted with hammocks or something!) Anyway, they stopped in Palestine and visited Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, and I still have the signed certificate from his visit dated December 1945.
    The other significant memorabilia (if you can call it that) is a book that records an incident where my uncle & his crew are sheltering beside his burnt out Churchill tank in an apple orchard near Hill 112, Normandy. At least it gives a glimpse of "his war". Thankfully he survived thro to Germany '45.

    So many questions id like to ask them both, but now passed on.

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