Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

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Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby CStewart » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:49 pm

As someone who has always wondered what gives the male members of my family their morbid fascination with war it has surprised me how interesting it has become through researching my family tree. It has also surprised me how many little bits of evidence towards the bigger picture turn up in boxes of inherited knick knacks. A small orb of wood with two (out of 6) carved knobs sticking out of it now makes sense. There was a faded label on it inscibed 'Albert Cathedral Sept 1916. I see from the War diary extracts that A,B,C and D company were in Albert around Christmas 1915 and on into 1916. This I am presuming was detached from the cathedral during bombardment, collected as a souvenier and returned to the UK in my Grandfathers pocket in 1918. The question is what to do with it if anything?
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby spike » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:17 am

My advice would be treasure it, a direct link to your families past.....

It could have been a souvenir, sold by locals to the soldiers, whatever it is I imagine it
is too late now to "return" it

Which battalion, by the way ?
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby kerchi » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:28 pm

CStewart wrote:This I am presuming was detached from the cathedral during bombardment, collected as a souvenier and returned to the UK in my Grandfathers pocket in 1918. The question is what to do with it if anything?

I second Spike's recommendation.

Too many times have I heard stories of a colleague of mine whose brother (or acquaintance of his brother - can't remember which) works as a bin man in Yorkshire. He has seen so many different items of war memorabilia just thrown in the bins simply because people were either not bothered about keeping them as they had no interest to them or they just took up space. Things such as medals, believe it or not, as well as photos, postcards, swatches of old uniforms, insignia, belt buckles, swagger sticks etc. are all things that have been recovered from the bins and I can't understand why someone would want to do that. >:( All that history tossed away saddens me. If people don't want their relatives war memorabilia they could at least give them to the local (if there is one) museum where it would be greatly received and appreciated, not to mention kept safe and possibly put on show for others to enjoy.

I hope you either hang on to it and keep it safe or pass it on to a museum. It sounds like an interesting piece that possibly only you have so not only is it incredibly rare but it holds a great deal of sentimental value too; and I like the idea that your grandfather came home to old Blighty with it in his pocket. Is there any chance of uploading a photo of it here.....I am quite intrigued. ::)

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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby CStewart » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:49 pm

I put a photo in the gallery last night - is that open to everyone? I have no desire to get rid of it although I wondered whether it was history that needed sharing.
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby kerchi » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:43 am

Sorry, didn't know you had added the image to the gallery. Have included it in this thread for the benefit of others to see as it is quite unusual. It is an odd looking thing :-\ Do you know what it is by any chance?

Yes, the gallery is open for anyone to view but only members of the forum can upload and make comments.

I am glad you have shared this with us; it's snippets of history like this that make interesting reading for others (myself included). Also pleased to hear you won't be getting rid of it. Only 5 more years before it reaches its centennial of being removed from the basilica.

CStewart's photo of the wooden orb from the gallery.
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby spike » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:33 am

From this post there has come out the story of two families who have Border Regiment
connections,one is a Lonsdale, living and working away from home, before enlisting
I hope Carol will share the information on this post with us, I leave it up to her
as she may consider it a delicate matter.....
It does show how difficult it can be to research your family and how the times
bred strange memorabilia.
I did not intend for my answer to be short, or disparaging, believe me, the
item mentioned is something I would treasure whatever it's origin, a link with
the past.....

Please share the story with us Carol, many of the posters on this forum would be
fascinated by the tale....
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LINK - Border Regiment in the Great War Websites
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In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby CStewart » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:24 pm

This story actually indicates how vital sites like this are to research your ancestors. I am happy to share what has transpired. First of all we think that the 'orb' is a decoration from the top of a wooden screen in the cathedral, probably one of many. It has 4 more holes in it and is 7cms from top to bottom and would have fitted neatly into a pocket. It is awsome to have a piece of history in my hand. I will make sure that it is treasured by our sons too.
The story Spike mentioned is an illustration as he said of how difficult it is to research family history and also what an impact 'family chinese whispers' can have on your perceptions of your ancestors. For years I was told and have happily believed that my grandfather was in the Border regiment and on inherting boxes of bits from my grandmother and her postcard collection in 1982 on her death continued to believe this. Most of these bits remained in our loft until last year when I retired and begun to investigate them more closely. Amongst the postcards was a card from Blackhall camp from a Billy (which is what she called my grandfather) I immediately and wrongly it seems presumed it was my grandfather. They did not marry until 1920 which I had presumed was because of the war but may have meant that they met after the war.
The card said that Billy was No 15505, 'A' company, Lonsdales Batt. Spike checked this for me and it turns out that it was not my grandfather William Graham but a William Beaumont from Troutbeck who was working in Ainstable. He wrote to my Grandmother whose parents had the local pub in Ainstable. On going back to the postcards I then found two more, one signed WB from Carlisle on 1st May 1915 but saying that they were off to 'some place in Cheshire Wednesday' (probably Prees Heath). The other marked BFPO 97 29th MR 16 with France, Mondrr?????.
So back to the drawing board on Grandad and back to scrutinising the postcards for further clues. If anyone out there was a relative of Billy Beaumont I would love to hear from them.
I also found a photograph on a postcard of someone wearing a Border regiment cap badge. Firstly I wondered whether it may be Billy Beaumont but comparing it with the newspaper report of him being a POW it does not seem to be him and it does not look much like my grandfather either. Perhaps someone may be able to identify him. It is most likely that he had a connection with Ainstable or surrounding area. If I put it in the gallery could someone post it here for me please as I am not sure how to do it.
And so the plot thickens my grandfather William P Graham was definitely horse based as was his brother George who died in Flanders 15th May 1916 with the W and C Yeomanry. Any suggestions. Next stop Carlisle museum.
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby spike » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:20 pm

Unknown Border Man on the postcard
Image

15505 William Beaumont
Beaumont_W_15504_POW.jpg



The article in the C and W Gazette
100_3175.jpg



Expand to read the text about W Beaumont.
SPIKE

LINK - Border Regiment in the Great War Websites
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In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
.
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby CStewart » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:49 pm

Thanks Spike. My opinion is that they are not the same man. What does anyone else think?
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Re: Memorabilia - Albert Cathedral

Postby spike » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:23 am

The only real 'similarity ' I can see is they both have enlarged top parts to their ears, in relation to the lobe
part. The paper picture is quite poor quality and from a different angle, but other than the ears it is hard to
say they could possibly be the same man....
SPIKE

LINK - Border Regiment in the Great War Websites
(right click and open in new tab)

In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
.
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The Border Regiment Forum is a small and friendly community for anyone with an interest in the British regiment throughout its long and colourful history. The forum was set up first and foremost to bring together those with an interest and passion in the Regiment; to ask questions, share stories, provide knowledge and post photos relating to the regiment during the various conflicts and peacetimes it bore witness to.

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