Favorite items in your WW2 collection

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by 8RB, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    After having recently obtained what I regard to be one of the top items in my own militaria collection (focusing on BLA infantry items and especially 11th Armoured and 8th Rifle Brigade) I thought it might be nice to start a thread for exchanging what each of us considers the favoutire item(s) of his or her own WW2 collections.

    The main criterium that applies is that there should be a story behind the item(s). This can be anything like:
    • the item having a known and special history or original owner
    • the item being one of a kind
    • a special history related to acquisition of the item
    Apart from one or more photos therefore also some text should be added explaining why you consider your item(s) to be your favourite.

    This thread is not meant as a display of the most expensive items in your collection (e.g. green berets or airborne helmets, not thereby meaning to say I dislike such items…).
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  2. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    And now about this item from my collection:

    For some 18 years now (with some pauses) I have been working on a book based on 12 hours of tape by a Rifleman (later Corporal) from 11th Armoured division, 8th Rifle Brigade, H Company, 13 (scout) Platoon, who from June 1944 to May 1945 served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. I hope the book will finally get published in 2018 or 2019.

    Recently on Ebay someone was offering various items from the KRRC and the Rifle Brigade which I felt might be connected. After starting an E-mail conversation I found out all items had belonged to one family member deceased a few years ago. When being given the name of this person I found out he had not only been in the 8th Rifle Brigade, but also in H Company and in fact in 13 Platoon, a unit of only about 40 men, what a coincidence! He was wounded in Holland on September 24th 1944 and saw no further active service. The fact that he had been in 13 Platoon and was wounded in Holland on that particular date I got from the H Company “War Diary”, which was published just after the war. I was able to bring all items together again, including his dog tags, cap badge and some photos all of which originally had not been put up for sale.

    I am still in touch with his relatives and have been able to provide them with some more information on their family member, including a digital copy of the H Company War Diary.

    frame jpeg.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    I have only photos of my dad in uniform and his medals in my WW2 collection
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  4. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Hello CL1.
    If you feel these are your top items (and I should think they are given the fact they are your father's) do put them in with the story behind them and one or two nice photos!
  5. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I have my father's medals too. He served in the RN as a volunteer in the last half of WW2. He survived TG.
    But my top topic (and puzzlement) has always been, how could such a cultured nation (Germany) behave in such a way?
    So my favourite item is a book called Frauen, by Alison Owens. Gives views of German women who lived through those days.
    Helps to explain up to a point.
    amberdog45 likes this.
  6. No.4CommandoBairn

    No.4CommandoBairn Well-Known Member

    I have my dad's 3 campaign medals - France & Germany, Italy and Africa - he sold his other 3 (and his Border Reg. cap badge) to fund a Remembrance Weekend in Fort William/Spean Bridge. I remember him showing me the ones he was to sell - I can remember holding them. Dad was a miner and money was scarce. The fact he held on to them, despite the hard times, makes me treasure them.
    I have an autograph book my mam had during her time in the ATS (HAA predictor then Signals) and it's full of the names of people she met ... Polish pilots and various Signals people and fellow gun layers. Various poems, drawings and beautiful verses. Another treasure.

    I have other items including books that I love ... oh yes, the paperback of Swiftly They Struck that was given to me by dad - it was his copy ... so that's another much-loved item. His copy of Hilary St George Saunders' The Green Beret - bought for him by mam the Christmas after I was born ... so many treasures!
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  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I don't even have to think about it..................

    My top item is the photo attached.

    It is of "A" Squadron 4th Queen's Own Hussars and was taken in Ferndorf, Austria shortly after the war in Italy ended in May 1945.

    I had the presence of mind to record everyone's surname and my reward was to have the offspring of some of the chaps pictured send me e-mails 50-60-70 053 Page 58  Ferndorf Austria A Sqdrn IVth Queens Own Hussars.jpg years later saying "Thank you so much.......That's my dad, 3rd row down, 2nd from the left !
  8. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    During the many trips to Florida,we used to visit the flying tigers museum based in Kissimmee.They restored ww2 aircraft and would
    allow paying guests to fly in their aircraft.
    We had a half hour flight in a helicopter,($50) about £25 then.It was one of those wirrley bird types, with the big glass dome on the front and no doors.they used them in the Korea war for transporting the wounded troops.Bloody noisy and drafty,Tom the the pilot said step outside on rail and take some photos Graham, at 2000 ft this request was swiftly refused.
    When we landed I visited the souvenir shop and brought a book called The Enola Gay,hardback $14.One of the girls who served said
    the pilot who flew that plane (Paul Tibbets) was visiting in the afternoon and if you hang around or comeback you can meet him and he will sign your book.I said we are visiting the Titanic museum and I wont be back in time.She replied leave the book here and I will get him to sign it.i said ok and left.
    How stupid of me,i had the chance to meet and shake the hand of the man whose actions helped bring an end to the war in Japan.And I went to the Titanic museum.
    Sometimes you could kick yourself.(edited to add the year was 2002)
    Graham enola.jpg gay.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  9. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Mr. Goldstein and Ozzy16. Had no idea what to expect when starting this thread but I guess I was hoping for items and stories like this. Thanks!
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  10. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    With me it has to be Dad's dog tags. Still on the original cord, very grubby and sweat stained having accompanied him overseas, in battles, in trenches, on ships, planes and trains, including the the North Burma jeep railway, Neither monsoons, heat, nor the enemy destroyed them.And he left them to me with all his stories to go with them.
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  11. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Seeing so many personal items coming by I think another one for me must be the tiny school report (no more than 8 cm wide) from my father from July 1945. He was a 7 year old boy in a Japanese internment camp on Java (Dutch East Indies). Teaching was illegal and could be met by very severe punishment. Together with his mother and younger brother he was separated from his father who as a POW at the age of 43 worked on the Japanese railroads in Thailand and Birma. Although nearly starved to death they all survived and were reunited in Thailand a few months later.

    Rapport papa - klein.jpg
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Glad you approved but wouldn't like you to be the only one on this forum who uses my surname...... I am always happy to be addressed as Ron :)

    What I should have also pointed out is that my Army Album, now resident in the Imperial War Museum, contains 90 pages of memorabilia that I collected between 1942 & 1947 and this can be found here: Ron Goldstein's Actual Army Album

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  13. knickerbockerglory

    knickerbockerglory Junior Member

    I'm spending a very enjoyable evening gong through my Grandads war photos and artefacts. He was in the Navy and spent most of the war in South Africa. I've just found a certificate he was awarded for crossing the equator. I've also found quite a few invitations for various dinners- I've hopefully attached a couple of photos of what looks like a dinner to mark leaving SA.

    Attached Files:

  14. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Since other people seem to be holding back a little I thought I should show one more example from my own collection. Must say however that I am about to run out of "top items".

    This time I believe my item is in the categorie "one of a kind". It is a bogus map used for training before D-day, showing fake town names, of NAN-sector, Juno Beach:
    - ALBA for Courseulles-Sur-Mer
    - ALMA for Bernieres-Sur-Mer
    - CAIRO for Saint-Obain-Sur-Mer
    - ADEN for Reviers
    - LISBON for Tailleville

    On the back there is a legend to items indicated such as mines, A/TK wall, M.G., strong point, etc.

    The actual map measures 38.5 by 32.5 cm is in bad condition and much faded. I think it also has been wet at some stage, so I like to think it may well have been there during D-Day. I also think there may have been red areas and words on it, which have completely gone. I have scanned it (in 6 pieces) and had to enhance colors to make it a little more legible (the top right part has come out a bit more yellowish I am afraid).

    Below I have shown the bogus map together with the same area taken from Google maps (thumbnail). Many features can still be recognized.

    Juno Beach - NAN Sector.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  15. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Anyone out there wanting to share his favorite item with fellow enthusiasts? Please look at post no. 1 for the idea behind this thread.

    Hoping for some interesting additions!
  16. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    Mine is my grandads hand written notes & sketches he made whilst obviously training to be a storesman in the RAOC before getting posted to an Ordnance Beach Detachment.

    30 odd pages of notes written on the back of returns forms like the examples below, including things like ammo markings & colour coding, number of boxes you can get on a 3-ton truck etc Eric Taylor 10590069 - RAOC Notes - 000.jpg Eric Taylor 10590069 - RAOC Notes - 009.jpg Eric Taylor 10590069 - RAOC Notes - 018.jpg Eric Taylor 10590069 - RAOC Notes - 012.jpg Eric Taylor 10590069 - RAOC Notes - 025.jpg
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  17. kopite

    kopite Member

    I don't have too much WW2 stuff besides my book collection. But my most prized possession is my copy of Major-General John Frost's autobiography "A Drop Too Many" signed by the great man himself. I bought it used on Amazon and when I opened the book cover I was delighted to find his signature on the inside.

    IMG_0860.JPG IMG_0857.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  18. Marcus H

    Marcus H Member

    78FB133D-E31A-4C28-8D37-37CA65DFCCCC.jpeg 9829C569-E0BB-4F9A-A67F-6FB727903EB3.jpeg
    I’ve essentially chosen these two items based on the thread criteria - it’s a hard task to choose one or more favourites.

    However, it is my sincere privilege to be the custodian of these said coloured field service caps.

    Ian Gillet Carmichael, OBE, was a former major in the 22nd Dragoons and a well-known actor post-war, too. They were kindly donated to a collector in 1991, who was to later publish a book on the six War Raised Cavalry Regiments.

    These caps only came into my possession earlier this year (2017), to which I feel most humbly fortunate; being an avid collector to these ‘wartime only’ units.

    On the 12th September, 1940, Trooper Ian Carmichael, joined the Royal Armoured Corps. He was issued the red side cap and badge upon attending the 51st Training Regiment, RAC, Catterick in Yorkshire.

    Thereafter, he spent a duration at the Royal Military College Sandhurst, where he was to be subsequently commissioned into the 22nd Dragoons in March 1941.


    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  19. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    This, because she's reminded people about ww2 in a living, visual sense in France , Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany , The Netherlands and the Czech Republic

    Attached Files:

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  20. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    One more. Special to me because it took me 25 years to get them all together: 2nd Army, from 43rd Wessex in 1991 to 31st Tank Brigade in 2016...

    2nd Army grouping - 02a.jpg

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