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A quite exceptional collection of 68 original photographs all mounted with corners on card and charting the service history of one Rolf Specht from his enlistment in December 1940 through to March 1941 while undergoing training with a signals regiment.
Possibly intended to be added to an album what makes the pages outstanding is the beautifully penned details added by Specht, clearly an accomplished Calligrapher, who has meticulously added the names of his colleagues along with locations and dates.
Most photographs measure 63mm x 50mm, the first page with a signed photo card of Specht alongside a machine embroidered breast eagle in silver wire of the type worn on the waffenrock.
Initial research shows that Specht was born in Bielefeld on 19/7/20 and killed in Clervaux Luxembourg on 15/1/45.He is buried at the Recogne German war cemetery a few miles north of Bastogne which contains the graves of 6,807 German soldiers who died during the Second World War.
An interesting and truly beautiful collection.
An excellent unused example of a 1943 dated First Aid Outfit Aircraft measuring approximately 19cms by 16cms.
Completely free from damage and showing only light storage marks the inside of the closure flap shows the manufacture’s name and date below the Air Ministry Crown.
On the outside of the flap above the pack title are the Initials H.S. (Hydrographic Service) which indicates this outfit was destined for use by the Fleet Air Arm.
A very poignant grouping of items relating to Private Douglas Sivell 2nd Battalion Hampshire who died at Gallipoli on 31st August 1915.
These items were kept by his Mother in remembrance and were obtained directly from the family home in a house clearance in the early 1980's.
The grouping consist:
A Death Plaque in the name of Douglas Sivell.
A Victory Medal named 14482 Pte. D.Sivell 2nd Battn. Hampshire Regt.
An official letter transmitting Douglas Sivell's 14-15 Star medal to his Mother (late No.14482 Pte. D.Sivell 2nd Battn. Hampshire Regt.) Ribbon in poor condition and now in two halves.
A printed condolence note from Kitchener.
A hand written condolence letter to Douglas Sivell's Mother from a family friend + it's envelope.
Douglas Sivell's Mother's 1915 Registration Certificate.
A remembrance service notification card stating: "FOR KING AND COUNTRY, Douglas Sivell, Died of wounds Gallipoli Peninsular Dardanelles. August 31st 1915. Aged 35 Years."
A large head and shoulders photo (cut from album) of Douglas Sivell in Hampshire Regiment uniform.
A postcard size photo similar to the previous one but this time showing Douglas Sivell and comrade in Army encampment.
Douglas Sivell's last letter home to his Mother, written in pencil from the Gallipoli peninsula on the 1st August 1915.
I consider Douglas Sivell's last letter home to be the most poignant and important item in this grouping, it reads:
" Dear Mother,
Just a line to let you know I am alright at present. We have been having a bit of a rest from the trenches for a day or so, but are soon going back. Tom Gawn has come out with the last draft and he been posted to my platoon as lieutenant. We have been having it very hot out here and I expect we shall for the next month, everything is dried up out here and there is nothing but dust and sand everywhere we go. I have had a letter from Fred, also Art. I am glad to know you are better. I had a nice letter from Annie who tells me Bob is still in France, remember me to all Nell & Gwen especially. Tell Frank not to wear out the garden tools as I shall want a job somewhen. Hoping you and Dad and all good luck I must now close,
From Doug "
The "Tom Gawn" mentioned in Douglas Sivell's letter is: 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Gawn DCM Hampshire Regiment. He and Douglas Sivell knew each other well in civilian life, they were old school friends and were also neighbours.
At Gallipoli Thomas Gawn was Douglas Sivell's platoon officer, and so amongst other things he had the job of checking (and censoring if need be) Douglas Sivell's letters home. Consequently Thomas Gawn has added a note to the end of Douglas Sivell's letter as he was naturally on friendly terms with Douglas's Mother. The note added to Douglas's letter by 2nd Lt. Thomas Gawn reads:
" Please excuse the liberty. Please accept my kind regards for you & all the neighbours, hoping you are all quite well. Doug and I are A.1
Tommy Gawn "
Heartbreakingly just five days after writing that note Thomas Gawn himself was killed in action at Gallipoli (6th August 1915). Douglas Sivell joined him in this fate just three weeks later.
They are both commemorated together at Helles Memorial in Turkey.
I consider this grouping historically important as it fully illustrates one of the great tragedies most typical of the First World War, whereby friends enlisted, fought, and died together.
The 2nd Battn. Hampshire Regiment is one of those classic tragic British Gallipoli units which sustained such very heavy casualties.
There is a lot of of information about them online as well as several specific books, but too much to include here.
In brief, in early 1915, the battalion became part of the 88th Brigade, assigned to the 29th Division, which became one of the most significant British forces in the Gallipoli campaign. This battalion thus took part in the fatal landing at Cape Helles in April 1915 and then fought in the various Battles of Krithia.
At the end of the campaign in January 1916, the battalion was evacuated to Alexandria having suffered huge casualties from a catastrophic mixture of combat, disease, and terrible weather conditions.
This grouping is indisputably a museum worthy set.
A 1941 German Map of The World produced by the Berlin Lithograph Institute in 1:50,000,000 scale for Tornisterschrift des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht – Abteilung Inland – 1941 Nr. 33 and headed Gea – Weltkarte.
The Mercator projection map is in excellent undamaged folded condition with no stains or tears and no wear to the folds and measures 860mm x600mm
A good example of the Kriegsmarine Watch Officer’s duty badge (Dienst Abzeichen für Wachoffizier).Die stamped with a hollow backed alloy construction this badge retains much of the original finish and is without damage.
Measuring 65mm by 52mm the badge is impressive and normally seen in wear through the button hole on the left lapel of the reefer Jacket however this is the first I have seen with blades for attaching it to a brassard. The reverse of the badge is a mirror image of the obverse.
Generally when a ship was at sea three EM/NCO’s were assigned watch duty under the auspices of the Watch Officer. The Watch Officer was allotted a wide variety responsibilities including navigation and handling, log entries, and overseeing all general routine duties of the crew. He was required to remain on deck until relieved and was issued a Watch Officer’s Badge to be worn as identification while performing his duties. This badge was not an award but a sign of position and would be transferred from one Watch Officer to the next.
The introduction date is unknown but the lack of a swastika would appear to indicate it was carried over from the Reichsmarine era.
A quite beautiful example of German art, this hand carved plaque or plate is carved from a single piece of oak and is perhaps a presentation or commemorative piece for a veteran of the Legion Condor.
Measuring some 295mm in diameter the centre of the plate features a raised Coat of Arms of Spain under Franco's Regime (1939-1945) superbly executed and stained to reflect the correct colours.
The only damage to the plate shows well in the pictures and partially obscured the N and I of Spanien where a portion of the wood has been chipped away. Whilst I am told this could be restored such things, in my view, just add to the history.
An extremely attractive and quite possibly unique wall piece.
A good displayable example of a 1943 dated RAF other ranks Field Service cap.
The size 6 3/4 Cap appears unissued but does show some surface moth grazing on the upper right side which I have tried to show in the pictures. Made by Compton Sons and Webb .
A good example of a Deumer L/11 marked Iron Cross First Class in its’ original case bearing the name of Wilhelm Deumer K.G. Ludenscheid.
The Iron Cross is in very good condition but showing three very small marks where the corners has been caught during service use. These are only visible when viewing from the reverse side and really only with an eyeglass.
The case is in very good condition and it is the case which makes this piece particularly interesting, manufacturer named case being unusual.
An original World War II produced Poster "This is the Year! It's up to us to let 'EM Have It!" by the British painter and illustrator, Clive Uptton (1911-2006).
Depicting a British and commonwealth landing amid explosions in the air, at sea and on land with tanks being off-loaded from Navy transport ships, fighter planes battling overhead and soldiers landing on a beach from smaller landing boats all fighting their way up the sand dunes.
Issued by The Admiralty and printed by Field Sons & Co Ltd, Bradford for Her Majesty's Stationery Office. PDO1144 suggests as one would expect that this was produced after the D Day landings, perhaps in November 1944
Measuring 74 Cms x 99 cms the poster is printed on lithograph paper and is now in very good condition with the folds restores and the colours remaining bright.
Coinciding nicely with the 75th anniversary of the D Day Landings the Poster is now lightly attached to a card backing and whilst I would very much prefer collection to allow it to remain flat I will ship it rolled in a tube.
A good matched pair of dished brass Escape and Evasion magnetic compass Trouser Fly buttons.
Painted black these would have been taken from the RAF War Service Dress or Suits Aircrew Trousers and are in overall very good condition with some loss to the black paint from use.
When removed from the cloth the buttons are married together, the lower part having a small spike on which the upper button is placed, complete with luminous dots to point to magnetic north.
A basic but quite ingenious Escape and Evasion aid.
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