Hello again and happy Monday to you all! It's been another busy week here at Source Vintage HQ and I have found yet another exciting item which I just had to share with you. It's both exciting and rather emotional actually, and this is why I love my job. Antiques are pieces of history and each item holds its own story. Who's owned the item? What has it seen...? They really do bring history to life.
This week it was two pieces of World War 2 Memorabilia that I found. Two children's Air Raid Identity Bracelets. I've never seen one, let alone two, and I'm on a mission to reunite them with their respective families. This is where I need your help!
So, you know what to do by now. Kettle on, proper brew, feet up and let me tell you about another very special find...
During the Second World War, many children living in big cities and towns were moved temporarily from their homes to places considered safer, usually out in the countryside. The British evacuation began on Friday 1st September 1939. It was called 'Operation Pied Piper'.
Between 1939 - 1945 there were three major evacuations in preparation of the German Luftwaffe bombing Britain.
- The first official evacuations began on September 1 1939, two days before the declaration of war. By January 1940 almost 60% had returned to their homes.
- A second evacuation effort was started after the Germans had taken over most of France. From June 13 to June 18, 1940, around 100,000 children were evacuated (in many cases re-evacuated). When the Blitz began on 7 September 1940, children who had returned home or had not been evacuated were evacuated. By the end of 1941, city centres, especially London, became safer.
- From June 1944, the Germans attacked again by firing V1 rockets on Britain, followed later by also V2 rockets. 1,000,000 women, children, elderly and disabled people were evacuated from London. This new way of attacking Britain carried on until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945.
However, not everyone could bear to see their children evacuated. The Government stated that if children were not evacuated, they had to wear an identity bracelet. This was so that if a child got lost or killed, or their Mother or Father were killed or injured in the bombings, then somebody could identify the child from their bracelet. And it's two examples of these identity bracelets that I have managed to find...
The oval tag is on elastic and is engraved 'Mollie Hercock, 63 Pretoria Rd, Romford, DCHA/H2 3'. The clasp has a Greek key motif.
The oblong tag is stamped Sterling Silver on the back and reads Tom SHK 210 Cheshire Street, Bethnal Green E2.
I've not seen one of these before, let alone two! I'm very excited and ideally, I would love to reunite them with their respective families. I will continue to do some research and a bit of digging around the names and addresses to see if I can track the families down. So, I ask of you, please share, share and share. If anybody knows anything about either 'Mollie Hercock of 63 Pretoria Rd, Romford' or 'Tom SHK 210 Cheshire Street, Bethnal Green', please do get in touch!
Anyway, that's it for this week folks. I hope you've enjoyed these finds and that together, we can get them back to where they should be.
So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!
Owner Source Vintage
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