I still, to this day, bear a disturbingly strong grudge against my parents (as a then 11 year-old) saying that my late 19th C. sea-chest of lead soldiers (saw a lesser collection sell for over GBP1,000 last year) was too heavy to ship out to NZ - and that my WW2 RAF flying helmet found in a field in south England was included in that decree.
What galls me even more, to the point of annoyance, is that 50 years later my feeble brain can’t even recall the name written inside said flying helmet (in blue ink on the inside of the earcup that I vowed never to forget, as we packed everything else) only that it still had the cracked Mk8 goggles and O2 mask attached… I would give almost anything to meet the N.O.K. today and say a personal and very heart-felt “Thank you!”.
As kids, I remember our ‘gang’ trying to drag a Heinkel prop spinner out of the woods (Maybe 1.5m x 1m in size) to our hut - The war was still real to us being only 20 years ago. We even had a complete Hurricane MkIV fuselage and wings stacked under a tarp against a field hedge nearby, which we used to play in! A German prop spinner was an extremely valuable and highly-prized trophy (every kid had BoB cartridge cases!..Yawn) - Our spinner endeavour was foiled only by the humble Allied blackberry and pre-pubescent kids lack of “Ya big Jessie!” . Looking back via Google Earth, that site is now under a well-established housing estate, and I often wonder who ended up with the spinner…or did it just get melted down as scrap?
What finds have others had, that were treated as commonplace back in ‘the day’ but you would love to have a second chance at holding/ changing the course of events?
(In severe Nostalgia Mode)
Vergiss nicht die Vergangenheit