Essentially it contained a whole bunch of bits from my grandfather's war. Some of which I had seen before, but much was entirely new.
I have to say I am not entirely sure what to do with them. He got them on the German Friesian island of Langeoog, on the 13th May 1945 a week after VE day.
According to his diary, "across to island of Langeoog in AM. An island still all in Boche hands. Saw Poles and prisoner of war camp."
He was the senior local officer with the military government and took the formal surrender of the island, which was commanded by a rather elderly Admiral. The sword and dirk above were this fellows.
What the diary doesn't say is what he told me about the day. The Germans were confined to barracks, their was a naval harbour, a luftwaffe airbase and the camp. The Poles in the camp were starving - it had been a work/concentration camp. As he walked upto the camp gates the noticed that they were all standing outside the gates, wraith like. The last few hundred feet, he and his small team of three were walking on petals which the inmates had spread upon the road.
I am of course honoured to have them now. But, like my stepmother, my darling wife does not want to give them house room which I understand. I cannot really take them into work. I somehow don't think that people would realise that what the represent is not support for the Nazism, far from it, but domination over and the destruction of that monstrous ideology.
So I cannot take them to the office, they are unwelcome at home but they are things I couldn't sell (I suspect they might even be illegal here in Belgium). What is more they are not mine to seel. They are my sons, I merely hold them. Any ideas?
Amongst the other bits and pieces is a splendid menu for the Bradford City Police post war dinner. The menu is magnificent.
Soup: HAM GOT
Fowl: AUSTRIAN EAGLE
Vegetables: MURPHYS BOILED, MURPHYS BAKED, WINDY MUSIC, NAY NAY BUTTERED
Sweets: WIZARD PUDDING and PRANG SAUCE
NAFFI WASH IRON RATIONS
WALLOP AD LIB and GASPERS
There are a few other things that I am going to have to follow up involving his time in 1944 in the small town of UDEN in North Brabant, but that will have to wait until after the New Year when offices are open again.