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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Woodbine Willies wristwatch


syjim

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Hi All,This is my first post so Please forgive me if I have put it in the wrong place.

I am looking for advice and opinions on my wristwatch,its a WW1 trench watch with an engraving on the back that reads "Rev GA Studdert Kennedy from G. V."

I found out today That Kennedy was in fact "woodbine Willie" the Priest that went into the trenches to give the soldiers comfort and fags.He was awarded the Military cross and became chaplain to George the fifth who is the G. V. on the inscription.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim

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Well I would think it may well be George V that presented the watch further research may well proove just that

Dan

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Well I would think it may well be George V that presented the watch further research may well proove just that

Dan

Thanks Dan,

Any ideas where I could obtain any information?

Jim

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  • 7 months later...

A watch very, very similar to Woodbine Willie's is pictured below. This was found by a friend on a walking trip to the Somme last month; it was at the side of a track in a hollow after a very heavy downpour had maybe washed it to the surface. There are no owner's details apparent, but there is a manufacturer's reference number on the inside of the back cover.

It had presumably been there since 1916 or so.

Mike

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Hi Jim

What is the silver date on the case inside?

It has had its hands replaced and also the winder.

It also would once of had luminous filled numbers and hands.

Also they came with leather wrist straps.

Nice watch

JP

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It does seem that the recently discovered battlefield wristwatch is a twin to that of Woodbine Willie; a photo of the inside cover adjacent ot the hinge showing what is presumably a manufacturer's reference follows, and I wonder if a similar marking is on the presentation watch.

MC

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Guys,Thank you for all the comments,sorry it took so long for me to reply,the watch has been at the watch shop being serviced for a while now and I had forgotten all about it.

I have found out that the movement is by Stauffer and sons,a good quality firm.

The case(from memory) is dated 1920(maybe a year or two out,it's still at the menders so can't check).It does tie in with the date that Kennedy was made chaplain to the King bearing in mind the watch was probably in stock at Dents for a while.

It was retailed by Dents who at that time had the "Royal Appointment" for suppying watches to the monarchy so that ties in nicely.

I have been in touch with the Army Chaplains museum and they have been helpful but didn't know of the watches existence which is not surprising.

Imperial war museum didn't want to know and I just got an automated reply to my email,I think if I could speak to the right person they would be interested.

To answer Old Teds question of how I came by it,I collect old watches and was offered a job lot of unclaimed watchmakers repair watches for a very small sum.Several of the watches (including this one)had labels dating from the 60's listing what was wrong with them and what repairs were carried out.I googled Studdert Kennedy and here I am!

From the small amount of research I have done,Kennedy was a very generous soul who would give away the shirt off his back to someone who needed it,material possessions meant very little to him.Perhaps he met someone one day who needed a watch?

I would still appreciate any comments,opinions or info.

Thanks,

Jim

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Forgot to add,I have some great pictures of the watch now but they are unfortunately too large to upload here,about 2 meg each.

Happy to email them to anyone interested.

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Forgot to add,I have some great pictures of the watch now but they are unfortunately too large to upload here,about 2 meg each.

Happy to email them to anyone interested.

Is it tickin?

Is it tickin?

or turkey

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Is it tickin?

or turkey

Not sure what "turkey" is but the watch is still in working order.

Also,if you go to the Dent watch website you can see that they recognise that a watch was presented to Woodbine Willie by George V.(check the changing text at the top of the homepage)

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Not sure what "turkey" is but the watch is still in working order.

Also,if you go to the Dent watch website you can see that they recognise that a watch was presented to Woodbine Willie by George V.(check the changing text at the top of the homepage)

Turkey means that it's not tickin! How much are you looking for?

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Forgot to add,I have some great pictures of the watch now but they are unfortunately too large to upload here,about 2 meg each.

Happy to email them to anyone interested.

Use the Photobucket site (which will automatically re-size the pics for you) and a link from there to here

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