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Remembered Today:

War centenery boosts profit of heritage thieves


MikeyH
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An article in today's 'Times' warns that 'armed with state-of-the-art metal detectors, diving equipment and explosives, thieves are plundering historic sites around Britain and its coastal waters to cash in on the centenary of the First World War. Increased interest in historic artefacts and shipwrecks, inspired by anniversaries, has brought a heightened risk of theft, leading to an unprecedented crackdown from heritage and maritime bodies'.

The article goes on to say that the value of artefacts has risen to coincide with key dates, such as the centenery of the First World War.

Has anyone any personal knowledge of being offered items from such sites? Or is the media just brewing up a storm in a teacup as usual?

Mike.

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It has always gone on, over the past 5 years or so look what is being sold on ebay a couple of chain links stating they came from a wrecked tank. 70 quid. Someone has to feed the collector of dross. That being said I did sell 5 shrapnel balls for £15.

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Going back to my original post, saw an item, 4 off No. 80 British 'wreck recovered' shell time fuses on ebay the other day for an eyewatering £225.00 on a 'buy now' basis. You can normally pick these up for around £5 to £10 each. Very much doubt if there will be any takers at this price, but you never know!

Mike.

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I read in a contemporary account recently of someone going back to Hill 60 in the early 1920's and being amazed at the number of Belgian peasants combing the hill for relics to sell to 'cash in' on the visitor interest. I wish I could find the reference as it shows starkly that this is nothing new or unusual.

Just found it, it was Henry Williamson quoted in 'we will remember them' by Max Arthur.

"Hill 60 is one of the show places of the salient today. Every morning about a dozen peasants go there to dig. You see the 'souvenirs' they have dug up...bayonets,pickelhaube eagles, regimental badges, pistols, boots....tourists file past the melancholy little group of men and children standing, collecting box in hand."

Edited by ServiceRumDiluted
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