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Help me Identify Great Grandpas WWI Paraphernalia?


DanielW
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Hi, I am new here. Recently moved my 96 year old grandma into a senior community. While I was packing some of her stuff I came across a couple old wooden boxed of WWI stuff that belonged to my Great Grandfather Harry. Most of it was easily identifiable, but these things I don't know what they are. I was hoping maybe someone here could tell me what they are. I took them to a Military show this weekend. Right as I was paying to get in I had a couple people coming up offering to buy these two Items for $500, but neither guy would tell me what they were after I said I wasn't there to sell them. Maybe you can help. There is a belt buckle. I was told is "Imperial"? and the other item a person said was a watch fob he thought? Those were the guesses from another person at the show that wasn't trying to buy them from me.

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The "watch fob" hat opens up and has little circles of paper you can see through the plastic window. Then the coin is on the other end of the chain. Curious if anyone has ever seen one of these before? My internet search turned up nothing. Also in the boxes were a bunch of 1700-1880s German and French coins. A couple of Springfield rifle tools, stripper clips of ammo and blank ammo, couple trench art shells and a speeding ticket from 1919! Interesting stuff to me at least. There isn't anyone in the family that knows any history on these items. If you can tell me what they are I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks, Dan

Maybe tomorrow I'll take some pics of the other stuff if You're interested.

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Hello, Daniel - The buckle is an ersatz steel Hessian buckle, manufactured in 1915 or later. It's a rare piece, scarcer than the Prussian, Bavarian, and Wurttemberg buckles. I don't know what the other pieces are. Regards, Torrey

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Thanks Torrey! I'll have to google that. I thought the Hessians fought against us in the revolutionary war! I will have to learn more about them. Funny you knew what the buckle was and not the other part. It seemed like the guys trying to buy the stuff from me were much more interested in the fob. Maybe they were trying to fool me, or maybe I was a fool and the buckle and fob are only worth $5! Appreciate the info.

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Those Hessians got around... :ph34r: And that buckle is certainly a very nice thing to have!

The armband looks like the kind of thing a man would wear when organising various soldiers as in, e.g., when disembarking from a ship. It looks to read the 130th Infantry Regiment, AEF. According to Wiki, an Illinois unit that saw service in World War I on the Somme, the Meuse-Argonne region, in Lorraine and Picardy (the latter two both in 1918). Can you do a photograph of this showing all the writing on it?

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Thanks Trajan.

All the armband says other than what is pictured is his name Harry Draher Cok. 130 Inf. A.E.F. France and July 4th 1918. Other side is blank. I thought because of the date it might have been from a parade or something. Illinois could be right. We're all from Indiana so not too far away. These items belonged to my step grandfather's father. Although he was of no blood relation he was the only grandfather I really knew and was one of my favorite people. I asked around the family nobody seems to know anything about his father or his service in WWI. A couple of the trench art shells are written to Ethel and have Argonne carved in them also. I would think your info is correct. There is a big Military show coming up close to me in a couple weeks. I think I will take the fob and some other stuff along and see if I can learn anything. I was planning on going to look for some accessories for the same grandpas 1941 Ford GP I am restoring.

Interesting to learn about these things. It was a box of stuff I never would have expected to find. My grandfather died 20yrs ago and grandma has moved a couple times. Glad they weren't lost or tossed along the way.

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130 Infantry was part of the 33rd Division largely made up of the Illinois National Guard but had troops from surrounding areas brought in.

I can probably provide you chapter and verse on the 130th if you are interested, I have done quite a bit of research on the various units and have amassed quite a bit of material.

I also work with the Illinois National Guard Museum at Camp Lincoln in Springfield IL so I have access to their library too (in fact this weekend we are doing a WWI event at the museum)

Appendix E in Vol II of F.L. Huidekoper's History of the 33rd Division is about 40 pages of very detailed description and documents relating to the 130th Infantry (p667-706) I have a copy of this and could probably scan it if you can't get hold if it.

The items mostly look like souvenirs picked up in France.

The July 4th 1918 date is actually quite interesting because this was when elements of the 33rd Division joined the Australians (under Monash) for the successful attack at HAMEL (although troops from the 130th were not involved in that 4 companies 2 each from the 131/132nd Infantry were involved in the attack.

At the time the 130th Infantry were training with the British Army (lots of places are mentioned in the accounts but between June 22nd and July 17th the 131 were in the vicinity of Ailly-Le Haute-Clocher, Villers-sous-Ailly and Bellancourt. The machine gun companies were at Brucamps.

Which county in Indiana did you relative come from - I have some honor rolls (which show men who served not just casualties)

Let me know if you have specific questions or would like me to scan some information for you.

Chris

(Springfield IL)

There is also a decent account of the 130th Infantry in "Illinois in the World War" it is written by John V Clinnin who was the Commander of the 130th during its time in France. It is about 40 pages and has several rosters of men who were killed/wounded and all officers and medal winners, A quick scan does not show your relative but I'll keep looking.

Edited by 4thGordons
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Those are some interesting items and cool that its named to your great-grandfather. The strap however looks to be part of the strap on the gas mask bag that may of been fashioned into some sort of a keepsake.

Thanks for sharing,

Mike

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