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Remembered Today:

Essex Regiment "silks"


stephen p nunn
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Just been given these Essex Regiment "silks". Any information about them would be gratefully received.

I think they belonged to a Maldon man - George Ward.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

ersilks.jpg

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These were often produced by soldiers whilst they were in hospital on long term recovery.

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1 minute ago, Gunner Bailey said:

These were often produced by soldiers whilst they were in hospital on long term recovery.

Thanks Gunner Bailey. From the same family is:

WARD, ERNEST JAMES

Private (251230 and 4056) Essex Regiment (Territorials) (1st /5th Battalion)

Lived in Maldon. Youngest son (two of his brothers also served) of the late Mr. George Ward and Mrs. Ward of 106 Wantz Road, Maldon. Enlisted at Chelmsford. [A] [M] [T2]

Died 26/3/1917 (aged 23)

Gaza War Cemetery (X.D.6)

Killed in action.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

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I think the "George" of these silks is George Arthur Ward (born Maldon 1891). I can't yet connect him with the Essex Regiment, but the fact that "two brothers also served" and given his age, I think this highly likely.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

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Looks like 1/4, 1/5, 1/6 and 1/7 and 2/7 Essex Regiment would have been in Egypt in 1918.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

 

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It’s absolutely true what Gunner Bailey says and there have been some detailed threads in the past talking of origins of the practice going back as far as the Crimean War.  However, less complex examples (capable of being crafted quickly) were also made up by native craftsmen and craftswomen in bazaars and souks, which is what I believe is the case with the examples you have.  The “souvenir” wording and duplication of matching examples for different members of the family is circumstantial evidence.  Soldiers given local passes to spend a few hours down in the souk would often purchase souvenirs for sweethearts and family loved ones.  Britain had a garrison in Egypt since Victorian times and merchants were well used to what British soldiers liked to purchase.  Apparently for a simple cap badge design in chain-stitch on coloured silk backing a soldier could place an order upon his arrival and then come back to collect his purchase after a 2-hour wander. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you Frogsmile. Fascinating.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon)

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1 hour ago, stephen p nunn said:

Thank you Frogsmile. Fascinating.

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon)

It was widespread across the Empire.  Decades later I was still able to purchase almost identical styles in Singapore, Hong Kong and even Cyprus.  In some ways it was astonishing that the practice spread so widely but of course the common denominator was the customer.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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2 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

It was widespread across the Empire.  Decades later I was still able to purchase almost identical styles in Singapore, Hong Kong and even Cyprus.  In some ways it was astonishing that the practice spread so widely but of course the common denominator was the customer.

Yes, I think I recall similar items in Malta in the 1970s?

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

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Just now, stephen p nunn said:

Yes, I think I recall similar items in Malta in the 1970s?

Regards.

Stephen (Maldon).

Yes, I’ve no doubt of it.

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George (no second name or initial) was 4057/251231, therefore also 1/5th bn as you might expect.  Sequential number to his brother and they will have enlisted together. George made it to dizzy height of a/WO2. Bwm and vm only so overseas after 1915, same as his brother.

Regards

 

Ian

Edited by eyman
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12 hours ago, eyman said:

George (no second name or initial) was 4057/251231, therefore also 1/5th bn as you might expect.  Sequential number to his brother and they will have enlisted together. George made it to dizzy height of a/WO2. Bwm and vm only so overseas after 1915, same as his brother.

Regards

 

Ian

That's really helpful Ian - thank you.

Stephen (Maldon).

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