Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Ownership


stripeyman
 Share

Recommended Posts

There seems a lively trade in items that are picked up or purchased on the old Western Front.

I have thought about this for decades and this Forum should provide some discussion.

Does legal title of the equipment still remain with the various countries ? Was it officialy gifted ?

In the case of say a bayonate, this would have been paid for by the British taxpayer of the day, it may be for sale by a

French or Belgium chap has he a 'right' to sell Crown property ?

Was there an agreement? If so who made it and when ?

Personaly I maintain that it is still our stuff, the case may be made that we should therefore deal with all our 'duds' that are

still turning up, which would no doubt prove a problem.

Bob Grundy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm.... interesting thought, but how far do we go back? The Romans, Normans etc. built lots of things in England, so perhaps we didn't own anything in the first place

:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good question Bob... slightly sidetracking I've got a few notes stashed away somewhere which relate to the post war clearances of 'scrap'. Most of the contractors were British which employed French labour...will post anything which may be relevant

I would echo what Ken has mentioned. Personally I don't really mind who sells the stuff providing a record is made of any personal effects and the relevant authorities informed of any such finds especially if there may be traces of human remains. I'll be keping an eye on this thread with an interest in it's development,

cheers, Jon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an interesting point but I think we need to adopt a pragmatic approach. Why would the British government wish to claim these articles? How would they establish ownership? How would they enforce reclamation? What would they do with it, once in their possession? How much would all that cost and would we taxpayers be prepared to pay for it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

i understand that Elainor of France's dowry was half of her country and that some may consider it once English having married an English king? How far do you go, i suggest finders keepers, much more simple.

Andy A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest KevinEndon

if you get stopped by French customs with a bag full of nose cones or other safe battlefield finds the French will take them off you, therefore it would appear that whatever country an item is found in belongs to that country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, i should have said Elainor of Aquitaine, but the point still stands

Andy A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And would the crown be responsible for all of their unexploded bombs they left laying around too? But a number of locked threads have already covered this aspect of salvage, so no need to run down that rabbbit hole again. I only make the point in that it is hard to seperate the different types of materials based on what sells best on ebay should be somehow reclaimed or regulated by an authority who happens to have been responisble for leaving it there in the first place.

I think all of this stuff was written off as salvage ages ago and are subject to the local laws, above and below ground often fall into different categories in many jurisdictions. Human remains are obviously a whole other thing and need to be handled respectfully and by the proper authorites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume that Technically it is Still Theft Of Govt Property.. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Confession time - some years ago I was walking down Mill Road towards the Ancre when I saw something sticking up out of the newly ploughed ground (the tractor was still working). I tugged, and found that I was clutching the front bit of a Lee-Enfield with half a bayonette still attached. I took it home with me. If the original owner can provide me with identifying details, I will return it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Confession time - some years ago I was walking down Mill Road towards the Ancre when I saw something sticking up out of the newly ploughed ground (the tractor was still working). I tugged, and found that I was clutching the front bit of a Lee-Enfield with half a bayonette still attached. I took it home with me. If the original owner can provide me with identifying details, I will return it.

That'll be mine!

My great uncle told me he'd left it around there somewhere. It should have his name and number on it. He was Pte 1916 L. Enfield.

Good old uncle Lee.

B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some time after WW2 a British officer discovered a typing error had dated his commission as being from 1044 (rather than 1944) so he put in a claim for the back pay (with interest). He received an answer pointing out that as the last survivor of Hastings he was responsible for the shortfall in returned arrows, mail, axes etc and would be surcharged for same - with interest this came to one pound more than his claimed back pay!

I've seen a spoof bill from the Roman Senate to Horatio claiming for fire damage to bridge, loss of armour (government issue) discarded in Tiber etc.

You can play all sorts of games with this idea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was the pointy half of the bayonet, I think it was mine. I have the other half still.

Tom, get a grip. How could the pointy bit of the bayonette be attached to the rifle without the hilt. Ye'er a sumph, so ye are.

I am seriously considering the claim of Mr Enfield.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was a secret weapon and I am bound by the impersonation of clergy act not to reveal details. I also have the other half of the rifle. The bit where the bullets did not come out of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Confession time - some years ago I was walking down Mill Road towards the Ancre when I saw something sticking up out of the newly ploughed ground (the tractor was still working). I tugged, and found that I was clutching the front bit of a Lee-Enfield with half a bayonette still attached. I took it home with me. If the original owner can provide me with identifying details, I will return it.

..and it was me shoutin' yer from the tractor to put it back :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the late Ken Small wanted to salvage an American tank lost in the sea off Slapton Sands during Operation Tiger (a rehearsal for D-Day), the US Government noted that it had "no knowledge that it has or ever had any right or title to the said object as described by Small ... but is willing to transfer to Small any right or title, if any, it had or ever had in consideration of payment of 50 dollars".

Moonraker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read Kens Book many years Ago "The Forgotten Dead"....Did he ever Pay the $50 ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, according to Ken's book, he signed a contract with the US Government on August 27, 1974; it was countersigned by an official on November 25 and returned to him once his cheque had cleared. Quite a bit of his book describes the initial indifference to his project, then the bureaucracy he had to go through, with Customs & Excise, the Receiver of Wrecks and so on.

Moonraker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...