E18 Physical Thing

The Link: POW Souvenir Magazine

This ‘souvenir book’ is the work of British prisoners of war interned at Döberitz near Berlin. Download and/or read it via the link on this page.

Although dedicated to ‘our friends and benefactors’, the book’s anecdotes and cartoons of camp life and in-jokes about living conditions and well-known characters in the closed world of Döberitz suggest that its true audience was the internees themselves.

Locket Photographs

An interesting find in the museum collection...What appears to be a collection of 21 locket sized photographs of women in seductive poses (nothing too seductive). The label on the acid free paper packet they were found in simply reads 'WW1 models.' 

One imagines a lonely soldier buying a photograph from this collection in order to have somebody to pine over whilst abroad.

Hewlett and Blondeau - Luton's first aircraft factory

[As printed in the Luton News, January 3, 1957]
When the President of the Royal Aeronautical Society came to Luton to speak at the Luton branch’s annual dinner, he searched local and aviation records for some Luton aeronautical history. Luton News reporter Colin Cross began investigating, and with the help of Borough Librarian Mr F.M. Gardner and the secretary of the Luton branch of the society, he unearthed a forgotten chapter of yesteryear - the story of a gallant pioneering couple and a factory.

Pocket Bible Ernest Groom

This bible belonged to Ernest Groom, who was tragically killed in the opening days of the Battle of the Somme, as part of the 2nd Battallion Bedfordshire Regiment, during the attack on Trones Wood.

The bible was picked up from the battlefield by an unknown German officer, and returned to Ernest Groom's mother by a later British serviceman. One can only speculate about the actions that lead to the bible having such a journey.


The letter accompanying the bible on its journey home reads:-


Dear Mrs Groom.

Stockwood House

Stockwood has many historical associations. The land was once owned by the Rotheram family, but in 1708 the estate was purchased by Richard Crawley.

Stockwood House was completed in 1740 at a cost of £60,000 by John Crawley. The estate included walled gardens supplying fruit and vegetables for the house, as well as wonderful roses. Stockwood was the home of the Crawley family until 1940 when the house became a hospital.

During the First World War, the house was the home of North Midland Divisional Veterinary Hospital, plus Mobile Veterinary Sections 911 - 1041.

Photograph Album from Lutonian

This album has been donated to the WW1 Project by a Lutonian of many years standing, and shows members of her family, including her mother, father (Ernest Charles Mills, seen above) and uncles; who lived through the Great War years.

There are WW1 postcards, and some amusing photographs of soldiers in costume within the album, clearly having fun despite the horrors of war.

The small sketch inside this album, showing men cooking, is by Ernest Mills and is contemporary with his time in the trenches. The album also contains photographs from WW2.

YMCA Guestbook from Biscot Camp Closing Day

Biscot Camp, the large Royal Field Artillery Camp located on Biscot Road, closed in November 1919.

This guestbook contains the final fond farewells of soldiers to both the hut, where they had spent many happy hours relaxing, and Mr. and Mrs. Crichton who ran the hut so successfully.

The YMCA Hut was a place where soldiers could relax, drink tea/coffee and play games. The hut also hosted many evenings of entertainment for the soldiers who were training/working at the base.

William Owen Postcard Collection

Complete Postcard album of Driver William Edward Owen. A fantastic resource containing roughly 90 postcards, offering a wonderful insight into the life of a soldier during WWI.

These postcards have not yet been transcribed so, visitors to the site are welcome to register, and use the comments section below this entry to add their transcriptions of the written content on these postcards.

The postcards vary in style from embroidery to printed media, and simple message cards.


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