King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

Lancaster

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Mystery Item - Miniature wooden coffin

In March 2008 the museum acquired this small wooden coffin by purchase.  There was no history with the item.  It is about 15 cms long and is stamped on the inside '17590 HOLDING J 2ND BATT.'  The King's Own collar dog is fixed to the lid of the coffin.  It's purpose, symbolism and use since the First World War remain a mystery.

Research indicates that Number 17590 Acting Corporal James Holding was killed in action on 31st May 1917 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion in Macedonia.  He first went overseas to France on 2nd May 1915 with the 1st Battalion.  Corporal Holding is buried in Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece, he is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as the son of William and Elizabeth Holding and the husband of Mary Alice Holding of Brisbane, Australia, native of Adlington, Chorley, Lancashire.



Accession Number KO2718/01

 

2008 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum