King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

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Holdall circa 1840s.
KO0761/04


Love and War - Sweetheart Items in the Museum's Collection

As well as the medals, weapons and uniforms the museum's rich collections include some very personal items sent from a soldier to his loved one, his sweetheart, his girlfriend, his wife but also included some of those items given to sisters, children and mothers.

The collection of sweetheart items is dominated by badges and brooches, and silk or embroidered postcards sent home during the First World War, but there are also some other items, the oldest of which is known to date back to the 1840s!

 

This holdall, which is on permanent display in the King's Own Museum, dates from the 1840s and was probably made by a soldier's wife or sweetheart.  Pieces of fabric and sewn together and pockets could be used to keep small items safely.  The design includes two medals and love heart.  The holdall was the property of Private Vaughan, who was born in Worcester and enlisted into the regiment on 3rd January 1843 at the age of 20 years in Gloucester.  Charles Vaughan was discharged 'unfit for further service' in June 1853.
Accession Number KO0761/04


These two heart shaped pin cushions are typical of items produced by soldiers for their loved ones. Whilst many sweetheart items were purchased from canteens and shops pin cushions were often made by soldiers, especially those recovering from wounds in hospital.  The cushion on the left was sent home to his sister by Private Arthur Pipe, number 22360 of the 11th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.  Private Pipe was killed in action on 26th November 1917 and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverual, France. 
Accession Numbers: KO1264/01 and KO2490/215

bulletLove and War - introduction page
bulletLove and War - Sweetheart Badges, page one
bulletLove and War - Sweetheart Badges, page two
bulletLove and War - Sweetheart Badges, page three
bulletSweetheart Postcards Page One - to sweethearts (1)
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Two - to sweethearts (2)
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Three - to wives, mothers and daughters
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Four - birthdays, Christmas and New Year
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Five - Regimental and Divisional Cards
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Six - Patriotic Cards (1)
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Seven - Patriotic Cards (2)
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Eight - Patriotic Cards (3)
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Nine - French themes and towns
bullet Sweetheart Postcards Page Ten - a few more!

 

2009 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum