Silver watch fob

I found this silver watch fob in my paternal grandmother’s button tin alongside random keys, army buttons and normal buttons.

silver watch fob.JPG

I think the design is fairly standard.


The reverse bears the following stamps:

lion passant guardan = certifying the silver

letter m = 1867

anchor – Birmingam

Makers mark = CES (possibly Charles Edward Soloman, Vyse Street, Birmingham)

I thought I had a photograph which possibly featured this watch fob but I can’t find it at the moment. The chain and watch it was attached to are unfortunately missing.

New project to put 40 million wartime British records online

British-owned online family history world leader DC Thomson Family History (who own findmypast) and The National Archives have today announced a joint project to make records of 40 million civilians held in the 1939 register available online. Once digitised, it is estimated that the collection will comprise almost 1.2 million scanned full-colour images of documents covering the entire civilian population of England & Wales at the outbreak of the Second World War.

The 1939 register was taken on 29 September 1939 by the British Government and recorded personal details of individuals in order to issue identity cards and ration books. It later formed the basis of the National Health Service’s records. When complete, the 1939 register will be fully searchable online for the first time, opening up the past to a new generation of family and social historians, just as the 1911 census did on its release in 2009.

The records contain the address, full name, date of birth, sex, marital status and occupation of individuals, as well as changes of name. Although the Register is literally within living memory for many people, information about living individuals will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been authenticated.

From today, anybody interested in being kept informed about the project can register at

Mary Gledhill, Commercial Director, at The National Archives, added: “The National Archives is delighted to be working with DC Thomson Family History to open up this unique record collection to the world, allowing history enthusiasts to discover more about the people at the outbreak of the Second World War. In the absence of a 1931 and 1941 census, this collection is all the more valuable to family historians trying to trace their ancestors.”

The Admiralty Badge

I love this little buttonhole brass badge, found amongst the buttons in my grandmother’s button tin. I have no idea who it belonged to.

On War Service 1914

On War Service badge.JPG

The Admiralty Badge was issued to war workers in shipyards during 1914. In 1916 Admiralty badges were numbered to control their issue amongst the numerous shipyard and related employers.

The 1914 On War Service badge was the first official badge issued during the First World War to identify non-combatant persons whose services were deemed necessary for war work. The badge was issued late 1914 to “workmen whose services are indispensable for the rapid completion of HM Ships and Armaments”.

The issue of this badge to individuals considered essential for war work was left to the shipyards and related employers and if the employee were to cease that employment, the badge had to be handed back.

I think the badge may have belonged to one of my paternal great grandfathers, either George James Benger, who worked in Naval Ordnance in Portsmouth, or Mansel Young who worked as a Dockyard Labourer also in Portsmouth, during the First World War.

Belgium 20 centimes coin

I have a very poor example of a Belgium 20 centimes coin, dated 1853.


The description reads: L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE with a crowned arms within a wreath.



Victorian threepence coin

This has been an interesting coin to research. I believe it is a Victorian threepence. Dating from 1896 it is features the “old head”, there were two previous versions – “young head” and a “Jubilee head”.


The reverse is inscribed VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP which means Victoria by the Grace of God, Queen of the British territories, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India.


And another coin

This is one of the easier coins to identify in my collection. Apologies for the poor photograph but it is also very worn.


This is a French 50 centimes coin dated 1892 and very common.