SMHS meeting: Show and Tell

21 Dec 2016

Show and tell meetings are an opportunity for our members to bring in items of interest from their own collections and tell the group something about the item. We didn't realise that our December show and tell meeting would turn into a three course meal!


Neil Iosson had spent the day baking ration biscuits. His first offering was a hardtack biscuit, produced since the American Civil War from flour, water and salt, it has a shelf life of about 50 years and is often dunked into liquid to soften it up. His second offering was the Army No.4 biscuit, produced by Reading-based Huntley and Palmers during the First World War, this biscuit was hard but could be crumbled into a stew and was excellent sustenance without being perishable. Neil's final biscuit was the Anzac biscuit. This contained golden syrup and rolled oats and was very palatable and is still sold today. It was often baked and sold for fundraising or sent by loved ones to servicemen in WW2.

Nick had with him a Ghurkha knife (Kukri) and members discussed the purpose of two small additional blades, which may have been sharpening knives.

Ed gave us a slide show preview of his next talk, The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. Following independence in 1947, there was a territorial dispute over Kashmir. Ed introduced us to some of the pilots who were revered for their efforts in this short conflict.

Graham brought pictures painted by his relative, Philip Jakes who was a commercial artist before WW2 and then served in the Western desert with 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars in 1942, also a collection of R.E.M.E. cap badges, showing how this has evolved since establishment on 1st October 1942.

Adrian's grandfather, Alfred Hills didn't talk much about his service in the artillery in WW1, but Adrian had found two large shell casings on top of his grandfather's wardrobe and the members were keen to assist Adrian in establishing their provenance and thereby more about his grandfather's military service.

Rob had a film of Ringmer Home Guard training. This unique collection of clips showed gas mask drill, musketry, signalling and bomb throwing and the unit was apparently based at Ringmer Village Hall which featured in some of the clips.

Clive brought along a napkin ring his mother had engraved for his father showing all the naval vessels on which he had served and each theatre of war that he had participated in.

Jill had an ARP bell, from Croydon Borough Council and Gary a Japanese NCO sword.

Malcolm had interesting Napoleonic coins, one minted with Napoleon as consular which enabled him to date it more accurately.

Margaret and Nigel brought more ordnance, a heavy shard of mortar probably dating from the 1640s sieges of Basing House, Hampshire in the English Civil War.

David is January's speaker and gave us a brief prelude to his talk with some shots of WW2 Balsdean and the Woodingdean area.

Gary Baines (Friends of Shoreham Fort) showed a walk-through video of the projected reconstruction of the barrack block, the plans for the fort are ambitious and Gary continues to drive this forward seeking as ever, willing volunteers, details can be found on the Friends of Shoreham Fort website.

Our Chairman, Simon Bellamy brought the evening to a close after the raffle, funds from which are underway to The Children's Brain Tumour Foundation, Sussex Cancer Fund and Water Aid, in memory of two wonderful gentlemen, members John Colbourne and Eric Geall, both of whom passed away this year.

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Next meeting     [More]

Wednesday 18 Oct 2017

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965: Thunder Over Kashmir

7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

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