Wednesday, 6 March 2013
today I show you a mystery...
My fingers feel better but I still haven't tested them with knitting. It got to the point where I took some low dose Voltaren, a last resort indeed for me but they were very painful, more than an ache, a real pain. I've had arthritis for years and manage it fairly well most times. I live with it. But occasionally, like the bad hips last September and the hands recently, I have to call in the big guns. Provided I take the Voltaren after food I can manage three or four days of it. Taken even just before food, like minutes before, and I have an upset stomach all day.
I'll stop them today and see what happens. As the humidity lessens, the pain should ease too.
I opened a few other boxes which had silver teaspoon, egg spoons or dessert spoons. I knew all about those. The came the surprise. I opened a similar box but it was embossed on the outside with RRC and 2nd. It came from Garrards in London which is apparently the oldest jeweller in the world, opening in 1735 although it had traded before that. Their website is beautiful with a heritage section which looks like a historian's delight.
The words Red Cross refer to the colour of the award and not to the organisation of the same name, although some members have been awarded this. Here's picture of the obverse of the cross. Moving past the slipshod stitching of the award to the ribbon, the words Faith, Hope and Charity can be seen. Clicking on picture will enlarge it. Also there is the head of George V and it was this which threw me when I was originally searching. He was crowned in 1911 but the date shows as 1883 and I could not reconcile this.
More to the point...whose was it? Not only had I not seen it at all before but I can not remember hearing anything about it or any recipient. I still think it's from my side of the family as it was with other boxes from there, but who was given this?
I did not have the faintest idea where to start. I could find information about the award, but not recipients. In the end I asked on a Ravelry forum whose members have shown exceptional skills in sleuthing in another area. I was given several links and found myself searching the British National Archive at Kew online. This took ages as the sort function did not work well and I worked my way through forty pages of awards of this cross. I made a note of all Australian recipients. This was going to be a long search, a needle in a haystack.
However, a couple of days ago I saw another forum was discussing Guiding history and winter camping. I was not a Guide but knew an elderly woman who had been assoicated with guiding all her life. In her 80s, she still camped eevry winter at Mt Canobolas at Orange, NSW where it often snowed. She was made a member of the Order of the British Empire for her service to Guiding. While I was searching for her, I found a link to a site which details all women Australian recipients of all Imperial Honours. Pure gold to me. If you are interested in this type of thing, there are lists of recipients of all honours, not just this one.
I now have the problem of the name. As I said, I had heard nothing of this ever. Back in the Great War 1914-18, I doubt married women would have been serving. I've looked up some history of regimental sites and this confirms that. So I need to look for a maiden name. I realise now that I hadn't heard anything of this from husband's side of the family either. So I'm at an impasse. I'm waiting for my sister to hunt through the family history published for mum's family. I will retrieve that for dad's side from my son. I've emailed two people with a thorough knowledge of my ex-husband's family going well back into nineteenth century although I think it's from my family. No names in the list stand out to me. If it does turn out to belong to their father's side, I'll give it to my sons.
A mystery indeed.