Everyone on this website has been so helpful, I cant thank you enough. Yesterday I had the little violin in my hand and then within 24 hours I am emailing the person who just might be a descendant of it's maker which is just so amazing!
I will of course keep you posted as to how I get on and wouldn't it be amazing if I could send it back to the family? Is it possible to find out where the Van Der Merwes were held as prisoners as I am assuming that it was my great grandfather who guarded them? I hope he was given the violin and didn't just take it!
David, I see you are from Dorset. I don't suppose you can help me with something else?! I have two medals belonging to a Lteut HBM Mansel-Pleydell from 1882, but once again I have no idea why they have ended up with the Joicey family [my maiden name] in Northumberland! I googled the name and I think he was from Dorset ,died on 22/2/1886 and was a Royal Fusilier. I found a Mansel-Pleydell Trust and so have emailed the secretary, but as yet have heard nothing back.
Just a long shot, but being interested in military history and coming from Dorset I thought you might be able to solve another mystery.
I'm sorry, it's me again! I have found another medal ...... the last one, other than my Father's medals I think! Why I'm emailing you yet again is that it is almost identical to the one you have in your photo - Black and white ribbon, black cross with a crown at the top, 1914 at the bottom and W in the middle. Unlike the violin and the other medals, I have no name attached to it, only a red leather box. Any ideas as to what it is?
Ok I'll leave you in peace now and I won't turn out any more cupboards, but would love to hear if you know what it is.
Thank you again,