Dec. 15. A Christmas gift for 50 years

Image licensed as CC BY-SA by Dr Anthony D Barber
"... for over 50 years I sent him £1 every year to drink my health".
Those are the words of Lieutenant Vince, rendered in a newspaper article published on his 100th birthday. The recipient of the £1 was Walter James Barber, and he was also given a silver cigarette case with an inscription. It was this inscription that helped Walter's grandson trace the relatives of Lt Vince and learn more about the story behind the case and the annual Christmas gift of one pound.
In April 1918, Walter, Lt Vince and three others spent four days and four nights together retreating from the Ypres salient under what must surely have been horrendous circumstances. It is believed that it was Walter's good sense of direction that helped them find their way to safety. That the others were grateful can be assumed. An annual Christmas gift, given for over 50 years, bears witness of that.

To read the whole story, shared by Dr Anthony D Barber, please go to http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/contributions/3980.


This post is part of our Advent calendar. New stories are published every day from Dec 1 until Christmas.

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