Thursday, 6 November 2014

WW1 Dugout Has New Owner....Poignant Story & So Very Apt!

Followers of KT Miniatures and the Nostalgia In Miniature Workshop website, plus readers of  the Dolls House & Miniatures Scene Magazine, will be familiar with our now much travelled WW1 Dugout, Trench & Poppy Field Scene. When I say "our"...I mean of course my workshop colleague Robin Britton and myself. 

However, we are delighted to announce that a lady from Hertfordshire (UK) offered an amazing £400 for the purchase of this little scene, which was well in excess of what was being asked and needless to say the offer was accepted! Readers of the magazine may remember that the little WW1 project was featured as a "how to make" project over three months. Plus it has been on display  at Thame Museum as part of their WW1 Centenary Exhibition and at Miniatura in Birmingham. from today it is in the window of the Oxfam Bookshop in Thame High Street for Armistice Day and will then embark on its final journey to the new owner.  Actually, over the past few months, both Robin and I have been receiving some wonderful emails from various people all over the world with regards to this project, and we are looking forward very much to seeing some of those finished miniature dugouts that many of you are creating!

New Beginnings....
This little scene will be going to its new home very shortly...and the new owner has a wonderful  poignant story to tell. Although she would like to remain anonymous, she has generously allowed us to share her story and given us permission to use the amazing photo of her grandfather, seen below.

The lady in question said that she had greatly admired our WW1 scene along with the accompanying video on our workshop website (which we have featured once more further down this posting), and had felt that it was so evocative of those awful times. She then went on to tell a fascinating story about how a few years ago, her family inherited some letters from her grandfather that had been kept safe in his old farm ever since WW1 by his niece, who is now a grand 91 years old!  He was one of two brothers in the French Army, and they both looked out for each other during the war.
Her grandfather, seen in the fascinating photo above, was an engineer so his letters  were quite detailed about the villages, the landscapes and the different movements of troops at that time. Being  a photographer too, he was sent out as a scout at night to survey the paths to be used by the canons the next day.  He was also in charge of "communications",  a glamorous word for carrying around everywhere a wind-up telephone, and was quite a character by all accounts! Both brothers survived the war itself, but her grandfather's brother sadly was gassed during the conflict and suffered badly until his death in 1951. Her grandfather died in 1936, in a motorbike accident.

As a final footnote to this story.....the lady's brother organised an exhibition in the little town where her grandfather lived - just west of Paris, earlier in 2014 as part of the WW1 Centenary  commemorations. The exhibition followed the  destiny of four soldiers from the same area, including photos, medals etc. and an itinerary was created following the first four days of the war in 1914 in Belgium, based on her grandfather's letters.
To experience the full impact of this video, we recommend you turn your speakers on and view in full screen. 

Both Robin and I feel very privileged that this little scene now belongs to the family of such a brave man.  We are also thrilled to have been able to forward a cheque for £200 to the Royal British Legion, as it was always our intention to donate 50% of all proceeds to the charity in support of their important work. For more information about this little scene, please go to:


Susan@minicrochetmad said...

How perfect that the Dugout should find such a great home! It will help keep history alive and real.

KT Miniatures said...

Thanks Susan. Both Robin and I had become quite attached to this little project but are very happy that it most definitely is going on to a very deserving home. Celia

My Wee Life said...

It sounds like it's going to a worthy owner who will cherish it and what a lovely story - very touching

12Create said...

It is wonderful that this miniature scene captured the imagination of this lady and she has shared her family history with you and you in turn have shared it with us. What a wonderful trail of communication. How wonderful that her grandfather's letters were kept safe for all of those years.

KT Miniatures said...

Hi My Wee Life. It is a lovely story isn't it...I think the photo of the lady's grandfather too is quite something. Celia

KT Miniatures said...

Hi 12 Create. It is amazing the niece kept the letters and documents safe for almost 100 years. And yes, it is so nice that the lady has shared her family history with us...we are chuffed to bits.

Both my grandfathers fought in WW1 and although both survived, we know very little about their experiences, other than my paternal grandfather was captured at the Battle of Loos in 1915. Neither spoke much about that time in their must have been utterly horrific. Celia