First and Second World War medals

These medals belonged to my grandfather and great grandfather. The smaller ones are from the First World War, and the larger ones are from the Second. My great grandfather Felix was a musical hero, he wrote ‘Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag’ for the soldiers of WWI. He sang them through the battles in the trenches of France, keeping their hearts and spirits alive. My grandfather Harley was an RAF officer involved in installing radar systems across England to protect us from German bombers. When the war was over he was part of the Berlin airlift giving food and supplies to starving German citizens.

He was also a brilliant theatrical actor on the West End stage. Both Harley and Felix were brave and talented men. These medals remind me of my grandfathers living room, the carpet was red with roses all over it. The cabinets were filled with trinkets from all over the globe, but one cabinet was filled with things only from the war. They were always fun to play with, but when your young you never realise their real value. I never met Felix, and only shared my early years with Harley. I wish I could go back to that living room and listen to all the great stories he had to tell.

May Powell
Student at Central St Martins