A fork of a british soldier in WWII

Matteo La Boccia

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vpnavy

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Sicuramente questa forchetta apparteneva ad un soldato britannico. E' stato ritrovato nella zona di Salerno dove gli inglesi sbarcarono nel settembre del 1943. Qualcuno riesce a trovare informazioni sul suo proprietario?
Many thanks!!!
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I translated (Italian to English): This fork certainly belonged to a British soldier. It was found in the Salerno area where the English landed in September 1943. Can anyone find information on its owner?
 

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invent4hir

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Would this get more exposure if moved to "What is it?"
 

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Robot

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Chow Matteo La Boccia

The company that manufactured this stainless steel fork is James Dixon & Son Ltd. out of Sheffield, UK.
The company was later absorbed into British Silverware Production Ltd. in 1984 and acquired by Chase Montague Group & Thesco Ltd. in 1993
The 'Broad Arrow' is the Govt issue mark with date 1939. It is usually associated with the military, but also appears on all government equipment, including the General Post Office and, of course, HM Prisons.
The numbers 2663029 could be a Military Unit Number or Dixon's purchase supply number?
Great relic to set at a dinner gala?
Fork Dixon Front.jpg
Fork Dixon Back.jpg
Fork Dixon Back.jpg
 

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sprailroad

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L/Cpl. H. Astin, Coldstream Guards? Well done...pepperj
 

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Matteo La Boccia

Matteo La Boccia

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Thanks to all for your help.
Searching on Coldstream Web Site I found the soldier with that number was Lance Corporal Astin Horace born
5 October 1908. He was captured at Medene 18 March 1943 and sent as POW in Stalag 344.

Do you are able to help me to found his relatives and some bio about this soldier? Do you have some idea as his fork can come here in Salerno? Please note that Coldstream Guards landed in Salerno at 9 septmber 1943.
 

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invent4hir

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All see slides below. The birth registration was found on Family Search at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2FVG-74L. If that is the right Horace Astin there is no family tree for him. I searched some more and discovered there was more than one man named Horace Astin from that area. Might help to look on Ancestry or another website for a family tree.
 

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invent4hir

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Per Fold3 which references UK, WWII, British Prisoners of War in Germany & Italy, 1939-1945 - he was imprisoned in Hospital 203 – from April till September, 1943. Per the National Archives (U.K) Hospital 203 was located in Bologna, Italy. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11604045

While this explains how the fork may have gotten to Italy - it doesn't answer how it got to Salerno...
 

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Matteo La Boccia

Matteo La Boccia

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THANKS FOR PRECIOUS INFORMATIONS!!!! So this soldier captured in north Africa was first sent in Italy to Bologna camp. It is in north Italy. The fork was found in Salerno south Italy where Coldstream Guard landed at 9 september 1943. Perhaps fork was taken in north Africa from one of comrades of Astin after his capture???
 

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invent4hir

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Matteo, as time permits I'm trying to find out more about Horace, his wife Edith, daughter Enid, and if he has any living descendants. Part of the difficulty is making sure I'm got the right people, as there are more than one with each name. I'm also waiting to hear from the Coldstream Guards as to if a soldiers serial # was stamped into their eating utensil.
 

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Matteo La Boccia

Matteo La Boccia

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Matteo, as time permits I'm trying to find out more about Horace, his wife Edith, daughter Enid, and if he has any living descendants. Part of the difficulty is making sure I'm got the right people, as there are more than one with each name. I'm also waiting to hear from the Coldstream Guards as to if a soldiers serial # was stamped into their eating utensil.
Dear Al, many thanks for your precious help in this research. I'm sure british soldiers in first days of WWII have their serial number stamped on their eating utensil. This is not the first time we found utensil like this with serial number stamped.
 

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invent4hir

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Below is the reply about Horace Astin from Major (Retd) Cazenove of the Coldstream Guards Association. I’m also waiting for a reply from the Priest at St. Peter in Burnley, which is the church where I think Horace was married and daughter baptized. Maybe he or his staff know if they have living relatives.

Your email was passed to me for an answer. As surmised, the fork must have belonged Horace Astin who joined the Coldstream on 31.7.1940 at the age of 31. He was born on 5.8.1908.

He hailed from the Blackburn area in Lancashire. I am afraid that we have no other information on him.

Yours Sincerely,

Robert Cazenove,
Major (Retd)
 

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Matteo La Boccia

Matteo La Boccia

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Below is the reply about Horace Astin from Major (Retd) Cazenove of the Coldstream Guards Association. I’m also waiting for a reply from the Priest at St. Peter in Burnley, which is the church where I think Horace was married and daughter baptized. Maybe he or his staff know if they have living relatives.

Your email was passed to me for an answer. As surmised, the fork must have belonged Horace Astin who joined the Coldstream on 31.7.1940 at the age of 31. He was born on 5.8.1908.

He hailed from the Blackburn area in Lancashire. I am afraid that we have no other information on him.

Yours Sincerely,

Robert Cazenove,
Major (Retd)
Thanks for your always precious help!!
 

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invent4hir

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Here is an update: I've not yet found a living relative of Horace. Four things are making it difficult to find information on people living in the U.K. are: 1) the strict data protection laws; 2) so far it appears Horace only had one child, and she neither married nor had children; 3) Many of Horace's siblings died before reaching adulthood - so they did not have children; 4) the family trees on Ancestry and FamilySearch that include Horace are mostly incomplete. Despite these difficulties I will keep researching and calling people. If I, and all other efforts, fail to locate Horace's next of kin you may want to consider donating the fork to the Coldstream Guards Association. If interested I can introduce you to my contact.

British Telephone directory: found people with the surname of Astin in Burnley and Poulton Le Fylde. If my other research doesn't result in the next of kin then I will begin calling these people.

St. Peters Church: Fr. Andrew Holmes, the Rector of St Peter's Church in Burnley, where Horace was married and daughter baptized, replied saying they continue to look at their records for Horace's next of kin. He added he'd get back with this coming week. If I don't hear from him I will send a follow-up email. Also, I shared with him the names of the people in Burnley with the surname of Astin and asked if he heard of/knew any of them. Unfortunately, he did not.

PHH Solicitors: I’ve spoke on the phone 2 more times with the staff of PHH Solicitors but have yet been able to speak directly to Helen Springthorpe (the Administrator of Enid's estate). Her secretary did confirm that Helen got my emails and will talk to her again about replying.

Preston Family History Centre: This is the closest centre to Burnley. At their request I emailed some questions. Their reply did not include the identity of a living relative of Horace. It did however include their findings and some search tips – which I pursued to no avail.

Blackpool England FamilySearch Centre: This centre is the closest to Poulton Le Fylde, where Enid passed away. Yet to get a reply to the questions I emailed them. Like Preston, I may resort to calling them.

Inner Wheel: My contact indicated that there is an Enid Astin that belongs to the Elland Chapter and she will try to get in touch with her. Although that Enid is not Horace's daughter, she may be a relative.

Find-a-grave: Been examining records of people with the surname of Astin buried in Burnley cemeteries. Thus far, none list children and obituaries.
 

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Matteo La Boccia

Matteo La Boccia

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Dear Al,
many thanks for your always great and precious help!!!
You have a lot of good ideas and a lot of tools!!
I hope someone will help you with informations about soldier relatives.
I also contacted Coldstream museum but they have not give answer. In any way we know some friend in UK that can donate form to a Coldstream association.
But this will be the last chance.
I have not other people that are helping us.
Many Thanks again!!
 

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