From an early age I have been interested in militaria. An interest that has now been focused into medieval arms & armour, and it's very near cousin, Fantasy. As a child an elderly neighbour became aware of my fascination and gave me a broken piece of metal.
Sadly at the time I didn't appreciate it's significance, and it was a over a decade later when I rediscovered the fragment in a box in my parent's attic, and read the pencil inscription:
Shot down by 2018 Squadron RAF
Aug 28 1944 at Rye S Robinson F/Lt.
By then Mr Robinson had long since passed on, and I had missed the opportunity to ask him about the circumstances under which this doodlebug had been shot down. However it still felt very much like a link to a collective past. One in which my Father, as a child, had sat playing in his back garden in Heston, London, when a V1 demolished a house at the end of his street and sent a fragment of shrapnel flying past his head.
This piece of memorabilia has now sat on a shelf for many years, but recently I noticed the pencil had begun to fade, and I felt it was time I did something with it. As a consequence I have been in contact with a curator at the Imperial War Museum and have just donated this to their collection. I think it is much better that this is held in the national archives where it can be archived, and the connection to our past, and F/Lt Robinson's service, properly maintained and recognised.
The above photo shows the V1 that is currently suspended from the ceiling of the Imperial War Museum, London, and I have highlighted in red the part of the missile I believe my fragment is. Oh, and I think Nicht Anfassen means Do Not Stand On.*
* Florian Stitz has provided the correct translation - Do Not Touch.
Next time it will be back to the art, and less of the influences.