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Cyril Howard and his / my mother’s and my blanket

2013 July 1

blanketIn the Public History Reader I returned to some of the ideas previously explored in London Stories about the range of materials for the writing of history. At the end of London Stories I listed some of the ephemera I had kept from earlier lives such as shoulder flashes from a Home Guard uniform or two late nineteenth century male fob watches.

During a recent attempt to de-clutter I came across a blanket not seen for ages. I had used it as a child – but so had others before. My mother (Winnie Mankelow of the name tag) had taken it to guide camp in the 1930s in Essex. I suspect that it wasn’t new then either since it also resembles blankets used in the 1914 – 18 war.

I don’t think I had noticed before another name tag – that of Cyril Howard – and speculate whether he too had used this nearly a century ago. In the midst of discussions at state level about how to commemorate the Great War details of individuals’ experiences can tend to get overlooked. Ephemera such as this blanket create potentially different histories of wartime lives.

If you can shed any light on Cyril Howard – or if you are a relative who would like the blanket do let me know.

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