Bottling it up

A wonderful little memento – a soldier bottle opener given to Shirley Jackson by her Father. Click for a larger version.

Here’s a lovely little thing from Shirley Jackson, friend of the blog who recently enquired about the monument or statue at Fort Dunlop, a story with is still rumbling on in the background – but this time, Shirley has a lovely bottle opener given to her by her father.

Shirley Said:

Hi Bob,

I just wanted to share a picture with you, of a bottle opener that my 90 year old dad gave me.

He told me it was made from a bullet.

It is a keepsake that I will treasure, but I thought it selfish to keep to myself, and maybe photo’s maybe of interest to some of your groups. Please feel free to share, if it is of interest.

Shirley Jackson

Thanks to Shirley for sharing this – and it set me wondering. Does anyone know the likely provenance of this charming bottle opener? Were they a common thing made from war scrap, reminiscent of Gerald Reece’s bell, maybe by veterans, or were they fashioned on the front line by bored but creative soldiers in downtime?

Does anyone have another example of these, or is it a one-off? I know war mementoes from badges to tiny picture frames, from doorstops to jewellery were all made by serving squaddies whiling away the hours, then taken home. I’m also aware that wounded and recovering ex-servicemen often were kept busy making knickknacks in convalescence homes and the like during and after both wars; indeed, ex-servicement certainly used to work making the plastic poppies we buy and wear  to mark Remembrance.

What do you know? Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

The handle of the opener – and the figure – seem to be brass or a similar alloy. The actual opener itself looks like it was hand made too, as it seems slightly asymmetrical. Image from Shirley Jackson. Click for a larger version.

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