Artefacts from the Titanic, the reign of George III and the Second World War will go on sale at a militaria and antique fair I have jointly organised at Stratford Armouries on Sunday 15 January. As a prelude to the sale we invited the media along today to see a cap belonging to Frederick Fleet, the lookout on the ill fated vessel. Fleet didnt have his pair of binoculars on watch with him and consequently failed to see the iceberg until it was too late. He survived the disaster but committed suicide in 1965, always haunted by the tragedy. 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking and we therefore anticipate a lot of interest in the cap which is valued at a cool £50,000. Unfortunately it doesn’t belong to me but Conrad Chin-See (pictured), the other organiser of the show. The story made the front page of the Stratford Herald and the Stratford Observer. Expect it also to be picked up by the national press.
The fair will be the first in a series of monthly events to be held at Stratford Armouries which is on the site of a Second World War training base, RAF Snitterfield. Among the other Titanic memorabilia on sale will be an original front page of the Northern Echo newspaper about the sinking and a memorial scroll which was sold to raise money for the survivors. There will also be a longcase clock made by a Stratford clock maker dating back to 1800 and various items from the First and Second World Wars including a copy of Reach for the Sky, the life story of Douglas Bader signed by 9 Spitfire pilots. They include Geoffrey Hulett, a spitfire pilot who flew with 225 group in the Far East in 1944/45 and came into Stratford Armouries today to sign the book after reading about it in the local paper! Despite the Titanic prices many of the artefacts on sale will be less than £100 so it is a chance for everyone to own a piece of history. A contribution from each fair will go to the Soldier’s Charity, formerly the Army Benevolent Fund.
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