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WW1 soldier's album set for Dorchester auction
11:30am Thursday 20th February 2014 in News
AN album of pressed flowers rescued from the skip by a keen-eyed removal man has turned out to be a valuable memento from the front line.
The flowers were collected by a soldier during the First World War and the album is expected to sell for hundreds of pounds when it is auctioned at Duke’s in Dorchester next month.
Amy Brenan from Duke’s said: "The album is a marvellous record of one soldier's travels in Europe during the First World War.
"Each flower has been pressed between the pages of his autograph book and annotated with the place and date where it was picked.
“The locations range from ‘Souvenir from Italy February 10’ to ‘A souvenir from France March 11 1918, 11 miles outside Arras’.
“The flowers include heathers and ivy all stuck in by means of melted sealing wax. What is particularly nice is that the album of pressed plants and flowers was clearly put together as a gift. Most of the pages are labelled as ‘From Bert’ so perhaps he was compiling the album for his sweetheart back home?
"2014 is the centenary year for WWI and with many commemorations taking place, we are seeing huge interest in wartime memorabilia.
"It is easy to complain about the trials and tribulations of modern life yet we don’t often spare a thought for the difficulties facing front-line soldiers during the Great War and the amazing service they did for the country.
"This album is a wonderful reminder of one soldier’s time on the war front. Despite the distance, he was clearly relying on thoughts of his loved ones to keep him going, sending them flowers from the front line perhaps helped him to gloss over the horrors facing him every day."
The auction will be held on March 11.