Saturday, 11 October 2014

1ST WORLD WAR TRENCH WATCH, WITH R.F.C INSCRIPTION. A RARE FIND WITH A VERY SAD STORY.






As i have said before,i have not been collecting Russian watches recently,but i do still go to second hand markets when i have the time.

I recently bought this Trench watch at one such market,i am not an expert on these,but it felt right,and i was very taken with the very sad story that emerged when i read the accompanying paperwork.
The box, with the watch,had just been thrown in another larger box,as if it had just been discarded.

 At this point,i would like to thank David at vintagewatchstraps.com.[link on the right hand side of this blog],for his freely given time and knowledge regarding the basic pin pallet movement,and watch itself,when asked later via e.mail.

On the Case back is a dedication,to an officer in the RFC, Lt.G.J.Hatch [Royal Flying Corps,precursor to the RAF], with a very old hand written note giving the history of the young man,who tragically was killed in action 6/4/17.

Lt. G. J. Hatch. was attached to No, 8 sgn,He had the misfortune to have to fly an aircraft called the Be2c, two seater, [The Be2c was responsible for the slang term Fokker Fodder]. An aircraft designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory and was obsolete before  it was introduced years earlier. He was shot down,along with his observer  Cpl. E.Langridge, by  D.R Frankel, who was C/O of  Jagdstaffel 4, [and an "Ace"].Saddly. D.R Frankel, was killed in action,just two days later on  8/4/17, [Bristol Fighters], flying an Albatross D111. [D.R Frankel, who was Jewish,also suffered from anti Semitesm,mainly,at the hands of a certain H .Goering,future head of the Luftwaffe].

 As well as 1st ww poetry, i have always had an interest in 1st ww aircraft types, and the Be2c, was a particularly poor design. I do wonder how an aircraft such as the Be2c, which was obsolete during the Fokker scourge, [Fokker Eindekker,1916], was still flying in 1917 and facing an Albatross D111, which technically was light years ahead.The increasingly unfashionable term, Lions led by Donkeys does come to mind.

The men who had to go up in them,were to say the  least,very,very brave,with incredibly high casualty rates.

I will be sending the watch to Steve Burrage,who hopefully can work another miracle,the watch is running,but is galloping.

Whatever the out come i will treasure it.

2 comments:

  1. A very interesting watch Russ, I am sure you will treasure it! I suppose a war is special situation. One must throw whatever one has at the enemy and make the best of what one has got. Unfortunately, the people on the bottom rung end up being cannon fodder.

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    1. Hello Aditya,
      Lovely to hear from you,i hope you are well.
      Yes you are right,it just results in such sad stories.
      Best Regards,
      Russ.

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