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157: Rex Compton (needle book)

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posted on 2024-01-12, 09:30 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

War was declared when my uncle, Rex Compton, was still at school (sixth form) and he enlisted in the 10th Essex Regiment straight away as a private. The Regiment was one of the first 'volunteer' battalions to be deployed in the Gallipoli campaign, until the successful moonlight evacuation in December 1915, by which time he was acting as temporary Captain. The Regiment went first to Lemnos and then to Alexandria. My brother came across this hand-made embroidered needle book when clearing out my parents' house only a week or two ago. Not only is it beautifully made, but it contains a fabric order number tab, a bit like one you'd sew in a child's school uniform, but from F Phillips & Co, Cairo and Alexandria, dated 4 March 1916 and made out to 2nd Lieutenant Compton. Rex and his older brother, Guy, died on the Western Front near Ypres a couple of weeks apart in July/August 1917, so how did this survive? Was it made for him by one of his loving younger sisters? Did he leave it behind by accident when on leave or for safe keeping? We will never know.

History

Name of contributor(s)

Peter Compton

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

Rex Compton

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

1916

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

Alexandria, Egypt

Object(s)

Embroidered needle book

Community Collection Day

Submitted online

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