University of Oxford
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5304: African postings

online resource
posted on 2024-01-17, 13:35 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Grandfather served in the war but was also in the Army for a total of 30 years. He served with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He made a number of items trench art whilst serving. The family spent many years overseas as a result of this postings and this meant various family members were born in Africa and India.


Name of contributor(s)

Jacqueline Smale

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

Fredrick John Packer who served in the army for 30 years.

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


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

Cape Town, South Africa


Teacup was bought in a jumble sale. It is particularly interesting as it displays the flags of the original Alliance nations - Belgium, Japan, Russia, France and Britain. Trench art was made from used shells. Matchboxes and a coal scuttle made from scrap metal from artillery shells. The four medals are from her Grandfather's service in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Collection of family photographs. Grandmother was born in South Africa, one of nine children. She travelled the world with her husband as he was deployed. Her mother was born in the castle in Cape Town. Aunt was born in India and then grandmother settled locally to the South West of England when they returned to the UK. The photos have been passed down through the family and in some case are smudged as they've been looked at so much! Couple of stories that were brought down from the grandmother: when living in Africa, the lid of her Singer sewing machine was crushed by a passing elephant. They knew of a parrot that pulled the hobnails out of boots. Their uncle was carried into a tree by a monkey when he was a baby. List of passengers from a sailing in 1916 between Cape Town and England listing Mrs Packer and her three children. Documents relating to Mr Packer's belonging to the Freemasons in South Africa. Selection of service documents including letters sent from the Mr Packer to his wife during the war. Sgt Major Packer was mentioned in Despatches on 18th April 1918. Copy of the notice.

Community Collection Day

South West Roadshow, Plymouth (06/03/19)

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