First world war medals . . .

Brighouse 1st WW Medal Gunr F Pickup sold Ebay 26 08 12
Brighouse 1st WW Medal Gunr F Pickup sold Ebay 26 08 12

I know many readers will be familiar with the eBay auction website.

I have been buying things for many years, usually ones with a Brighouse connection.

Mrs Elsie Quantrelle retires from Thornhill Grange OAP Centre Rastrick - 11 08 1986

Mrs Elsie Quantrelle retires from Thornhill Grange OAP Centre Rastrick - 11 08 1986

These have taken the form of books, postcards, brass band CDs and much more.

Sometimes the bidding can runway a bit so you have to be careful and know where to draw the line.

Just occasionally there are items with a Brighouse connection that I know will go for a very high closing bid. Knowing when to leave it is vitally important otherwise you will find you have overstretched your budget.

A real piece of Brighouse history came up recently and I knew as soon as I saw them that the closing bid would be way out of anything I could or wanted to afford to bid.

What was this highly prized piece of Brighouse – a set of First World War medals, which included one of the Brighouse Tribute Medals. With this medal was the First World War British War Medal and Victory Medal presented to 90746 Gunner F. Pickup R.A

Whilst it is sad to see these on the auction sites I am sure the sellers would have had good reason for wanting to sell them.

The medals had been presented to Gunner F. Pickup who was a member of the Royal Garrison Artillery, but who was this soldier from the Great War?

From my own records it might be Fred Pickup who on August 15, 1914 at Brighouse Parish Church married Dorothy Foster from Twickenham.

It was not uncommon for couples to marry just before the war and with Fred and Dorothy’s wedding being so close to the outbreak of the First World War they would have been taking their vows just as many others did at that time.

Whether this is our Gunner F. Pickup without extensive research I will not know, unless there are any relatives of his still living in Brighouse who may help. And the medal, the closing bid was £143.15 plus £6 postage and packaging.

“I can’t wait to retire;” now how many times have you heard that?

Then you will have heard a man say, retirement is OK, but you never get a day off. There are many sayings just like this one, but looking forward to it and then waking up on that first day at home and realising the big day has arrived is another thing.

I remember a work colleague having the daily count down on his computer for three years to the day that would be his last working day.

As the day draws closer and closer the excitement and high expectations begin to turn to worry and even the fear factor will raise its head. Will we have enough money, get sick, run out of money, lose my spouse or partner or will I just get plain old bored.

For many ladies who may have not worked for some time and the day is drawing nearer when their husband or partner is about to retire, that can equally cause anxious thoughts because suddenly you are to have another person in the house with you not just after they get home from work but potentially every minute of the day.

Of course you have your routine well established but that is about to change. In a way it is reminiscent of when the soldiers returned home to rejoin their families after the war. Suddenly after maybe five years your routine and in those far off days your life was turned upside down. Very young children were in many cases meeting their dad in some cases for the first time since they were a baby. Obviously retirement is not quite the same but daily lives are going to be disrupted and no doubt take a bit of getting used to.

Planning is the key of course – remember that old maxim ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail…’

In this photograph, which I am sure many of the ladies on it will remember, we go back to August 1986 when Elsie Quantrelle retired from her work at Thornhill Grange Care Home on Hanson Road, Rastrick. Little did they know then that by 2007 some 44 years after it was first opened (24th June 1963) the home would be closed and demolished and then on the way to being re-developed by the St Vincent Housing Association.