Three daggers, a bayonet, a bugle, an escape map and a Zippo lighter…

What do a First World War bugle, three Second World War daggers and a bayonet, a silk escape map and a Zippo lighter (not to mention a pile of badges and other insignia) have in common? They all belonged to my grandfather – Doc Alexander – and have been passed on to me via my uncle, Don, and his brother, my dad, Bob. It’s a veritable treasure trove and I’m really excited as I have the mate to two of the daggers and have never seen the other two, one of which is a German bayonet. My grandfather did not play the bugle during the First World War. He was in a mortar unit and then served as a stretcher bearer, but somehow, he came to have this beautiful, but very battered bugle in his possession. Along with all of that is a King’s Own Calgary Regiment Zippo lighter from 1950 that has obviously been well used. I’m not a smoker, never have been, but there is something about flicking a Zippo lighter open and closed. It’s incredibly satisfying, especially knowing that my grandfather would have done the same thing with it. The silk escape map is of Germany and some of the badges would have been on his uniforms at different times during the war. The two white rams lying on the escape map can be seen in a photograph of my grandfather taken in his Regimental Aid Post in Seaford, England early on in the war. The rams were early insignia of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. I’m a pack rat by nature and I love old objects, so I’m thrilled to have this little treasure trove of my grandfather’s fall into my lap and many thanks to my uncle for passing it on to me!

Commando daggers and a German bayonet (front).

Commando daggers and a German bayonet (front).

Doc Alexander's name emblazoned on one of the commando daggers.

Doc Alexander’s name emblazoned on one of the commando daggers.

The treasure trove, including the First World War bugle and the armoured corps white ram badges.

The treasure trove, including the First World War bugle and the armoured corps white ram badges.

Doc Alexander's King's Own Calgary Regiment Zippo lighter, 1950.

Doc Alexander’s King’s Own Calgary Regiment Zippo lighter, 1950.

First World War bugle.

First World War bugle.

Doc Alexander in his Regimental Aid Post. Note the white ram badge on his arm.

Doc Alexander in his Regimental Aid Post. Note the white ram badge on his arm.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

2 responses to “Three daggers, a bayonet, a bugle, an escape map and a Zippo lighter…”

  1. Flachmann Gravieren says :

    There are all different kinds, types, and brands of cigarette lighters available on the market today. However, one of the most praised lighters of all these is the well-known Zippo lighter.

    • Rob Alexander says :

      I can understand why the Zippo is praised. It’s a classic. Fits well in the hand, easy to flick open and close with that great snapping sound. I often sit at my desk and flick my grandfather’s lighter open and closed. Keeps my fidgety fingers busy.

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