Mum gave this box to me when I was young, telling me she felt it was important I had somewhere to keep my precious bits and pieces and I loved this box from the moment I saw it. It came with a story, which went something like this.
“There is a key for the box, but you can’t lock it. The lock is broken, my mum broke it before she gave it to me, so I couldn’t keep anything private. I think it’s important to be able to keep things private, to have secrets, so I won’t ever look in the box. I will always respect your privacy.”
I had so much fun filling the little compartments with silly little things, coloured pencils, pebbles I’d found, old bits of jewellery Mum gave me, just ‘stuff’ I’d pick up and collect and of course I’d keep my journal in it.
Mum did tell me where she got the box from, but over the years I’ve forgotten. Inside it says Christmas 1929, she would have been two years old then but I feel she was older when she received the box. An uncle of hers was in the Navy, and brought it back for her. The design of the badge on the front is ‘The Royal Sussex Regiment’, which was the county she lived in. It is also the regiment my father was in during a part of his time in World War 2. The motto is ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ which means ‘shamed be he who thinks evil of it’.
I currently have no idea who this uncle was, but just doing a small piece of research leads me to see that The Royal Sussex Regiment was in India at this time. It was in between the two World Wars. The carving looks kind of Indian, it seems to be dragons. It’s very deep carving, making it difficult to dust and to my shame I’ve kept it shut away for many years now. I think this is the time to get it out, fill it up and enjoy looking at it again. I’ve found a great way of dusting it is to use an old make up brush :)
There is a couple of great pictures of the regimental badge here http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/british_regiment/royal_sussex_regiment.htm