World War One Trumpet Grouping

Tonight we have a fascinating little grouping based around a First World War trumpet that with a bit of research (and conjecture) has allowed me to piece together the probable story of who I believed originally owned it.

This set of objects is a WW1 era trumpet, its case and mute and a photograph and death certificate:

The trumpet is a fairly cheap instrument that I have been told was probably made in France:

The instrument has no markings, but there is some decoration around the horn section:

Of more relevance however is that the trumpet was painted from new over the brass to reduce the shine. I have been told that this is indicative of French made military instruments as it reduces the risk of the light catching polished metal and reflecting over long distances which might attract enemy attention.

The trumpet comes in a cheap cardboard and leatherette case:

Included with it is a somewhat battered mute that has clearly suffered over the years:

What takes the object from interesting to fascinating however is the accompanying documentation. Firstly we have a photograph of a military band from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment:

One of the bandsmen is holding a similar trumpet to this one and logically is likely to be the original owner of the trumpet:

Also of note are the shoulder titles of the man lying at the front, they have the large ‘T’ of a territorial unit:

The death certificate is for a woman called Edith Ainley who was born in 1900 and died in 1937. She was married to a man called Harry Ainley from Almondbury near Huddersfield. My suspicion is that the soldier who originally owned the trumpet and is depicted in the photograph above is Harry. Harry was born in 1898 and died in 1938. Some further digging has revealed that there was a Harry Ainley who served with the 1/4 Duke of Wellingtons Regiment and was discharged in 1919. The 1/4 Duke of Wellingtons was the territorial unit of the regiment so this seems to fit. All this is conjecture on my part, but fits the available evidence. This sort of research is remarkably fun to do when it goes well (and very frustrating when it hit a brick wall!). It has been very nice to actually find something out about the probable owner of this trumpet and tell his story again.

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