All personal items in a soldier’s kit had to be marked with his name and/or number so that they could be identified if they were to be lost or stolen. These markings were often a little crude, with numbers written on in ink or stamped with metal punches if an item were made of metal. Before the introduction of eight digit serial numbers in 1920, numbers were used in regimental blocks, so the same number would be used by many different units and the regiment’s code needed to be added to allow them to be distinguished. Today we are taking a look at a fiddleback spoon that was issued to a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps:
The initials RAMC and the soldier’s number of 11376 are stamped into the end of the handle:
This number was allocated to a Private John Dawson who seems to have spent at least part of the Great War with the 32nd Stationary Hospital which opened at Wimereux on the 14th July 1916 before moving to Rouen in 1917. This hospital had 23 staff and Private Dawson would have been one of these.
The spoon itself was manufactured by John Round & Son Ltd:
This company was founded in 1847 and had a cutlery works at Moncrieff Works, Rockingham Street, Sheffield. The company was bought out in 1930.
This spoon was a cheap, lucky find and although very humble and not at all rare, it is always nice when you can put the name of an owner to such an item, as in this case.