Souvenir Handkerchiefs (Material Memory)

Year: 1940s

Origin: Egypt

Donated By: Joanne Pollitt-Wright and Alan Pollitt

Josiah Pollitt brought these cherished handkerchiefs to Burnley as souvenirs from World War II, where he was conscripted and stationed in the Middle East and Iraq. These heirlooms, tell the story of his wartime experiences, including his transition from a failed rifle training candidate to an Army driver.

Josiah served nearly 5 years with the RASC, and his convoy’s distressing encounter with the Luftwaffe in Egypt, where he was saved by soldiers thought to be the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, was a vivid memory. After the war, he returned to the Burnley Express newspaper as a driver, after being taught to drive for his role in the military.

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