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Silver Spoon WW1 Story

for Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison KCB, CBE

Publishing and research project

In addition to a film about his life in the skies, Sir John also asked us to discover more about a precious family artefact: a silver spoon from a WW1 hospital ship.

His father had "purloined" it, as a thankful memory for being saved at the quayside in Africa whilst he waited on a stretcher.

We only had the ship's flag on the spoon and scant details from various war records, but our research took us through archives in the UK to Welington City in New Zealand, via some red herrings and incomplete paperwork!

After stumbling on an old box of family photos, we cracked the mystery and were able to find the ship's details, her history and what she'd done to rescue troops in the Great War. .

The story was written up and published: an oral tale from around the dinner table, preserved for generations to come. And the spoon? Never used - but regularly polished and sitting proudly on a shelf.