AN AVID Victoria Cross memorabilia collector has shared a unique piece of history with the Saddleworth Independent and its readers.
Clive Jewell, originally from London but now living in Ireland, read on the newspaper’s website about a commemorative service for Sergeant Thomas Steele from Springhead.
He contacted us to share these images of a Christmas card, signed personally by Sgt Steele, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in 1917 during the First World War.
Clive, 50, explained: “The Christmas cards were signed by VC recipients and sent to each other. I’ve got a collection of around 40, including this one signed by Thomas Steele.
“I’ve also got a book listing where all the recipients were born, died and buried. Thomas Steele is interesting as he was born in Springhead, Yorkshire but his listings then change to Lancashire!”
Ex-serviceman Clive has an already impressive and ever-growing collection of Victoria Cross memorabilia, including around 40 letters, 300 books and 600 photographs, as well as the Christmas cards.
He has also managed to track down around 60 orders of service from commemoration services across the country.
His search has spanned the globe, including writing to VC recipients now living in Australia, and across the decades, receiving letters from the most recent recipient of 2015, Joshua Leakey.
“It’s not easy tracking down people or letters from 100 years ago,” Clive said. “But I’ve always had an interest in the Victoria Cross and its recipients.
“In 2004 I lost twin daughters and also my son, so I needed something to focus on, to take my mind off things. I’ve got a collection now in the spare room and I keep adding to it.”