Personal Time

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Handicrafts and letters

Long periods away from home were often made harder by long periods on duty with little to do.

On board ships, letter writing and handicrafts were prevalent. If enough people were interested some ships were able to put on handicraft shows but most were very personal pieces.

HMS Duke of York Handicraft Exhibition (1943)
HMS Duke of York Handicraft Exhibition (1943) (RNM)

A World War Two sailor named Saunders made this walking stick from love letters received from his wife whilst away on service.

He cut the letters into small discs and compressed them into a cane before putting lacquer around the edges. It is a lovely example of the ingenuity displayed by men with very little resources.

Love letter walking stick
Walking Stick made from love letters (RNM)

Find out more about correspondance in the Navy, follow the link to our Letters Home section.