Inscribed watch/compass



Inscribed watch/compass


Combined watch / compass inscribed 'To F/O Parker from Ansty H.G. and a note written by John Joseph Parker's daughter.

This item was sent to the IBCC Digital Archive already in digital form. No better quality copies are available.



Temporal Coverage





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PParkerJJ1616, PParkerJJ1617


[two photographs]
Inscribed watch/compass
Combined watch / compass inscribed 'To F/O Parker from Ansty H.G.
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[underlined] The Watch! [/underlined] April 8th 1994
Sometimes life is like a jig-saw puzzle and it is often many years before the pieces fit together.
As long as I can remember, my father has had a watch. It is on a leather strap and has a clock face surmounted by a compass face.
It is inscribed on the back/ To F/O Parker from Ansty H. G.
I always knew my father had been stationed with R.A.F. at the flying school at Ansty and that the watch had been given him when he left.
Yesterday myself, husband Rob and youngest son, John visited Coventry. I had nevr been before. I was impressed and moved by the ruins of the old cathedral merging with the glory of the new one.
We went into a visitors’ centre and watched a film on the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry. I learnt things I never knew. 500lb of bombs in German planes brought over on the night of Nov. 15th 1940. A city reduced to rubble with great loss of life. The hopelessness of a situation which incredibly quickly turned into building for the future.
The next day we visited my father and he asked how we enjoyed our day and
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and what we thought of the cathedral and the new.
And then he said
There is so much about his war experiences that we know nothing of. This was to be one of them – now to be told 54 years after the event.
He was stationed at Ansty (we saw the sign yesterday). He was there in November 1940 – a month before I was born.
On the evening of Nov. 15th Coventry’s ordeal began. Father said the bombing lasted from dusk until dawn and Coventry lit up the sky.
At dawn, about 2,000 men, including my father, were taken in Coventry. Amidst the smoking rubble they helped to bring out those alive and the dead. Often the search was slow and impeded by those grieving when members of their family were young dead. Sometimes when working on a house or in a garden a fire would suddenly start up again and flames would shoot up.
Many families began to collect their few belongings and make their way out of the city to sleep on the road sides. They had cardboard or wooden boards to sleep on. But also were many people travelling into the city from other places, anxious for news of family and friends.
My father said they worked for
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days, eating and drinking on site until the search for people was over and dangerous rubble had been cleared.
[underlined] P.S. [/underlined] I took the watch to Judith Miller from the Antiques Road Show (2015) and she was fascinated by the story. She could and would not put a value on it – just priceless she said!



“Inscribed watch/compass,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024,

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