On the right of the picture is a silver medallion with my Dad's initials engraved on the centre shield. I have no idea if it was a special gift to him or if he had it made but I remember that he wore it with his fob watch every single day. I guess when I was young I never thought to ask. When Dad died I adopted the medallion and still wear it on occasions.
On the left of the picture is a piece of shrapnel. A strange thing to keep you might say but it also produced a memory. During World War 2, when men were called in to fight or do munitions work or, in my Dad's case, to do skilled work on aeroplanes, the women took over the men's peacetime jobs. My Mom spent several years as a bus conductor.
One of her shifts meant that she had to start out early and walk to the bus depot since no buses were available at that hour. It was winter and it was dark. There were no street lights and all hell was going on in the skies. I don't know the detail but I know the end of the tale. As she walked a piece of shrapnel landed in front of her, narrowly missing her head. It wasn't a big piece but the speed with which it fell could have caused serious damage.
Mom kept the shrapnel as a good luck piece and when she died it came to me. Who knows, maybe that's why I've always been lucky.