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Toc H Badges

Toc H badges

“At my grandparents´  house as a child, I always made a beeline for grandpa’s treasure chest that lived at the bottom of the airing cupboard. Inside it was a precious world of memories: ration books, medals, black and white photos of his army days in Malasya…and these Toc H badges. They signify membership of the Toc H moevement- started as an everyman’s clubLondon during WWI where everyone was welcome regardless of rank. Branches sprung up all over the world, offering sanctuary to soldierswho wanted to forget the war for a while (the Ypres branch dubbed a ‘haven in hell”).”

“My great -grandfather, William Frederyck Ryder, and other ex-servicemen set up the Malvern branch of Toc H in the interwar years after returning from India during WWI. During this period Toc H built bridges between communities, debated issues and performed a great deal of social work. My grandparens joined Toc H themselves after WWII where they continued the good work started by William. They have kept these badges as a reminder of the movement that meant so much to their family.”

(Badges: oil lamp belongs to Edna May Ryder as it’sa ladies badge, one with Toc H on it is David EdwardRyder’s and the oldest one without Toc H on it was William Frederick Ryder’s.)

 

Harriet Welford-Turpin

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