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Artefact of the Month

THE GUN IN THE PURSE

Some time ago a revolver and its holster purse was presented to the Museum’s Curator with the following written message:

It might be inappropriate to assume that this revolver is a War Souvenir – for what it represents to me, is probably apparent in the following explanation of how it came into my possession.

Briefly, this lady’s revolver was issued to a girl (I will call her Liz) by the Maquis for her personal use and protection.

Liz and I became very close and we made plans for the post-war years. After a while her health started to deteriorate and on a sad occasion she asked me to take care of her few possessions and the gun. Liz died a few weeks later. After returning to England I reluctantly discarded her possessions when I married, but kept the revolver for historical value.

I would like to offer the gun to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, whom I hope, will consider putting it in the SOE exhibition in memory of Liz and all the Maquis.

This revolver has not been used since the end of the Second World War. It has been locked up and in a secure location, which has resulted in some deterioration.

I would like to remain anonymous”.

THE ‘GUN IN THE PURSE’ IS DISPLAYED IN A NEW CABINET IN THE RECENTLY REFURBISHED SOE EXHIBITION IN THE MUSEUM’S TANGMERE HALL.

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