I just wanted to share with you this wonderful piece of history I found when I opened up this Lachenal I bought recently.
I bought from an antiques seller on ebay that didn't specialise in instruments so they couldn't vouch for the state of the instrument, so it was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off, the concertina is in really good condition, and when I opened it to try to fix a few reeds, I found this!
I believe it reads -
This concertina was
Serg Clayton ***
By Corp F Brent ***
At Auchy au Bois (maybe says France?)
Dec 11th 1915
Rec’d by Serg Clayton in (France?)
La F***, Aug 1915
Rec'd means 'received'. How did Serg. Clayton acquire it? Did Corp Brent play it in the trenches over Christmas 1915? The Christmas Truce of 1914? Did either of these man make it home?
I've tried to do a quick search in the army records but I cant find an F Brent with a service number that could match and there are a lot of Claytons too...