Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in A Child’s Garden of Verses about an old toy soldier buried away on watch in the garden in a poem entitled The Dumb Soldier.
I have featured this subject before on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/more-dumb-soldiers-in-the-garden/
Having lost soldiers in my childhood garden and found others on the beach recently, I am fascinated by these lost and found soldiers out on an “unending mission”.
Occasionally lost toy soldier figures turn up on online auction sites amongst the hoards and hordes of metal detecting trinket sites.
I spotted this interesting collection from a metal detectorist called Frank in the Southeast of England on offer for a couple of pounds. I asked if they were from one hoard or toy mass battlefield burial but they were apparently collected over many years and many sites.
Whilst I wait for some recast arms to arrive from Dorset Soldiers for my current Broken Britains restoration projects, I have been busy this bank holiday weekend in the sunny garden, gently cleaning these finds up prior to restoring what I can to fighting or parade fitness. The others will go in a display box.
I often wonder about the stories behind how such figures and toys came to be buried or discarded. Were they lost toys or were they discarded because they were broken in action or accident?
They once belonged to someone, probably a small boy. Did they lament their loss or hardly notice it?
Before I post pictures of the cleaned up figures, what familiar figures can you see in the online auction picture?
Hint You can see toy animals, soldiers and more. Enjoy!
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, Bank Holiday weekend 5/6 May 2018.
6 thoughts on “More Dumb Soldiers Missing In Action”
I love a bit of nostalgia and I love the idea that someone like yourself is doing your best to preserve these great items. Looks like a car in there to me as well. Great stuff.
Well spotted – one 1920s 30s tiny racing car without wheels. I shall post a picture next week of them all after cleaning up.
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A bucking bronco? Some highlanders and guards bandsmen? And what’s that bearded fellow throwing?
Having just painted a ‘lost soldier’ I also am finding a love for old soldiers returned. I recall finding a small, old metal aircraft in the garden in my childhood, presumably a 1950s Spitfire, and wondering who lost it and how. Goodness knows I must have left some of my own troops there too, though I doubt plastic proves as durable?
Well spotted – a flat bronco cowboy and horse, some Scots highlanders and Guardsmen … no idea what the bearded gnome (?) is throwing.
Like you, my own plastic Airfix gardens losses and leavings must have recycled themselves back to nature by now.
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I’m fascinated to see what you do with the gnome. I’d most likely turn him into an armed fantasy figure of some sort.
I am keeping an eye out for a picture of the original, curious to know how he first looked. He may end up in the display box or may fight many battles.