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A collection displayed at Windsor Castle following the First World War

Charles Alexander Southin (1894-1918)

Trinket box 1914-15

RCIN 69440

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Although most boxes are not identifiable as the work of an individual, this box was signed by 'A. Southin' who has been identified as Charles Alexander Southin (1894-1918), a member of the First Royal Naval Brigade interned at Groningen.

Alec Southin was one of the few men who managed to escape from the camp. He did so with Jeremy Benthem after eight months of internment. Their escape involved hiding after a church service and catching a train in smuggled civilian clothes, hiding with British residents in Amsterdam before blackening their faces and masquerading as stokers on a British ship. Back in England Southin joined the 21st London Regiment and fought in France in 1916, where he gained the Military Cross for bravery. He later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he became an instructor, serving in Egypt and Palestine. In January 1918 Southin returned to England as a flight instructor, but died in a flying accident in February that year; he was 23 years old.