It was found at a car boot sale on Knavesmire by antiques dealer Stephen Wells from York.
A simple identity bracelet for a child called Mollie from Romford near London. A small but very important reminder of a time dominated by a different sort of national crisis.
Stephen, of Source Vintage, said “I’ve seen a few war related pieces in my time, so you could say I have some experience in this area.
“However, I had never seen an air raid identity bracelet like this before.”
Research suggested they were worn by children who were not evacuated from cities during the Second World War and they were designed to help reunite them with their families if they were separated, injured or worse, during an air raid.
“It was inscribed with the name and address, Mollie Hercock of 63 Pretoria Road, Romford. So, I began thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if I could find her?'” Stephen said.
He did some digging online, through various different ancestry sites, looking at things like census and voters lists, and registers of births, marriages and deaths.
“I found out that Mollie was born in 1931 – meaning she would have been only seven or eight years old at the outbreak of war.
“In 1956, Mollie married a Kenneth Eric Lucy, and their marital home was on Victoria Road in Romford.
“However, I learnt that both Mollie and her husband, Kenneth, had passed away, Kenneth in 2010 and Mollie in 2017. So my search turned to finding any living relatives.
“Unfortunately, this is where my search hit a brick wall and I’d gone as far as I could, or so I thought.”
Found her son
Then Stephen had the idea of reaching out to some news outlets in the Romford area. So he contacted the Romford Recorder, giving them some background along with some photos of the bracelet.
“It wasn’t long before I started receiving messages, one of which came from Claire Davis who had seen the article in the Recorder.
“She explained that she ran a Facebook page which helped to find people’s long lost friends and family, and that she had managed to locate one of Mollie’s sons.
“She said his name was Trevor Lucy”
Minutes later, Trevor emailed Stephen “He explained that whilst he grew up with his brother Nigel, mum (Mollie) and dad (Kenneth) in Romford, he moved to the Midlands in 1989 and he was now living on the edge of Nottinghamshire.”
Who was Mollie Hercock?
Trevor son says his mum was typical of the age, believing she was meant to help and serve others without much complaint herself.
“She adored her parents, with her father dying fairly young, which resulted in her mum coming to live with us – something mum loved.
“She was very caring, not only raising my brother and me, but she worked as a lunchtime supervisor (dinner lady) for 30 years.
“She was married to my dad (Kenneth Lucy) for over 50 years and I’d say they were happy throughout.
“As for the bracelet, well emotionally, she was quite the sentimentalist. To be honest, I’m surprised it ever left her possession.”
Trevor added “I didn’t end up with very much that was really personal to mum and this is something very special.”