A handmade rectangular wooden pencil box, in two parts, with a sliding lid on top which has a metal plaque in the shape of a parallelogram on it which is engraved with the name 'JOAN PICKNEY'.
Joan Pickney was 19 months old and living in Middlesbrough when the Second World War broke out. Her uncle, Harold Pickney, was based in Orkney where he helped to repatriate Italian prisoners of war at the end of the conflict. One of them made this pencil box for Harold's little girl, Joan, and she used it for her pencils through school up until she was 17 years old.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.