Christmas of 1992. My grandparents gave me a stuffed Rajah tiger from the movie Aladdin. Bright orange and oh so soft, he guarded my bed day in and day out. Rajah went with me when my family moved to Texas, when I went off for college, when I joined the military and traveled to Germany, and now back in the good old USA. He was there when I laughed, cried, when I needed a good headrest. He’s always given me a good sense of home no matter where I was. Twenty-four years later and he’s still going strong as the guardian of the bedroom. Luckily, my husband doesn’t mind.
The idea of carrying a little piece of home is far from new. Small items that are easily stuffed into a pocket are the best for those on the move. Like a pocket teddy. In 1915 many young men found themselves far from home on foreign soil fighting for their lives and country. Looking down into their uniform pocket, a friendly, furry little face would look back up and remind them of home. The bears were affectionately known as sweetheart bears as they were given to the men by their mothers, sisters, and sweethearts.
Known to collectors today as Soldier Bears, these little teddys were produced by Farnell in a golden mohair as well as the highly patriotic red, white, and blue. From time to time, these little treasures will pop up at auction to fetch quite a hefty price tag. None more so than the Campbell bears, named for the Campbell brothers who carried them from boyhood into the Great War.
Read more about the Campbell bears: http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/898488/the-bear-essentials-in-a-time-of-war/.
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