Lost and Found: RLS’ The Dumb Soldier 2019

What once was lost but now is found: my hardy heroic radio man returned at long last from the garden.

Lost and Found

Pottering around the garden gathering leaves before work, I spotted this lone warrior, left behind on duty months or years long ago after some forgotten garden game – just like the one in the Robert Louis Stevenson RLS’ poem The Dumb Soldier.

“Hallo? Hallo? Come in Base, over.”

His radio aerial was almost intact when I found him but now needs some repair.

Long has he been on duty reporting back to base on all he saw.

When he finally gets painted, he shall get rewarded for his long service with some corporal or sergeant stripes. I have marked his base up to remind me.

The Dumb Soldier poem can be found in my blogpost here:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/dumb-soldiers-the-past-and-future-of-garden-wargames/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/more-dumb-soldiers-in-the-garden/

Two of my recent beach find soldiers amongst other beachcombing finds.

This figure is one of mine, lost long ago. I have found figures before on beaches, as well as bought wrecked figures from metal detectorists and repaired them back to gaming use.

I’m not alone it seems in finding figures on beaches as this plastic pollution / beachcombing report from Cornwall Live website shows:

Cornwall Live gallery: Modern plastic beach soldier finds includes a copy of Matchbox US Infantry.

Whilst even more unusual are the well weathered and wave shaped, beach battered figures found on a beach shown on Etsy:

November 2019 Screen shot Magic SeaFox on Etsy

I recognise the Britains Kneeling Officer washed overboard from the Assault boat, two recent plastic clones of a (Matchbox) American and a China made Pound Store set German infantryman.

I wonder – What’s the most interesting thing that has turned up in your garden or on beach-combing trips?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 29 November 2019

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

12 thoughts on “Lost and Found: RLS’ The Dumb Soldier 2019”

      1. It’s the sort of thing I imagine when thinking about Return of the Twelves. I suspect the two versions of Stumps came about that way, in real life. They lost him, bought a replacement, found him again long after, buried and drowned in the garden. Hence, “he was two people, and only the Genii know why, they decreed it.”

        Like

  1. A number of years ago we spent a summer digging up the top corner of the garden which had been covered in red clippings. Underneath we dug up around three buckets worth of coal as we discovered there had been a coal store on that site. Also we dug up a number of sixties sweet wrappers, crisp packets and 20 mm plastic cowboys and Indians, the kind with hollow plastic horses. We kept our finds but l can’t recall what happened to them after that. I must confess l have buried the odd Airfix figure or three in a wee plastic bag and dug deep into the lawn depositing them there. The narrow hole was filled in and l like to imagine them turning up in the future, a time capsule or enigma.

    Like

    1. Alan
      Great finds. The lost Airfix Patrol – An intriguing find for the future? I wonder how well plastic will fare compared to lead. I know those type of plastic Indians and cowboys with hollow plastic horses. If you bent their legs they almost stayed standing.

      Like

    2. I used to do that with Legos, after I learned about Pompeii and other archaeological finds. I would build a building of blocks, bury it in the back yard, and dig it up the next day.

      Like

  2. He certainly should get his stripes for that mission. I posted on a metal yeomanry figure some time ago which had been lost in various houses until it turned up at the bottom of a magazine rack – to my great delight. The only thing I’ve found in my current garden is some kind of space marine helmet. The space marine sadly remains missing in action…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s