I possess a wooden box with an inscription carved on the front side which reads:
"To Miss Helen Thomas
P.o.W. Jac. Th. Stom St. Helena
April 23rd 1902"
I have search for records of this POW but have found nothing. I presume the box was made by a prisoner of war called
Jacob(us) Thomas Stom as a personal gift to Miss Helen Thomas. I would love to know the story behind this and would be grateful if anyone could provide any information at all about these two people.
Was Miss Helen Thomas on St Helena or was it sent to her back in South Africa.
Any information regarding these people would be welcomed. My only interest is in the social history of the box.
Thank you very much for your quick response.
I think you may have a strong possibility in your suggested identity. I am British and so thought of the Th. as being Thomas as Theodorus is pretty unheard of in the UK. I realised that Jac. could be Jacobus as after doing searches it seems that this name was (is?) fairly common amongst Afrikaaners.
The fact that the surname is shown as Storm and not Stom does not rule this out. I have done much genealogical research into my own family and know how names become misspelt in translation on to paperwork.
I am inclined to believe this may be the correct individual . The record you have attached is from where ?.
Whether I will ever find out who was Miss Helen Thomas is very unlikely. The box was a personal gift as indicated by the sentiment, rather than made for sale to someone else. The name sounds very English and leads me to believe it was either a friend/sweetheart back in South Africa or someone he knew on the island of St Helena.
Anyway, thank you again and I will post any further information into this forum should I get some in the future.