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Rare Sterling Silver Mounted Young Helpers League Dr. Barnado Pocket Fob Knife Tool Sheffield Circa 1928

Martin Langdon


Early Vintage king George V era Sterling Silver Clad boys pocket tool in the form of a traditional pen knife, a rare piece bearing the 'Y.H.L' legend to the body on both sides indicating the 'Young Helpers League' The Young Helpers’ League (YHL) was established by Dr. Thomas Barnardo in 1891 and which was a pioneering institute in organising ‘mass charity’ whereby small sums were gathered from a large number of donors. The aim of the YHL was to encourage “better-off” children to contribute to the Dr. Barnardo Homes and become involved in other fund-raising activities. The YHL was also helped by having active royal patronage, with HRH Princess Mary, Duchess of Teck as its President (later Queen Mary, consort of George V) and other members of the Royal Family as vice-presidents. The YHL proved exceptionally popular across the British Isles and membership had grown to over 34,000 by 1905. Dr. Barnardo Homes and numerous YHL branches also opened in countries across the British Empire, notably in Australia and New Zealand. After the 1930’s, the YHL was renamed as the Barnardo Helpers League.

The pocket tool weighs 19.8 grams or 0.63 Ounces Troy and when closed measures 7 cm in length and when open with fittings extended it measures 13.7 cm in length,

Makes for an interesting and very much useable collectible piece impressed with full marks indicating Sheffield Assay office circa 1928 with the makers mark for George Gill & Sons of Saint Philips Road, Sheffield.