Stories of collectors

without collectors no Rocksteady.

we been around for a while now and we see so many people that we at Rocksteady wondered what got you into collecting?
Or what is your story you really want to share with our FB group and the members.
Some fascinating and interesting stories came up we save and share them with you here(all with permission of the poster)

– Gard

I started collecting in August 2015, when I stumbled upon two KVK’s in an Opel forum. At that time I didn’t know much else than that they were from WWII. I’ve always been interested in the history around WWII so I figured I’d buy them. Soon I started looking around for more history and medals.
I kinda used this new hobby to “get away” from reality, as my mother was very sick. She fought against a very agressive brain tumor (cancer), which they found in late October 2014. I just needed other things on my mind, instead of constantly thinking about my mom and making myself sick that same way.
She passed away in January last year, rest her soul, and that’s when I really needed something else to think about. After a couple of months grieving, I started to buy some more. School went shit, but hey, atleast I got some more medals for my collection.
I can’t look at my collection without thinking about her. Indirectly she made me start to collect, and that’s the main reason I continued. Even after the time where I thought about selling it all and use that money on one of my project cars..
Needless to say, I’ve met a whole lot of friendly people. Most hidden behind a phone or a computer, but still.. It’s a very friendly community where mostly everyone is respecting other people’s views and thoughts.

 I just needed to air out my thougts around this, which I actually haven’t done before now..

-James Haigh

ive always been fascinated by ww2. As a kid growing up, i was lucky enough to still have both my grandparents around and i loved listening to their stories about the war.My nan stayed on the homefront working in factories and dodging air raids. her house took a direct hit from an incendiary bomb and at just 17 years old she lost everything. her whole life was reduced to a pile of rubble and ash.the only thing that survived was an old tea spoon. she battled on regardless. typical british wartime spirit. she was a tough old bird and lived to the ripe old age of 93.
However, my favourite story is about my mad bastard Grandad. John Samuel Haigh, He was in the merchant navy seconded to the fleet auxillary.served in the atlantic convoys and baltic fleet and saw action all over the world. but his best tale of daring do didnt happen at sea,he was home in England, on shore leave and had volunteered for fire watching duties one night. Sat on a rooftop they could hear the sticks of bombs falling, the sky was alight with tracer and flak and the city glowed bright orange as fires broke out. buildings trembled and crashed to the ground. surrounded by all this chaos and with only buckets of sand to help them they felt frustrated and helpless.
suddenly amongst the smoke and fire, a search light illuminated a parachute. a glowing white silken orb drifting silently down . Grandad turned to his friend ” come on sammy, lets go n get that jerry bastard!” they grabbed hold of some makeshift weapons (a large wrench and a fire axe) and set off in the direction of the downed luftwaffe pilot. the search light beam caught him again and they were right on top of him. he was going to land in the next street! ” cmon,cmon lets get him!” They both sprinted as fast as they could. Their heavy hob nailed boots pounding the cobbled street beneath them. They turned the corner and there “he” was. drifting slowly to earth.Grandad and sammy ran towards him as fast as they could. But when they were a couple of hundred yards from reaching their prey, the searchlight caught “him” again. at this range they could very clearly see their enemy…….”oh F@%!in HELL !!!! RUN AWAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!”
It wasnt a downed Luftwaffe pilot as they had first thought . it was a 1000lb aerial mine about to touch down and destroy everything in its path.
They dived for cover in the ruins of an old factory and heard the mettalic “clunk” as it touched down, there was a massive flash an almighty bang and red hot shrapnel and brick work rained down all around them. Apart from a few scrapes and bruises and singed eyebrows they walked away relatively unscathed. He survived the war and went on to travel the entire globe.He was a great man and I feel priveliged to have known him and to be able to call him “grandad”
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the story

– Muro Bars
My granddad lived on in the stories i heard as a kid from my grandmother, stories about ww2, how he fought against the germans and how he became a soe agent for intel during the occupation, i got so intrigued by it that i started metal detecting for relics at age 15, worked in a museum for years up till age 20, then i decided to do something else, until a few years ago due to a burn out/ non solved ptsd, anyway i felt the urge to conserve the history of ww2 and the history i witnessed as a kid all the way up till the fall of the berlin wall, all for the next of kin, so my collection is not 100% german ww2..but a collection that keeps my childhood memories more graspable in the shape of the entire german history.
-Jason Haggard
From the age of 13 forward I’ve always had that “interest” in military history. My first memory is my dads airforce trunk he was a sergeant in the Canadian Air Force as a firefighter I remember picture of all these fighter jets. After that my Sunday school teacher Carol E… he was a good man I wish I could have told him before he passed away that I appreciated and loved how he taught me about Jesus . It was only a few years later when I was 15-16 I struggled in math at school. My mom asked Mr Carol E if he could tutor me and he did… this is why to this day of think of you dear sir I hope someday to see you again. It was at this time being curious I knew Carol was a veteran because seeing him and his buddies on Remembrance Day November 11th here in Canada 🇨🇦. I asked him about the war I remember asking him exactly what he remembered the most???? His reply was how young the German soldiers were. Carol landed in Normandy on the beaches code named Juno 🇨🇦. Tracing the Canadian Divisions movements the pushed onto Caen. It was the 12th SS Panzer Hitlerjugend Division that they ran up against and his first memories of the cruelty of war was “having” to kill young German boys. I’m very thankful for running into you Bas Bravenboer to be holding history is a treasure to share with people
-Cameron Volek
My interest in militaria started when I was about 9 years old, my parents bought me a 1950’s Hungarian 35 year service medal. At the time I did not know much about collecting and had no money so my collection didn’t go anywhere. A few years later I decided to start research on the medal I had and militaria in general, while I was searching I came across ww2 German militaria and I instantly loved it. My interest in ww2 skyrocketed and I recently started collecting now that I have slightly more money and a better ability to research. This medal is my only non German item that I am not selling and will keep it forever.
-Robert Rautio
I´m a big fan of Motörhead, and that combinated with the fact that Lemmy was so big collector of ww2 military and I also was very interested in this part of the history since I was just a little kid got me to wanna have my own ww2 german items. It´s one thing to read about it but much better to actually touch the items…

-Jon Leatham
This is my collecting story. The 1st item I ever got was from my grandad. He had a shoe box full of the familys medals. He said he would let me have some. I was given a box with some 1st world war medals that belonged to my great grandad that as a ten year old I looked after. Since then I have always had them in a box that I keep things in. As I grew up I read alot of war books and watched films that I loved. It was only after my relationship failed I began collecting thanks to the purchase of an ost front medal . Now a couple of years later Iv a display case overflowing and draws full of ww2 finds. My mum saw this and gave me family paperwork for my great grandads medal for me to find he had been at the battle if Jutland in ww1

-Frank Denissen

What got me into collecting WW2.
My very first WW2 detector find. (Unfortunatly no pictures as this is more then 15 years ago)

My first detecting trip with my very own detector at age 16 was one of my best trips i had.
My first finds were some bullets, and i was happy as a dog with 7 dicks. Ofcourse the woods contained a lot of old ww2 items and metaldetecting was not as popular or affordable as it is at present day.
After some more digging and finding a lot of scrap and junk i found a german helmet. Not really knowing that it was ww2 related i took it home, where i was told it is from the great war against Germany and that story got me hooked on ww2 related items.
Just being able to find something from a battle that did not even happe that long ago and where people who are alive today still have memories from (the good and the bad) made me want to dig into that part of history, just because i could get the information first hand from the people who were there.

When i got older i had a accident during a sports match that took out my back, and since the doctors told me there was a big chance i would end up in a wheelchair within several years i gave up on metal detecting and sold all my items just avoid being triggered by that.

I have picked up metal detecting about 2 years ago and had some amazing discoveries,
Today i collect mostly what i find. And sometimes i buy a relic or ww2 used item to add to my collection.
The bought items are mostly not on display (choices choices) but having them as spotwarmers untill i find one myself satisfies me a lot!

There are so many things about ww2 that are still unknown to this day. There are people who discover sites of wich there is no known hisory of ww2 and dig up a lot of items there that tell the story of what took place there.
And being able to contribute to keeping that history alive makes me proud!

-My WW2 gem(nathan marcus)

It all started in May,
when browsing an auction page i stumbeled upon an original Knights cross wearers waffenrock. As i always have loved these tunics, I immediately fell in love.
the Tunic was named to Ritterkreuztrager Franz Jasiek
Franz has fought in:
– Poland 39
– France 40
– Russia 41
– Minsk
– Kurland
– Kursk

he got the knights cross in 1943, and survived the war!
he wore his uniform to veteran meetings aswell (note the eagle was removed)
Franz passed away in 1982 ,I needed this tunic ! so i bought it
my next goal was to make the set complete again
I bought 2 trousers, because who needs 1 if you can have 2 right! 2 caps and all the medals Franz received
Now this set is finished for me and will follow me in my grave!

-My name is Benjamin Mack-Jackson and I am a 14 year old collector. I am the founder of the WWII Veterans History
Both my great grandfathers were in WWII and unfortunately I never got to meet them, however I do have medals from one of them.

(Steve Brock)
My collection shortly after I was bitten by the bug. 90% of what you see was purchased from Bas. He was the first guy I developed a relationship with here in our little virtual world of enthusiasts and have been buying from him since. I don’t care to win anything so when I tell you he’s one of the most honest men you can do business with, I mean it. My occupation involves me meeting with a good many business owners and if they had half the integrity Bas does, well, I probably wouldn’t drink as much as I do!
Cheers to many years to come


-Jens Box

The helmet of mister Shulz .
I started collecting in the winter of 2015 so thats a small 2 years now.I have seen many great items and interessing stuff. My main focus is on medals and documents. But this item is one of my favorite things in my collection. I bought this helmet from our good friend Bas where for I am him very thankfull 🙂

This is a helmet from a soldier named Shulz , the helmet is damaged by I believe ,shrapnel. The paint is still good visable . It also has some part of the decals on it and the interior is completly gone.
It was found in a small village called myasnoy bor in the Novogrod area (siege of Leningrad) . myasnoy bor was a village where the Germans fought against the red army. This was during the battle of the Volkhovsky forest. This helmet is from a soldier who his name is rembered in the endless sea of history and still remains faceless . I hope to find out who the soldier was

. Now is in myasnoy bor a cementary for 34.000 russian soldiers that died between 1941 and 1944 may there soul rest in peace (maybe a nice stop in the Rocksteady battlefield tours Bas 😉 )

I hope one day to connect a face to this name in a helmet.
It’s not the nicest helmet in the world but to me it’s the nicest of them all 🙂
In the pics you can see the helmet
and the link is to a site where you can find a lot of pics abouth the battle in the Volkhovsky forest .


-Leonard v Essen
I bought this helmet from bas at the expo in houten and these are the before and after cleaning pics. It came out of a bunker in IJmuiden. The inside was covered with 1-4mm rust.17021656_1440797749294863_6654688118587256374_n

-Leonardo Azzapardi

I am from Malta the most bombed country in ww2.Many axis planes were shot down and thousands of kilos of bombs dropped .The george cross island isolated in the centŕe of the mediterreneam.never defeated.I began collecting as a child.,easily could find sharpnels bullets and aircraft abandined on countryside
I still have bullets,sharpnels,cartridges ect ect… im psting relic parts pf Me109 in my collection.

Bob Rads collection