A telescope used by Hitler’s troops during the Second World War was destined for the tip until eagle-eyed waste recycling centre staff spotted its historic value.
The field telescope, which allowed German soldiers to measure shooting distance on the battlefield, was brought in to the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Bledlow Ridge by a member of the public.
It would have been all too easy for this wartime memorabilia to be lost forever in a landfillGurbaksh Badhan, head of waste management at Bucks County Council
Staff spotted the rare item and handed it to the South Bucks Hospice’s re-use shop in Aston Clinton.
Sue Rance, shop manager,said: “Staff at the site saw a person getting out of a car with it and brought it to us.
“I had never seen one before.
“It was in a case and in such good condition that we decided to donate it to a museum.”
The rare wartime item was donated to the Lincolnsfields Children’s Centre in Bushey, Hertfordshire, which has a large collection of Second World War memorabilia. The hospice also donated a tripod, believed to have been from the same person, as well as a large British radio transmitter which had also been handed in at the Bledlow site.
Phil Knight, a trustee of the children’s centre, said: “It was brilliant.
“We do receive quite a few donations, but to get something like this was very good.
“It is something unusual for children to see and to be able to hold when they visit our site.
“In a lot of museums, everything is behind glass, but here, you can pick things up.”
Mr Knight was unable to estimate the value of the items, but said a lot of memorabilia ended up in army and navy shops after the war.
Gurbaksh Badhan, head of waste management at Bucks County Council, said: “This is a fantastic example of how well our household waste recycling centres are operating.
“It would have been all too easy for this wartime memorabilia to be lost forever in a landfill, but we work with our contractors FCC Environment to ensure we keep an eagle eye out for anything that can be recycled and re-used.
“It’s crucial for us that we reduce the amount of waste being thrown into the ground, and we do everything we can do to avoid this.”