10 November 2016

Military Medal 1914-1920


Findmypast has added the Military Medal 1914-1920 to its growing collection of medals and citations. It has also re-organised medals into a single search under the title: Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards.

Clicking on the link above will take you directly to the main search screen. Use the "Browse medal Type" filter to narrow down the search to a particular medal or medals.

The Military Medal 1914-1920 collection is the most comprehensively indexed version online and there has been a good deal of clean-up on the regiments that is missing from, for instance, the National Archives' version. Registration paper, schedule, reference, and gazette date have all been indexed and are all searchable fields using the "additional keywords" field on the main search screen.

And if you're quick, for this Remembrance Weekend only, all military records are completely free on Findmypast.

13 October 2016

34113 Pte Albert J Hall, 13th & 3rd Hussars


I recently picked up Albert Hall's First World War campaign medals and school attendance medals. The First World War medals are unremarkable but in cracking condition, as are the school medals which I had not seen before.  Together, I think they make an attractive display, and as the sale price was under £50 I thought they were also something of a bargain.


I don't know anything about Albert, and no service record survives for him. The school attendance medals, issued by London County Council, cover the period 1906 to 1911. Assuming that 1911 was the last year that Albert was at school, and assuming that he left school at the age of 14, a birth year of about 1896 or 1897 would seem reasonable.

Albert's regimental number with the 13th Hussars dates to between March and April 1917, although it is possible that he could have attested earlier under the Derby Scheme. Again, an enlistment year of 1917 suggest to me a younger man, maybe someone born in between 1897 and 1899.

The problem of course is that Albert Hall is a common name but there are potentially two candidates on the 1911 census: Albert Joseph Hall, a 15-year-old printer living with his parents in Hoxton and Albert Joseph Hall, a 12-year-old schoolboy living in Bow with his parents and three siblings. Of the two, and bearing in mind that in 1911, the fifteen year-old was working and not at school, I think that The Bow boy is the more likely candidate.  Then again, there is the possibility that Albert J Hall was only recorded as "Albert Hall" on the census return...

Either way, the collection of medals is uncommon and makes a nice addition to my own archive.










10 September 2016

Replica medals anyone?


I am often asked if I can recommend a good replica medals' provider. The honest answer is, I cannot.

By replica medals I mean replacement medals; copies of campaign and gallantry medals to replace originals that have been lost or sold over the years.

The truth of the matter is, I just cannot see any reason why anyone would want to go along this route. Neither would I advocate buying original medals which have had the recipient's details erased - neatly or otherwise. To me, that is vandalism and desecration which simply encourages more vandalism and desecration.

I rule out the replica/replacement/copy/fake - call them what you will - medals, simply because they are not the originals. Furthermore, from what I have seen, the vast majority look and feel awful.

For me, as a collector, I give myself two options: 

1. Post online appeals and create web pages for medals in the hope that one day someone might read that post or web page and recognise those same medals in their own collection
2. Buy identical contemporary medals

I recently purchased the campaign pair and Rifle Brigade cap badge to S-28524 Pte Leonard Thomas Bouchard. In due course these will go into a display for my great uncle, Rifleman John Frederick Nixon, who was killed in action in October 1918. Jack had attested under the Derby Scheme in 1915 and been mobilised in 1916 - so had Private Bouchard. The fact that the two men served in different battalions of the Rifle Brigade - albeit both service battalions - is irrelevant to me, although had I been more pedantic I might have held out for a closer medals-match.

Neither does it matter to me that when ultimately mounted in a display case alongside Jack's photo and identity tags, I will know that the medals next to him are not his. To me, displaying the medals of a contemporary is far preferable to displaying poor copies. For all the claims by medal companies, I have yet to see any produced with the toning that comes with decades of being hidden away in a drawer - as in the British War Medal example above. Buying another man's medals also enables me to take on another research project and to remember another man alongside Jack. Once the medals have been mounted I will record a brief service history on the back of the frame.

Finally there is the matter of cost. I note that one copy medal specialist by Royal Appointment, sells a First World War medal pair for a little over £55 (including VAT). The nasty modern shine on both medals comes free of charge. I paid £55 on eBay for the Bouchard pair, and furthermore have what looks like an authentic Rifle Brigade cap badge to boot. 

If Jack's medals ever do turn up I would of course remove Leonard Bouchard's pair and display these separately. Until that time though, I will be happy to honour both men's service for King and Country.




24 July 2016

Medals sought: 7896 Pte William Reid, 2nd A&S Highlanders


I completed some research for a client this week who would dearly love to trace her grandfather's medals and, if possible, a photograph of him. 

William Reid served with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and was entitled to a QSA with clasps for Transvaal and South Africa 1902 (7896 W Reid) . He also served during the First World War and earned a 1914 Star (7896 Pte W Reid, 2nd A&S Highlanders) claiming his clasp and roses in May 1921, and the British War and Victory Medals (201536 Pte W Reid, A&S Highlanders).

William Reid was born in 1882 and served almost continuously in the regiment between 1900 and 1919 when he re-enlisted with the Royal Engineers (613164) presumably to complete 21 years and qualify for a pension. 

Please contact Heather Fuller at hmafuller001@hotmail.co.uk if you are able to assist.


29 May 2016

9738 Pte Richard Watling, KOYLI


I picked up another 1914 Star trio PoW group this morning to 9738 Pte Richard Watling, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. There's plenty of research potential here, particularly as Richard's group also came with his son's Second World War medals.

Richard Watling was born in Heigham, Norwich on the 3rd February 1888 and joined the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on the 11th June 1908. He was the son of William and Elizabeth Watling and by 1891 was the second youngest of seven children.

He entered France with the 2nd KOYLI on the 14th August 1914 and, according to his entry in the 1914 Star medal roll, was captured on the 30th December 1914. This is clearly incorrect as he appears on my Princess Mary tin database of men captured up to and including the 25th December 1914 and, furthermore, was reported as missing in The Times list published on the 26th October. He was certainly held at Sennelager PoW camp for some of his time in captivity and was repatriated in 1918, arriving at Hull on the 27th November. He was discharged on the 23rd March 1919.

By the time the 1939 Register was taken, Richard was living with his wife Maud (nee Parker) and two sons, Richard Herbert Arthur Watling (1920-1985) and Reginald D Watling (1924-1991) at 19 Salford Street, Norwich.

Richard Watling died on the 3rd May 1964 at the age of 76, probate of £1184 being granted to his son, Richard, insurance agent. At the time of his death his home address was recorded as 17 Woodcock Close, Norwich.

1 May 2016

Liverpool Pals and Sportsmen



The London Medal Company has some nice items on this week's list. There are a couple of Liverpool Pals badges up for grabs, as well as the nice 24th Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sportsmen's) tribute medal below.


I don't suppose these will be around for very long. The Liverpool Pals' badge in particular would make a nice addition to a medal group to an original battalion member.

14 March 2016

Delhi Durbar re-unite

Here's a potentially nice re-unite for a Delhi Durbar medal with a 1914 Star and Victory Medal. eBay has the Delhi Durbar medal for 2nd Lt Geoffrey Dyett Abbott, 1st Connaught Rangers, who would later be killed in action on 2nd November 1914.

Geoffrey Dyett Abbott was born at Srinagar, India, on 12 October 1891, the son of Colonel Frank Abbott, 37th Lancers and a grandson of Lieutenant-General H. D. Abbott, C.B., and of Major-General J. C. Berkeley, C.I.E. He was educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was gazetted to the Connaught Rangers in March 1911 and served with the 1st Battalion in India. Promoted to Lieutenant in June 1914, he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 26 September 1914. He was killed in action at Laventie, France, on 2 November 1914. His company commander sent the following account of the circumstances: ‘On the 2nd instant [November, 1914] we went to relieve the 2nd Gurkhas and came under rather heavy fire crossing an open place. It was in the above open place he was killed.’ Geoffrey Abbott was buried in the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard at Laventie.

Lt Abbott's 1914 Star and Victory Medal were sold by Dix Noonan Webb in March 2010 for £460 (estimate £200-£250) and the italicised text above is from the DNW site.

6 March 2016

Loved to death, battered, brooched


Sold today on eBay, this Indian Mutiny Medal and sometime brooch, originally awarded to Robert Smith of the 71st Highlanders. It was sold for £125, a bargain to some and a waste of £125 to others, depending on where you sit when it comes to medals that have obvious damage and/or a history.

I was watching this, interested as much as anything, to see what the final price would be. I like the medals I buy to be in as good a condition as possible and so I don't have obviously damaged medals in my collection. Nevertheless, I can see the merits of buying medals like this one, although I would probably have preferred to purchase it in its secondary brooched status. These re-purposed medals are not uncommon and have the advantage of being, for the most part, quite reasonable to acquire. I suppose an undamaged Indian Mutiny Medal to this regiment would fetch around £400, but I quite like Victoria's facial scars, and the impressed naming in the usual roman capitals, is both lovely and unblemished.


All in all then, I would say that this is a good buy, although I can't imagine that researching the recipient, Robert Smith, will be an easy task.




21 January 2016

Charles Stanley George Ralph - where's the QSA?


3857 Pte Charles Stanley George Ralph, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards; later 5101 Pte, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons was born in Wandsworth, London and was a butcher by trade when he enlisted in London on the 15th July 1891. His stated age was 18 years and two months which suggests that he was born around May 1873. His birth though, was registered in the third quarter of 1874 and the 1881 census also records him as a six year old. He was thus probably 17 years old when he enlisted, and not 18.

Charles enlisted for a period of seven years with the colours and five years on the reserve albeit, according to clause 18a, “if, at the termination of such period of Army Service, you are serving beyond the seas, then for the first eight years in the Army Service and for the remaining four years in the 1st Class of the Army Reserve.” He indicated at the time of his attestation that he wished to serve with the 4th Dragoon Guards.

He served with the regiment in India from September 1894 until February 1899, earning the India Medal 1895 with clasps for the Punjab Frontier 1897-98 and Tirah 1897-98 in the process. He was transferred to the Army Reserve in February 1899 but recalled to the colours that same November when he was transferred to the 6th (Inniskilling Dragoons). He subsequently served in South Africa and added two more campaign medals to his collection. He was discharged to the Army Reserve for a second time in August 1902 and finally discharged on the 14th July 1903, exactly twelve years after he had first enlisted.

Charles Ralph's QSA and KSA appeared in a collectors' sale auction at Truro Auction Centre on the 23rd May 2014 (lot 582). However, the KSA had already appeared, on its own as item 651 at the same Truro Auction Centre on 7th March 2014. QC Militaria subsequently had the QSA up for sale in July 2015.

I'm at a loss to understand how the KSA appeared as a single medal two months before both medals were offered, and also, of course, why the medals were split after being together for over a hundred years. There also remains the matter of the missing India Medal 1895-1902. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the QSA and IM, or can offer an explanation for the sequence of events above, please leave a comment or contact me directly via the research tab. A client in Australia holds the KSA - or at least a KSA with Charles Ralph's details impressed.

The photograph on this page is an edited compilation of images which appear on Dix Noonan Webb's website.

17 January 2016

Baltic Medal


Instituted:
1856

Qualification:
Granted to officers and men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines for operations in the Baltic against Russia at the same time as the Crimean War. One hundred and six medals were also issued to men serving with the Royal Sappers and Miners (British Battles and Medals lists these men by name).

Description:
36mm diameter silver medal. The obverse portrays the diademed head of Queen Victoria, the legend VICTORIA REGINA. The reverse depicts Britannia seated, holding a trident. Behind her are the fortresses of Bomarsund and Sveaborg. The word BALTIC is above, with the dates 1854-1855 in the exergue. The obverse of the medal had been designed by William Wyon RA (1795-1851) and the reverse by his son Leonard Charles Wyon (1826-1891).

Ribbon:
33mm wide; yellow with blue edges.

Suspension:
An ornamental swivelling suspender.

Naming:
Medals were issued unnamed except those to the Royal Sappers and Miners. These medals were impressed in block capitals.

Clasps:
None

Image courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.

14 November 2015

Indian Mutiny Medal - Defence of Lucknow

http://www.london-medals.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=13470

Not for the first time, seeing a desirable item appear on a stock list had me thinking, "if only I had [in this case] £1875 to spare..." I would love an Indian Mutiny Medal with the Defence of Lucknow clasp. At this point in time I only possess one IM medal and that's to Colour Sergeant John Keatinge of the 1/8th Foot who has clasps for Lucknow and Defence of Lucknow; a man I have researched quite extensively and who spent many years in India, ultimately dying there in 1872.

But this medal from the London Medal Company Ltd is particularly attractive to me at this point in time because I have just finished reading (again) William Forbes-Mitchell's Reminiscences of the Great Mutiny 1857-9, which must be one of the best, if not the best, Other Rank account of soldiering in Queen Victoria's army; and I am also dipping in and out of A Lady's diary of the Siege of Lucknow.

Father Christmas, if you're listening, I'd like medals this year please, not more socks and after-shave.

25 October 2015

1914 PoWs - lists for sale


I have started selling transcriptions of my lists of men who were captured prior to December 1914. You can read more about this project on my 1914 PoWs page. Rolls cost from £10 each; a bargain really when you consider how much information there is on many of them. I have published partial information for some of the regiments; full list follows. Drop me a line for more information.

I can't recall now, from where I obtained the photograph of Pte James Mowat of the 1st Gordons (above). My apologies if I have infringed any copyright.

Royal Artillery
Royal Garrison Artillery
Royal Field Artillery

Household Cavalry

1st Life Guards
2nd Life Guards
Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)

Line Cavalry

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th Hussars
8th Hussars
10th (PWO) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th Hussars
18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own)
19th Hussars
20th Hussars

1st (King's) Dragoon Guards
2nd Dragoon Guards
3rd Dragoon Guards
4th Dragoon Guards
5th Dragoon Guards
6th Dragoon Guards
7th Dragoon Guards

1st Dragoons
2nd Dragoons
5th Dragoons
6th Dragoons

5th Lancers
9th Lancers
12th Lancers
16th Lancers
17th Lancers

Foot Guards

Grenadier Guards
Coldstream Guards
Scots Guards
Irish Guards

Infantry (Line and Territorial Force)

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
Bedfordshire Regiment (173 named individuals)
Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (53 named individuals)
Border Regiment
Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Cameron Highlanders
Cheshire Regiment
Connaught Rangers
Dorsetshire Regiment (390 named individuals)
Durham Light Infantry (184 named individuals)
East Lancashire Regiment
East Surrey Regiment
Essex Regiment (44 named individuals)
Gloucestershire Regiment
Gordon Highlanders (806 named individuals)
Hampshire Regiment
Highland Light Infantry
King's (Liverpool Regiment)
King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) (221 named individuals)
King's Own Scottish Borderers
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
King's Royal Rifle Corps
Lancashire Fusiliers
Leicestershire Regiment
Leinster Regiment
Lincolnshire Regiment
London Regiment (Territorial Force)
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (509 named individuals)
Manchester Regiment
Middlesex Regiment (397 named individuals)
Norfolk Regiment (215 named individuals)
North Staffordshire Regiment
Northamptonshire Regiment
Northumberland Fusiliers (152 named individuals)
Ox and Bucks Light Infantry
Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (425 named individuals)
Rifle Brigade (304 named individuals)
Royal Berkshire Regiment
Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Royal Fusiliers (247 named individuals)
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Royal Irish Rifles
Royal Munster Fusiliers
Royal Scots
Royal Scots Fusiliers
Royal Sussex Regiment (26 named individuals)
Royal West Kent Regiment (158 named individuals)
Scottish Rifles
Seaforth Highlanders
Sherwood Foresters
Somersetshire Light Infantry (186 named individuals)
South Lancashire Regiment (342 named individuals)
South Staffordshire Regiment
South Wales Borderers
Suffolk Regiment (621 named individuals)
Wiltshire Regiment (686 named individuals)

Other Corps

Army Service Corps
Military Mounted Police
Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Royal Engineers

Royal Navy

20 September 2015

Harpers online


There are some nice medal groups on the recently re-vamped Harpers website, and if medals aren't particularly your thing, or if you're looking for that unusual gift for someone special, there are other categories guaranteed to tempt.

 
Site-owner and man behind Harpers, Jon Murphy, has just introduced a newsletter as a means of keeping in touch and you can subscribe to it on the site. I was pleased to be asked contribute an article to the first issue which means that it's bound to become a collectors' item in the not too distant future. Subscribe now by following the instructions at the bottom of the home page.


14 September 2015

27079 Sapper William Henry Butt, L Signal Coy, Royal Engineers


I picked up this broken group at the DNW auction last week. I don't usually buy broken groups but I like medals awarded to the original BEF and besides, this one included a Medaille Militaire, albeit with most of the enamel missing from the face.

As DNW were quick to point out, the clasp on the 1914 Star isn't verified but I'm guessing that William was entitled to wear it and picked up a copy from a local tailor. As for the man himself, the book, Honours & Awards to the Old Contemptibles confirms the Medaille Militaire award and notes SR (or Special Reserve) next to William's name. This is interesting because his regimental number does not belong to the Special Reserve series and dates to around April 1913.

I have not yet confirmed William's entitlement to the Defence Medal but he was entitled to the Queen's South Africa Medal and King's South Africa Medal, having served in South Africa as 4607 Sapper William H Butt from June 1900 until September 1902. He received the usual three state clasps on his QSA and the usual two date clasps on his KSA, all of which means that the three silver medals from this group are missing and could well have been scrapped several decades ago. But if they do still survive, and the owner wishes to part with them, please do get in touch.

William was the son of Thomas and Maria Butt and was born in Portland, Dorset in 1872. He married Annie Florence Legg in Dorchester in 1903 and a son, Kenneth Butt, was born on the 31st January 1911. I have not yet confirmed a death date for William.

Photo courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.



5 September 2015

42138 Sgt Frederick Hussey, MM


I picked up this MM for a couple of hundred euros at a brocante in France the other week. Nothing wrong with the medal itself which appears to be genuine, it's the naming and the entitlement which is questionable.
 
The medal is named to 42138 SGT F. HUSSEY 2/4 D.W.R
 
 
 
Therein lies the first problem. There is no 42138 Sgt Hussey. I checked the usual medal rolls and service records and came up with 42168 Sergeant Frederick Hussey. He has surviving service papers and he did serve with the 2/4th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), albeit not until 1919 after he had volunteered for a year's service with the Army of Occupation:
 
 
There is no mention on his service papers of an MM award and his name does not appear in "For Bravery in the Field" or in the London Gazette. At this point in time then, I suspect that for whatever reason, a genuine MM was obtained and re-named (although I have yet to measure the medal with calipers to confirm this).
 
Hussey himself had a long service history having originally joined the Leicestershire Regiment in 1886 (having seen prior service with the Royal Berkshire Regiment militia). His First World War attestation papers note 24 years' service with the 1st Leicestershire Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers and record his age in May 1915 as 44 years and six months (although according to his original 1886 papers he was born around July 1878 and therefore would have been closer to 47 years old). He saw service with the 12th, 16th and 22nd battalions of the Durham Light Infantry as well as the Training Reserve and the 53rd (Young Soldiers) Battalion of the KOYLI. He was, it would appear, a soldier through and through and so whilst the provenance of the MM may be questionable, I'm still pleased with the purchase.  If anyone can add to Frederick Hussey's story, please drop me a line.
 
Service record screenshot courtesy of The National Archives.


2 August 2015

15669 Pte Robert Chapman, 1st Grenadier Guards - PoW


As a postscript to my February 2014 about Grenadier Guardsman Robert Chapman, I discovered, quite by accident this morning, that he was also a Prisoner of War. Many men taken prisoner of war in 1914 have this information recorded on their medal index cards. However, the practice is not universal and neither is the year or date of capture usually mentioned. Grenadier Guards medal index cards are not annotated with this information and it was only when I was looking at my database of 1914 Other Rank PoWs earlier this morning that I noticed Robert Chapman was on that list.

According to British records he was captured on the 27th October 1914, although German records note that he was taken prisoner on the 26th. Either way, it's a nice discovery for me and makes this interesting group even more appealing.

6 July 2015

The London Medal Company goes Greek


Lots of Greek items on the London Medal Company's latest list. Presumably the banks there have been having a clear-out. As well as groups which are wholly comprised of Greek awards (as in the example above), there are also groups with a British interest such as the example below which was awarded to a Greek-born interpreter. Presumably the expression, "It's all Greek to me" did not apply in this instance.

 
Images courtesy The London Medal Company.


19 June 2015

Boxer Rebellion & 14 Star Trio


Here's a nice group with a nice mark-up to match, from The London Medal Company's latest catalogue. I was an under-bidder on this group to W H Jewell of the Royal Horse Artillery when it sold for £340 at an Essex auction house last month. LMC now have it at a somewhat eye-watering £795. Quite some mark-up that, even with the 20 per cent buyer's premium, but I suppose those Cecil Court rents must be eye-watering too.  

Read more about this group, and others, at the London Medal Company website.  

Image copyright, London Medal Company.



5 June 2015

British Battles & Medals - FREE this weekend

http://www.naval-military-press.com/home.php?bid=8&partner=PaulNixon

Here's a nice offer from Naval & Military Press. Spend £80 (including p&p) this weekend and get a copy of British Battles & Medals thrown in free of charge. I have an older version than this 7th edition but I'm still somewhat tempted.

http://www.naval-military-press.com/home.php?bid=8&partner=PaulNixon

The 7th edition of British Battles & Medals has been completely re-written and features hundreds of photos from the collection of renowned medal expert and authority, John B Hayward.

http://www.naval-military-press.com/home.php?bid=8&partner=PaulNixon

This offer is valid until 12 noon on Monday 8th June (even though the N&MP blurb above states July rather than June). Click on the images above or any of the text links to go straight through to the Naval & Military Press website.

23 May 2015

A Pozieres MC

 
New items from the London Medal Company this week in include this fine group to a Royal Fusiliers officer who had previously served in the ranks of the Lincolnshire Regiment during the Sudan and Second Anglo-Boer war campaigns. It would look great on my wall.



10 May 2015

Beware "low number" hype


Medal dealers love to highlight low regimental numbers as indication of long service or original battalion membership. For that matter, there are also collectors who only collect low regimental number medals to particular regiments or corps.

In the example below, the low number 35 is singled out as being worthy of note. But is it really that remarkable? The Rifle Brigade, alone of all the infantry regiments, did not start a new number series in 1881 but continued merrily along its way with its existing series.  And why shouldn't it have done so? It was unaffected by Cardwell's changes and there was really no need to start afresh. It was numbering in the 4000s by July 1881, reached 9999 in 1889 and started a new number series in February that year. It reached 9999 for a second time in late 1903 and started again from 1 either very late 1903 or on the 1st or 2nd January 1904.


So in the case above, the number 35 does not signal that the man was an original member of a particular battalion (or regiment). He simply happened to enlist at a time when the Rifle Brigade had just started a new number series commencing from 1.

This man was a regular, career soldier, and as a general rule, the majority of Territorial Force units did start numbering from 1 when the TF came into being in 1908. In the same way, the majority of Special Reserve units did not start numbering from 1 when they replaced the militia in 1908.  So low TF numbers might indeed signal early entry into a particular unit (and often prior service in the Volunteer Force). However, there are significant exceptions to the rule in both cases, some of which I have unpicked, and continue to unpick, on my army service numbers blog.

Images courtesy of the London Medal Company.

3 May 2015

London Medal Company - New additions


I like what I've seen from The London Medal Company so far and so I'm happy to post these links to the company's website. I bought a modest group the other week but it did come with a lot of supporting ephemera including some great photos which will hopefully open up other research avenues.

The item pictured above comprises a "Second World War Battle of France May 1940 Hurricane Fighter Pilot’s casualty group awarded to Pilot Officer R.W. Burton, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who flew operationally with No.85 Squadron, and when performing a ground attack, was killed in action, being shot down by either M.E.109’s or anti aircraft fire on 20th May 1940."  So there.


19 April 2015

Dix Noonan Webb - 12th May 2015


Dix Noonan Webb's latest auction of Orders, Decorations and Medals kicks off on 12th May.  View the catalogue here. There are the usual goodies like lot 450 (above); a group of three to Squadron Sergeant-Major T Lockwell of the 9th Lancers together with a silver salver presented to him by his brother NCOs on leaving the regiment on 4th June 1892. Nice.





11 April 2015

Spink - Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals & Militaria

 
 
Check out the catalogue for Spink's forthcoming Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals & Militaria auction on April 23rd. There are some nice items in this auction which will be of particular interest to Life Guards and Royal West Kent Regiment enthusiasts. View the catalogue here.
 




4 April 2015

Naval & Military Press Easter sale

http://www.naval-military-press.com/home.php?partner=PaulNixon&bid=2
 
This annual event is becoming almost as traditional as the Easter Bunny: 20% off Naval & Military Press titles for all orders placed by 6pm on Monday 20th April 2015. The offer applies to every title stocked by N&M Press, including those that are already discounted.
 
 
NOW £116 - down from £145
 
Trench Maps ‘special sheets' demonstrate that the First World War was not a simple matter of ‘lions led by donkeys', but involved a massive amount of methodical and advanced scientific work – intelligence, aerial photography, photogrammetry, sound-ranging, predicted fire, aeroplanes, tanks, chemical, etc. – in an attempt to reduce casualties and break the deadlock.

This DVD ROM includes over 750 ‘special sheets' with expert commentary, at the 1:5,000, 1:10,000 and 1:20,000 scales from the ‘special sheets' collection held at The National Archives in TNA Class WO 297. The main battles and many smaller ‘actions' are well-represented, with maps showing trench systems developing over time, and the progress of battles – Loos, Somme, Arras, Vimy Ridge, Messines, Third Ypres, Hindenburg Line, Amiens, etc. Trench maps were used as a background for overprinting the specific functional information (e.g. Barrage Maps) of many of the ‘special sheets'. Particularly important overprints show artillery and intelligence functions, notably ‘Barrage Maps' for attacks, and ‘Enemy Order of Battle' and ‘Distribution of Enemy Forces' maps distributed for operations. ‘Hostile Battery Positions' maps show enemy artillery batteries located by flash-spotting, sound-ranging, aerial photography and reconnaissance, etc., and ‘Harassing Fire' maps show artillery targets in the enemy area to be subject to interdiction fire. Price plus VAT of £29 (VAT is applicable to all U.K. & European Union orders).
 


29 March 2015

Tubby Clayton and two Great War VCs


I bought this old press photo from 1926 recently. The caption on the reverse reads:

YPRES DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE.
Our photograph shows the Rev. P.B. Clayton ("Tubby" of Toc H) leading the singing of Kipling's Recessional during the service in Horse Guards Parade, after which there was a procession to the Cenotaph. On the left are two VCs. Lt-Col Sherwood Kelly and Sergt Brooks.

John (Jack) Sherwood Kelly VC, CMG, DSO won his Victoria Cross on the 20th November 1917 at the Battle of Cambrai. Oliver (Olly) Brooks of the Coldstream Guards won his VC near Loos on the 8th October 1915.




11 March 2015

Dix Noonan Webb - 25th March 2015

Orders, Dedcorations, Medals and Militaria

The latest DNW hootenanny (or as they like to put it, "Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria" auction) kicks off on the 25th March. Grab yourself a VC group, or simply click on the image above to browse the catalogue and dream...

21 February 2015

London Medal Company - New stock


Some attractive medals have just been added by the London Medal Company. There is a range of items and with a range of prices to match. Great War pairs from £40. Worth checking out.

Pictured above, the group of 3: Campaign Service Medal 1962, 2 Clasps: Northern Ireland, Air Operations Iraq; (24428535 PTE M R ATKINS GORDONS); Jubilee Medal 2002; Accumulated Campaign Service Medal, 1st type; (24428535 SGT M R ATKINS R ANGLIAN), mounted court style as worn.

14 February 2015

Victory's boxer nose

 
I've just picked up a Queen's Sudan and a Khedive's Sudan to an Indian soldier. The claw on the Queen's Sudan is a little loose and both medals show signs of having been polished over the years. Queen Victoria is a little rubbed - Her Majesty would not be amused - and Victory (above and below) looks as though she's run into a brick wall or done ten rounds in the ring with a boxing champion.
 

So the medals are far from perfect, but as far as I'm concerned, both are preferable to groups which have had their original ribbons removed and then been artfully court-mounted for display. Heaven forbid, there are plenty of medals on the market - and many in regimental collections for that matter - which have been lacquered.

The Queen's Sudan Medal is one of my favourites. Not only is the design is just wonderful, those heavily impressed capital letters along the edge of today's acquisition are works of art in their own right. Besides which, a bloody and battered nose for Victory after her encounter with the Fuzzy-wuzzies is absolutely spot on.