19 December 2014

South Atlantic Medal


Awarded to British military personnel and civilians for service in the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina. It was announced on 18th December 2014 that the medal was also to be awarded to the Falkland Islands (in the same way that Malta was awarded the George Cross).

Cupronickel, 36mm in diameter.  The obverse bears a crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II facing right. The reverse depicts the Falkland Islands coat of arms over a laurel wreath with the words, SOUTH ATLANTIC MEDAL above.

A central stripe of sea green flanked on each side by equal widths of white and watered and shaded "Empire blue".

A fixed bar suspension.

Impressed with initials, surname, rank or rating, and regiment.

None. A rosette to be worn on the ribbon was awarded to recipients who served for at least one day within 35° and 60° South latitude or who took part in at least one operational sortie south of Ascension Island, between the date of the Argentine invasion on 2nd April 1982 and the date of the Argentine surrender on the 14th June 1982.

The medal on its own was awarded for 30 days continuous or accumulated service between 7° and 60° South latitude between 2nd April and 14th June 1982.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

11 December 2014

VC group knocked down for £260,000

I see Dix Noonan Webb have today sold Lieutenant-Colonel T C Watson's VC group of six (below) for £260,000. So much for the £180,000 (itself higher than DNW's pre-auction estimate) which was quoted in a number of papers last week.

Also sold today for £110,00 was the 2009 Conspicuous Gallantry Cross group of eight awarded to Colour Sergeant A G Dennis (above).

7 December 2014

Medal catalogue clear-out

I have a number of medal catalogues, too numerous to list here now, most of which I am selling at £5 each. Most date from the 1980s and 1990s although there are some more recent than that. Auction houses include Baldwin's, Buckland Dix & Wood, Christie's, Dix Noonan Webb, Glendinning's, London Stamp Exchange, Sotheby's and so on.

These are great reference works but they're taking up too much room on my shelves and so it's time they went. Drop me a line - my address is on the Medal Research tab of this blog - if you have a particular interest. List below:

Armoury of St James's, The
Vol 2, Number 2 - SOLD

Baldwin & Sons
1996 - Commemorative Medals - SOLD
28th/29th September 2010 - Coins (mostly) and medals

Buckland Dix & Wood
4th December 1991 - Upfill-Brown Collection
5th December 1995

Chelsea Military Antiques
List No's: 28, 29, 33, 34, 36, 37, 46,

25th March 1986
14th March 1989
24th April 1992

6, 11, 53, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 76

30th June 1998
4th July 2001 - SOLD
21st September 2001 - SOLD
4th December 2001 - SOLD
17 September 2004 - Brian Ritchie Part I

5th March 1986
17th September 1986
26th November 1986
24th June 1987
28th September 1988
7th December 1988
7th June 1989
19th September 1989
16th November 1994
1996 - Issue 1 - SOLD
3rd July 1996 - SOLD
28th March 2001

Liverpool Medal Company
July 2010
September 2010
November 2010
February 2011

20th September 2009 - Coins and Collectables

London Coins
4th December 2011

London Stamp Exchange
Spring/Summer 1982
Winter 1986-7

1975 - Military & Naval campaign medals & gallantry awards
15th/16th November 1978 - Lovell Collection, Part 2
28th June 1984 - SOLD
6th/7th November 1985
10th November 1988
12th September 1989
28th June 1990
17th & 18th December 1990
25th July 1991
1st December 1998
11th May 1999 - SOLD

1987 - Medal Supplement
April 1994 - Medal Quarterly - Number 1 - SOLD
7th November 1995 - SOLD
December 1995 - Medal Circular Number 2
April 1996 - Medal Circular Number 3
25th November 1998 - The Fevyer Collection
25th November 1998 - Orders, Decorations etc
25th November 1998 - The Flatow Collection
10th December 2001
11th May 2001
25th September 2001
9th May 2002

St James's Auctions
18th November 2011 - Coins and Medals

France and Germany Star

Awarded for service in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland between 6th June 1944 and 8th May 1945.

For the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, there was no prior time qualification. To qualify, personnel must have been "afloat in direct support of operations in the named countries above "... in the North Sea south of a line from the Firth of Forth to Kristiansand, in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay east of longitude 6 degrees west." Personnel serving onshore in support of land operations also qualified but those serving off the south coast of France qualified for the Italy Star instead.

For the Army, participation in any operation on land in Belgium, France, Holland or Germany.

For the RAF, any service over Europe between 6th June 1944 and 8th May 1945 except those which started from the Mediterranean and qualified for the Italy Star. Non aircrew qualified under the same conditions as the army.

The France and Germany Star was not awarded in addition to the Atlantic or Air Crew Europe Star. Those who qualified for the Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star or France and Germany Star were only awarded the star for which they qualified first, and a clasp for the second. A second clasp was not awarded to those who qualified for all three stars.

Bronze, 43mm diameter six-pointed star. The Royal cypher GRI with the roman numerals VI below. The cypher is surmounted by a crown and within a circlet which reads, THE FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR. All the Second World War Stars were designed by The Royal Mint.

32mm wide in equal strips of blue, white, red, white, blue; these colours representing the flags of the United Kingdom, France and Holland. This ribbon, in common with all WW2 Star ribbons, was designed by His Majesty the King, King George VI.

A ring attached to the uppermost point of the star.

Issued unnamed although some stars may have been privately engraved.

One: Atlantic. This was awarded to men who qualified for the France and Germany Star followed by the Atlantic. When the ribbon alone was worn, a silver rose emblem fixed to it noted the award of a clasp.

No Air Crew Europe clasp was awarded with this medal.

Photo courtesy of The Cameronians. Text assistance from British Battles & Medals.

29 November 2014

Coorg Medal


Awarded by the Honourable East India Company to Coorg soldiers who remained loyal during the Canara uprising.

Issued in gold (44 examples) and silver (300); 50mm in diameter and of varying thicknesses.

A Coorg warrior with his knife raised aloft in his right hand and a musket in his left hand. The Canarese inscription around the edge translates as, A MARK OF FAVOUR GIVEN FOR LOYALTY TO THE COMPANY'S GOVERNMENT IN SUPPRESSING REBELLION IN THE MONTHS OF APRIL AND MAY 1837.

Knives and war trophies within a laurel wreath and the inscription, FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT AND LOYALTY TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. In the exergue, COORG, APRIL 1837.

There was no ribbon. Medals awarded to officers were suspended from chains, those to other ranks from cord. The swivelling suspension and ribbon buckle in the example above were obviously added later (along with the ribbon).

A plain loop as illustrated at the top of this post.

Issued unnamed.

None issued.

Dix Noonan Webb for the two images from past auction sales; British Battles and Medals for the background.

23 November 2014

Imperial British East Africa Company Medal

Initially awarded for bravery and later, after the company ceased to exist, claims made on the basis of campaign service.

The Imperial British East Africa Company received its charter in September 1888 and was wound up in October 1895. The following campaigns were in the company's jurisdiction:

1. Campaign against the sultan of Witu (1890)
2. Uganda Religious War 1891-92
The medal is 40mm, made of silver and extremely scarce. There are only 29 confirmed medals and post 1895 authorisations.

The company's arms of a crowned sun and ascroll underneath with the motto, LIGHT AND LIBERTY. The Arabic inscription beneath that translates as 'The Reward of Bravery'. Around the outer edge, the name of the company: THE IMPERIAL BRITISH EAST AFRICA COMPANY.

Plain, except for a lotus flower wreath.

Plain blue

A plain ring suspender (above) or a swivelling scroll suspender (below).

Engraved on the edge or the reverse.

None issued.

Dix Noonan Webb for the two images from past auction sales; British Battles and Medals for the background. 

16 November 2014

Seringapatam medal

Awarded to men who contributed to the British victory in the 1799 Battle of Seringapatam against the armies of Tipu Sultan. The medal was commissioned by the East India Company in 1801 but the Company's officers di not receive Royal sanction to wear the medal until 1815, whilst officers of the British Army did not receive permission until 1851.

Minted in gold, silver-gilt, silver, bronze and pewter. The majority of the medals were struck at the Soho Mint in Birmingham but some inferior Calcutta strikings of the gold medal (83 examples) and silver medal (2,786 examples) were minted in 1808 and awarded to native officers (gold medals) and native other ranks (silver). This went against the guidance for the issue of medals from the English mint.

English medals were 48mm in diameter whilst the Calcutta medals were 45mm in diameter. The two strikings also differ in that the English version carries the designer's initials CHK above and to the right of the exergue (see above detail from a gold medal) whilst the Calcutta version has the initials in the wrong order - CKH - and the letter K reversed (see silver medal example below).

The British lion triumphing over Tipu Sultan's tiger. The Arabic inscription in the pennant translates as The Victorious Lion of God. The date given in the exergue is IV MAY MDCCXCIX

A scene of the attack on the fortress of Seringapatam. The Persian inscription underneath translates as Seringapatam God given 28th day of the month Zikadah, 1213 of the Hegira.

Pale watered orange, 38mm wide, but also commonly seen with the same ribbon as that used for the Peninsular Gold Medal.

Issued without suspension but found with various types subsequently added.

Issued un-named, although some later engraved by the recipients.

None, although some medals have clasps added which bear the text, SERINGAPATAM.

Acknowledgements Dix Noonan Webb for information from past auction sales and the images which I have reproduced on this post.

2 November 2014

42nd Foot Medal


Awarded to men of the 42nd Regiment of Foot who served during the Peninsula Campaign.

Silver, 32mm. Commissioned by the regiment and minted in 1819 by Parkes of Dublin. Obverse: in the upper section - St. Andrew with his cross, legend above, "Nemo me Impune Lacessit", in the lower section, British soldiers marching through mountainous country. Reverse: the winged figure of Fame above the battle honours, "Corunna, Fuentes d’Onor, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula"; in a rectangle below, "42 R.H. Rt."

38mm wide, crimson, edged in dark blue.

Medals with hinged silver straight bar suspension and scrolled suspension have previously been auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb.

Various rank / name /regiment combinations have been noted. Details impressed along the edge.


Dix Noonan Webb for information from past auction sales and the image which I have reproduced on this post.

24 October 2014

Medals in marble

This beautifully executed memorial is one of many in Canterbury Cathedral. It was dedicated by the wife of Major General Henry Richard Abadie CB, formerly of the IX (Queen's Royal) Lancers, in memory of her husband and four sons who died in the service of their country.

23 October 2014

Dix Noonan Webb - 24th October 2014

The latest DNW medal fest kicks off tomorrow with the auction of British Orders and Medals formed by the late Fred Rockwood. The usual deep pockets will be required. Dix Noon Webb auction catalogue here.

12 October 2014

The Italy Star

For the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, the 1939-45 Star must have been earned by six months' service in operations before the qualifying period for the Italy Star could commence. Service in the following areas would qualify: Mediterranean and Aegean seas; operations in and around the Dodecanese, Corsica, Greece, Sardinia and Yugoslavia after 11th June 1943.

For the Army, no prior time qualification. The following operational areas of service qualified: Aegean, Dodacenese, Corsica, Greece, Sardinia, Yugoslavia and Elba between 11th June 1943 and 8th May 1945.

For the RAF, no prior time qualification. Operational qualification consisted of participation in aircrew service within the Mediterranean theatre including sorties from the Mediterranean area over Europe.

Bronze, 43mm diameter six-pointed star. The Royal cypher GRI with the roman numerals VI below. The cypher is surmounted by a crown and within a circlet which reads, THE ITALY STAR. All the Second World War Stars were designed by The Royal Mint.

32mm wide, a central yellow stripe (symbolising the desert) and two dark green stripes either side (symbolising forests). From the left, equal stripes of red, white, green, white and red (the colours of the Italian flag). This ribbon, in common with all WW2 Star ribbons, was designed by His Majesty the King, King George VI.

A ring attached to the uppermost point of the star.

Issued unnamed although some stars may have been privately engraved.


Photo courtesy of Sarah Jane Framing and Medals.  Text assistance from British Battles & Medals.

24 September 2014

The Great War Medal Collectors Companion VOLUME II


This long awaited second volume in Howard Williamson’s Great War Medal Collectors Companion series is now completed and ready for publication. Sales of Volume I are currently standing at [approximately] 3400. It has been decided that the print run for Volume II will only number around 2000 so early ordering is highly recommended. In has become clear that the vast amount of information gathered for Volume II would take more than one volume to print, so it was decided to split the work into two Volumes. Please Note chapter and page numbering continues sequentially with each Volume.

Volume II begins with Chapter 6 on page 572. The contents of Volume II are as follows:


This incredible study comprises 200 pages packed with information on the regimental numbers and prefixes allocated to the Soldiers of the Great War. For the section on Line Regiments, the Author collaborated closely with Paul Nixon, whose research on Regimental Numbers provided much additional information to that compiled by the Author. The Territorial re-numberings of 1917 are all included, plus information on which number blocks were allocated to those in action on the First Day of The Somme.

The Sections on the Corps include: 
  • ASC: All the prefixes shown with their number range are explained and the units employing them are identified.
  • Labour Corps. The numbers for the Labour Companies and the Regiments to which they are affiliated plus a table linking regimental numbers and transfer details and dates.
  • RAMC: All Territorial re-numberings including refinements to include field ambulances plus notes on number blocks prior to TF renumbering.
  • RAOC: Prefixes and number ranges explained. 
  • Military Police: Notes from Paul Nixon’s blog on dates of enlistment.
  • RAVC: Notes on prefixes and numbers. 
  • RA: Territorial re-numberings. Prefixes explained.
  • RE: Notes on all number bands including a refined version of the TF numberings, Tunnelling, Gas and other companies identified as associated with certain number blocks.
  • Tank Corps: Origins of personnel revealed plus number blocks to specific battalions.
  • Sections on AIF, CEF SA, NZEF. Regimental Numbers. 
  • An A to Z of Regimental Letter & Number Prefixes, covering all units including Navy and RND.

This 140 page Chapter is the result of 25 years work by the Author. Sources for the information include: Medals from private collections; Medals observed at the major London (and other) auctions; Medal Index Cards; Official Documents; Ebay medal sales; plus information supplied by friends, medal dealers, and collectors etc. The study records not only the abbreviation as it appears on the medal and its interpretation, but also many useful annotations giving further information about the rank or unit. Main contents are: 
  • British and Commonwealth Unit abbreviations. 
  • MIC abbreviations [Expanded from Vol I]. 
  • British and Commonwealth Rank abbreviations. 
  • Rank & Unit abbreviations found on Documents. 
  • British Naval Rank and Unit abbreviations. 
  • Relative Ranks Army and Navy. 
  • Indian Ranks explained. 
  • Military appointments and ranks.
NOTE a check with over 100 DNW, Spink and other catalogues shows no abbreviations omitted. This should be the standard reference for WWI Abbreviations.


This section includes additional information on the following:

The Wauchope Medal
Flat Back Suspensions on WW1 Stars
The Memorial Plaque additional notes
Manufacture of WWI Medals – a summary
Complete lists of proposed Battle Clasps for both the Army & Navy
Comrades of the Great War magazine
Jutland Medal, Lady Beatty
Annotated DCM Gazettes
Additions to 1.7.16 DCM Roll
Naming issues on Great War medals

also included are some revisions to tables in Vol I plus odd typographical errors corrected.

INDEX: A user friendly Index completes the book.

The Great War Medal Collectors Companion VOLUME III Volume 3 is currently nearing completion and it is anticipated it will be published in time for Christmas.

Contents are as follows: 

Army Divisions. Their signs, brief history and a chronological list of the Battles and actions in which they were involved. 
Dates British Units landed overseas: includes British Regiments, RE, RAMC, MGC, RA [TF], Cyclist Corps, Tank Corps, etc. 
Battle Honours with dates of actions. 

Each unit is shown with its Brigade and Division so can be cross referenced with the Chapter on Army Divisions. 

The RE Section gives histories of each individual unit plus the battles which each unit was engaged.

Order NOW from Naval and Military Press or direct from the author, below:

PRICE £38.00 plus £6.50 postage and packing to HOWARD WILLIAMSON, 5 HANKIN AVENUE, HARWICH, ESSEX CO12 5HE. Please make CHEQUES PAYABLE TO: MRS ANNE WILLIAMSON.  NOTE cheques will NOT be cashed until the book is ready for posting. For general enquiries or for those wishing to collect their book in person email: howard@williamson2844.fsnet.co.uk with your instructions.

VOLUME III is nearing completion (see details above). Its expected date of publication is November, 2014. If you are interested in purchasing this Volume please tick the box and you be contacted when it is ready. All profits from the sale of this book will be used towards costs for the production of the Military Medal Roll 1916–1919. Due for publication in 2016.

11 September 2014

Military Medals of the First World War

Military Medal - Bravery in the Field
Here's the latest Naval & Military Press release for those with a World War One or medal interest: Great War British Army recipients of the Military Medal 1914-1920. This is a big book and now would be the time to buy it at this special introductory price. Click on the link or the images to go straight to the Naval & Military Press website.

Great War Military Medals 1914-1920

28 August 2014

Indian Mutiny medal roll

Findmypast has recently published Kevin Asplin's Indian Mutiny medal roll: 56,608 officers and men who were awarded this medal and the various clasps.

This is at least the third version of this roll that now appears online and there are differences with each.

1. Dix Noonan Webb publishes a free version HERE which is a transcript that does not include regimental numbers. But it is free.
2. Ancestry publishes the images and a thin index which you need to pay to see. In my opinion, this is the best version.
3. FindmyPast's version is also accessible only if you have a sub or Pay Per View Credits but like Ancestry you can search for free. The FindmyPast version has been augmented with information from sources other than the medal rolls and could arguably be said to be the most complete version - although you don't get images.

The image above appears on the North East Medals website.

21 August 2014

Reeman Dansie - militaria auction 28th August

Lot 487 (above) also includes a death plaque. The soldier, 301617 Rifleman William Frederick Tindley of the London Rifle Brigade was killed on 1st July 1916 so you can probably add a 0 to the £100-£150 estimate.
Update 4th September 2014. Hammer price on the above was £620. Add seller's premium of 20% (£124) plus VAT on that (£25) and you get an overall price of  £769.

6 August 2014

Pip, Squeak and Wilfred

As everyone goes First World War commemoration-crazy (and rightly so), a reminder that you'll find information on the ubiquitous WW1 trio on the following British Army Medals pages:

1914 Star
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Also see this post which details dates of issue for the 1914 Star, 1914/15 Star, BWM and VM.

Finally, don't forget the Territorial Force War Medal.

24 June 2014

Dix Noonan Webb auction, 25th-26th June

Lots of goodies coming under the hammer in this week's DNW auction including the group pictured above: a Delhi Durbar, 1914 Star trio and plaque to 9432 Pte William Smith of the Black Watch who DoW on 9th May 1915. This lot (866) is estimated at between £400 and £500 but will inevitably realise more than this. Visit the Dix Noonan Webb website to browse the catalogue or download a PDF version.

Image courtesy Dix Noonan Webb.

Footnote 26th June 2014.
I see that the above realised £460 at Hammer which means that DNW's estimate was spot on. Mind you, add buyer's premium at 20% and then VAT on top of that and the price moves north of £570; probably still a fair price for this group (albeit I find myself wanting to straighten the BWM).

12 February 2014

Dixons Gazette 77 - due soon

I love these multi-campaign groups and this one, albeit missing its LSGC, would be a good one to own.  It's currently up with Dixons for £1800. The write-up reads:
"William James Smith...  was born in the Parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex [and]originally enlisted in the 54th Foot in September 1870, aged 24 years. Subsequently advanced to Armourer Sergeant, he transferred to the 72nd Highlanders in February 1877 and witnessed active service in India and Afghanistan, October 1871-August 1882 and in Egypt, August-October 1882..."
Dixons' next catalogue is due out soon.

8 February 2014

Robert Victor Chapman's duplicate 1914 Stars

I picked these up on a well-known internet auction site a few months ago.  What's unusual here is the fact that the man apparently has two 1914 Stars, one correctly named to R V CHAPMAN:

the other incorrectly named to R V CHAPHAM:

The man has two medal index cards, neither of which shed any light on the duplicate. The first is incorrectly indexed as R Y CHAPMAN:
The second is correctly indexed as Robert V CHAPMAN.  Not a CHAPHAM in sight:

Despite the lack of evidence, I don't find anything deeply suspicious about the duplicate 1914 Star. I'm guessing that Robert Chapman received his incorrectly impressed Star and asked that a correctly impressed replacement be sent.  Perhaps he was asked to return the original, perhaps he wasn't; maybe his service record at the Guards' archives would tell me more.  In any event, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.  The impressed letters look correct on the CHAPHAM medal - note 1 / G. Gds. as opposed to I / G. Gds: on the CHAPMAN medal, but I tell myself that the impressing is different on the CHAPMAN medal because it's a later issue.  In any event, what of the man himself?
There is no service records that I could find on Ancestry but his number indicates that he joined the Grenadier Guards between 16th and 19th January 1912.  As he was born on 16th May 1897 (and baptised a couple of weeks later at Cadoxton-Juxta-Barry, Glamorgan), he can only have been 14 years old, a boy soldier, when he joined the Guards.  His medal index card notes that he arrived overseas on 6th October 1914 (still only seventeen years old) but interestingly there is no indication of entitlement to a clasp.  Does this suggest that although he arrived overseas he was not under enemy fire during the qualifying period?
He appears to have come through the war unscathed and on 31st December 1919 married

Ellison M Bamon at Pontypridd, Glamorgan.  His marriage certificate notes his age as 22 and profession as policeman (his father George is recorded as a baker). A son, Robert George Chapman, was born on 17th July 1921 (and I also purchased his Second World War medals in a separate transaction with the same vendor, below). 

Robert Victor Chapman died in 1976 aged 78 years.  His wife Ellison, born on 4th August 1897, survived him by nine years, dying in 1985.  Their son Robert died in September 2000.