Posthumous VC | Silver Coins

Posthumous VC

Man or medal?

THERE has been a debate on-line recently about medals vs males and what we as collectors must be researching and how we need to be performing it. This is nothing at all new, it is a topic that has been brought up in conversations at medal fairs and medal clubs around the nation on a normal basis for years, but I’m not completely sure that I have covered it here. Basically, the argument is whether we, as collectors, must be far more interested in the recipient of the medal or the medal itself? In other words, are we just collecting excellent stories about brave guys and ladies or are we more akin to coin and stamp collectors: collecting varieties of physical products? The arguments for the 1st kind of collection are obvious—after all, with out a man (or lady of course) there would be no medal, they had to have in fact accomplished some thing to be awarded that medal, be it an act of heroism, fighting in a campaign or a period of lengthy service, but if we are merely collecting mementoes of service or heroism why is it that we don’t gather photographs? Or diaries? Certainly these items are even more private than the medals, aren’t they? Yes, many of us will eagerly search for a photo of “our man” or keep his diary with his group, but couple of of us would actively seek out such issues had been the medals not with them. We are medal collectors not ephemera collectors, but if we claim to be honouring the man then why don’t we collect ephemera?

So if we are collectors of items rather than collectors of “stories”, why don’t we gather coins? Stamps? Banknotes? Why don’t we be concerned too significantly about situation? Why don’t we care overmuch if a medal has been repaired (as long as it is original) or if comes from a broken group? Yes of course these issues do matter and when confronted by a medal that is in poor condition, or previously brooched, subsequent to a equivalent one particular in pristine condition a collector will normally go for the latter, but they are not “deal breakers”, not aspects that will cease a medal collector purchasing, whereas a coin collector would be horrified at being confronted by anything in such poor shape! No, we are not numismatic collectors in that sense, but there are aspects to medals that are probably overlooked. It is reasonably simple these days to “write up” your collection. Ancestry, Findmypast and similar sites, etc., have produced discovering the biographical information of recipients fairly easy and as a result you can research your medals far much more effortlessly than at any point in history, but do you ever bother to research the medals themselves? Do you ever take much more than a cursory glance at what suspension it has? What legend the obverse bears? What the naming style is and regardless of whether it differs from others issued? How many were awarded? What metal it is created from? I suspect the answer is no. Most of us will do the obvious checks for renaming or fakery but we won’t genuinely do significantly in the way of in-depth analysis on the medal itself, we would rather analysis who it was awarded to—and that is reflected very significantly by the kinds of articles that we (and even study journals like the OMRS or JOMSA) get each week. Is this simply because almost everything is already out there? Is there maybe no purpose to do the analysis on the medal itself due to the fact it has all currently been endlessly covered elsewhere? To a specific extent this is true—there’s tiny point in just regurgitating the data from excellent performs of the past, but I do feel that somewhere out there there is nonetheless some original study to be carried out. So right here is my challenge: if you want to create something for us we would be delighted to acquire it, what ever its subject matter, but we would be specifically delighted to receive some study function on the medals and not just the men behind them. It is fantastic to read about Uncle Bill in the trenches. Following all, the medals with no the recipients are just lumps of metal, but conversely it would be great to discover a little bit a lot more about these lumps of metal too. So subsequent time you feel like writing about that trio why not look at factors differently—why not commence researching why there was a Star as the first campaign medal of Planet War I not a much more accepted round medal? Why the colours of the ribbon of the British War Medal were what theywere? Why the Calcutta Mint named factors in one style while the Royal Mint namedthem in yet another? Why the 1914 Star had battalion numbers on but the 1914-15 didn’t?There are dozens of subjects to appear at and whilst I will usually maintain that the menare far more essential than the medal, there is, I think, area for some very good investigation onthese funny small beribboned metal items. I can’t picture it has all been mentioned ahead of can you . . .?
Token Publishing

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