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  1. Strange Creatures, These Collectors

     

    It seems that I, like many of you, have been a collector for most of my life.  Starting as a child, to be clear, I “started” as an infant, and should have written that it seemed that I started “collecting” as a child.  Back on point; I was one of those odd little buggers who, for the most part, kept the original boxes that had contained my new toys.  Cap pistols were among my favourite toys and again that’s the same as most of us, at least most of us who were boys; though there is nothing wrong with girls having toy firearms.  Note the added political correctness after-thought.  It would be quite debatable to insist that I was a collector much before the age of sixteen, when I purposely ordered an Enfield WWII spike bayonet, the No. 4 Mk II* for a grand total of .99 cents, plus shipping form International Firearms in Montreal with the express intention of starting a collection.  Could that really be over half a century ago? Now there’s cause for reflection. 

     

    Anyone who has been with the GMIC for any number of years has read about the extent to which some (many?) collectors will go to secure that “once in a lifetime” piece.  I have lost track at how many times I have told my wife that a pending purchase was a “once in a lifetime” find.  I seem to have, she’s reflected on many occasions, more “lifetimes” than a cat.  Yes, she is most droll. 

     

    On March 26 there was a gun show at Orangeville Ontario, about 1½ hours drive from here, that my friends Brian, Mike and I were attending.  At the show a dealer, with whom I have had a long standing relationship, offered me a British Police painted truncheon from the rein of William IV (1830-37). I was short of funds and asked if he would hold it until I could find a cash machine, of which there was none at the show site, meaning I would have to go into the city to locate one or at least a bank branch with such a machine.  I am not a fan of the ATM as I can’t help feeling that it is somehow akin to gambling, one of these times the machine will win, I am sure.  The dealer insisted that I take the truncheon and pay him the next time we meet.  This is not the first time he has made that offer as it is not the first time I was short on funds with no ATM on site.  We have a long standing joke between us in that I will not take him up on that offer as one never knows if one will be run over by a bus, so-to-speak, before the debt can be paid.  This has become such a common joke between us that he ends emails to me with “Watch out for busses” in place of “Regards”.  This has, I am sure, puzzled other show attendees when he says that to me when we part company at the shows.  While at this same show I found a 1912 pattern British Officer’s Cavalry Officer’s sabre for sale at the table of another dealer.  I did not make the purchase as, you will recall, I was short of cash.  I told Brian and Mike about it and had to listen to Brian’s lecture on how I could have borrowed the cash from him for both items.  I do not like borrowing money from friends even less than using one of those infernal ATMs.  I had decided that if the sabre was available at the next gun show, this time in Jerseyville Ontario on April 9, which is about an hour’s drive from here, that I would negotiate a price for the sabre.  To be clear, the truncheon would not be available at the next show and I would have to wait to secure it until the next Orangeville show on May 7.

     

    Time flies when you are having fun, they say; however when you are waiting for a treasure to be available for your collection, time takes the bus, a slow bus! Finally the show date arrived and we all set out much earlier than we would have normally to assure we were through the door in quick time and the sabre would be mine.

     

    Horror, oh the humanity of it all, the dealer and my sabre had decided not to attend this show.  Had the Collecting Gods forsaken me?  Was this some sort of punishment for evil deeds long past and if so what deeds?  True there was that incident from when I was a kid involving a lit illegal Roman candle firework that fell over, a garden shed, an open door and a gas can.  In my defence and as I pointed out to my father there were no witness to the alleged explosion; none that were over the age of majority that was. So really it was simple hear say that I was anywhere near this unfortunate set of coincidences, and therefore inadmissible as evidence.  It surely couldn’t be that small bit of misadventure and besides I was the injured party in that I served a period of grounding for an offence that the prosecution (aka parents) failed to prove, due to lack of evidence, and then denied me an appeal process.  Regardless of the reasons I was now doomed to wait until the next Orangeville show of May 7; a total of a month and a half. The longest month and a half of all time which includes time waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones. 

     

    Alarm set for 04:30 in anticipation for Sunday morning and the Orangeville show, and then in the middle of the night I was hit by one of the worst cases of the flu I have ever experienced.  By morning I was in a terrible condition running a high fever, among other symptoms that were also “running”.  At 05:00 Brian and Mike arrived and I was not in any shape for the hour and a half drive to the show.  I arranged for Brian to pay the dealer who had the truncheon put away for me and bring it back and also to negotiate a price for the sword with the other dealer.  I knew the asking price, which at this point I was more than willing to pay and therefore knew how much cash to send and so like the Ringwraiths sent by the Dark Lord Sauron (Lord of the Rings) away Brian and Mike went on their quest.  This was actually a better idea than had I been able to attend the show as I am one of the poorest price negotiators you will ever meet and Brian one of the best.  If I were to negotiate the price I would probably end up paying more than the asking price and think I had made the deal of a lifetime.  You would really like playing poker with me as if I am excited about an item, as would have been the case here, you can read it all over my face.  It turns out that Brian indeed negotiated a better price for the sword and would have secured an even better settlement had another attendee at the show not said, part way through the negotiations, that if he (Brian) did not take the sword that this new “player” would.  That was actually very rude, not only because there was an active negotiation taking place but it is not polite conduct to interrupt any conversation between two people.  Not that I care about the price, as I have said I would have gladly paid the asking price, but there is an ethical and proper manner which society needs to maintain, otherwise we are no better than the beasts of the field.  I suppose this makes my earlier point regarding the extent to which collectors will go to assure the procurement of an item. The bottom line, and the only point, is that the sword was now mine, mine I tells you (insert maniacal laughter here). 

     

    I would estimate now that at or around (police speak) 11:00 hours I vaguely remember what sounded like Brian’s voice in the distance, through a fog of fever, talking to Linda in our kitchen.  The next time I was conscious was around 1700 hours (5:00 PM).  I shuffled out into the strong day light of the kitchen from my dark abyss of illness (me feeling quite sorry for myself) to see what Brian and Mike were able to secure for the collection.  It was then that I saw the treasures they had brought, the sabre and the truncheon still waiting on the kitchen table where they left them. I totally reject the story Linda likes to tell as to how, like Smeagol aka Gollum (Lord of the Ring reference again), I clutched these treasures mumbling references to myself in the plural and calling the truncheon and sabre “my precious”.  Further to this I did not, and I must emphasise, I did not, scurry back to bed with “our precious”, this is a conspiracy-style story that seems to have already made its way thought the whole family; one that will no doubt be repeated at every family gathering for years.  I have found that one never wants this family to “get one up on you”, not that I don’t deserve it, however, turn about is not, I repeat not, fair play when it happens to me.

     

    While it may have seemed at the beginning of this blog I was going to criticise the extent that some collectors will go in order to secure yet another treasure; this is not the case.  Had Brian and Mike not been able to attend the show I would have grabbed several sick bags and drove the hour and a half each way even if it had risked my very life.  Considering that I have, in the past, driven two hours to a gun show in a blinding snow storm this would have been nothing that would have surprised my family. 

     

    Am I crazy, as one of my friends has suggested. No I’m not crazy, just one of those strange creatures...a collector.

     

    Regards

    Brian

     

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  3. clothes

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  5. PATOUT

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    Hello to all


    I am a new young on this site.

    I am French and collector of Japanese medals.
    I have just purchased a set : medal of 7è class of the order of the sacred treasure with its diploma and the translation by the embassy of Japan.
    This decoration was given to a police officer asked to assure of the protection of prince Hiro Hito (not still emperor) during his visit in Paris June 2nd, 1921.

    (Visit of the Eiffel Tower and meeting with Gustave Eiffel, visit of "Le Louvre", "Les Invalides" and the military airport of the Bourget.)

    This police officer was decorated a few days after the visit of Hiro Hito June 7th, 1921.

    I do not know how to read the characters Kanji and I shall like knowing if it is mentioned in the diploma the motive for the delivery of this decoration.
     

    Big thanks to the one who will be kind enough to answer and help me

    Cordially

    Patout

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  6. I am sad to announce that Mervyn Mitton who has been Senior Moderator and friend to many of us on GMIC for several years passed away on Wednesday. He had been ill for many years, but he never let this get in the way of his passion for Militaria and Police Collectables. His knowledge of British Police history and collectables was immense and his death is a tragic loss to GMIC and the wider collecting world. Mervyn was always very proactive on GMIC and a real driving force behind the scenes amongst the staff. I will miss his old world charm, warmth, generosity and guidance. Yes he could be slighlty cantankerous at times, but that was part of his makeup, an old school English Gentleman a dying breed that are irreplaceable. I will miss him.

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    Olvasd el a Caterpillar Club honlapját! A családi levelezés közt Keress olyan Tábori posta-lapot, mélyén egy K.und K.Festungsartilleriebataillon Nr.8.

                                                                                                                                                             30.5 cm.Mörserbatterie Nr.8. --- Bélyegzőt találod !! ./ UNCLOWN-UNBEKANNT /

    Küldj fotót és automatikusan Tagja leszel a CATERPILLAR CLUBNAK! A CLUB ANNAK AZ ELSŐ M-11 typusu

    VONTATÓJÁRMŰNEK A NEVÉT VISELI,AMELY A 30,5 CM-ES MOZSÁRÁGYÚT VONTATTA AZ  I.VILÁGHÁRORÚBAN.

    caterpillarclub.hupont.hu

     

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    Hi

    Firstly, apologies for the unsolicited email. I was researching the attached and came across a blog on this site dating back to 24 March 2006.

    As you will see from the attached, I have some aerial photographs from WW1 and have previously researched them. What interested me was a discussion concerning an " Ernst Kempfer" and my photos were taken by him. A posting by “Rick Research” on 25th March 2006 @ 06.04 states Kempfers’ unit as Feld Fliger Abteilung 9, this is clearly visible on the reverse of the photos.
    I enjoyed reading the postings on 7th May 2006 @ 18.25 where it detailed Kempfers’ “war life” and stated amongst other facts that he was awarded a number of medals including the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class.

    As an off chance, I don’t suppose anyone would have any further details on Kempfer or would have any idea of the photos true financial worth?

    Any assistance would be much appreciated

    Regards
    D Pollard

  7. blog-0178235001420148872.jpg

    New Year's Day is a time for reflection. One cannot help but wonder what thoughts went through the minds of the Kaiser's Gunners as the New Year opened on 1 January 1915. Or what were the thoughts of their comrades in the Austro-Hungarian artillery or of the allied gunners pouring counterfire down on German positions. The Centenary of the First World War in the second half of 2014 was marked publicly by solemn ceremonies and reflective discussion. But from my opinion it still was a bit subdued. Of course, the crises of the day rightfully are the priority; not to mention the day-to-day grind of simply making one's way in this complicated world. Who has time to remember the troubles of 100 years ago? What significance do bits and baubles of leftover metal, enamel, ribbon, canvas, steel or leather have today? Since so few pieces of personal documents have survived, surely they cannot be of any significance.

    But to serious collectors like those of us here at GMIC, these things do matter. Sometimes I think we collect - and remember - both the heroic and the mundane (not only of the First World War, but from all the periods in which we find our collecting interest), with the simple hope that one day, we too will be remembered. History is often looked down upon by many (especially school children and students) as just old things and dead people in a book. Okay, well maybe as just old things and dead people on a Wikipedia web page. They fail to see that post cards from a soldier in the trench were the Twitter feed of today. They fail to see that hand-written diaries are the equivalent of a Facebook page. More importantly, they fail to see that history is around them every day: in the news, in their neighborhood, in their neighbors' lives, and in their own lives. Students understandably question why they should learn about people, places, and events in the past; we as "historians" and "teachers" have failed to show them relevancy. As a collective society, we must inspire each other to have a natural curiosity and awareness about the past so that we see how it affects the present. Perhaps then, armed with this knowledge, we can become active participants in shaping a better future for our communities, both locally and globally. This is why I believe the discussion we had earlier on GMIC about the causes of the First World War was so important.



    And this also is why these bits and baubles we collect are so important. They are tangible. They are a spark for curiosity. As collectors, I do believe that we serve a larger purpose of preserving history. One trend that continued in 2014 is especially troubling: the closing of brick-and-mortar museums. The scaling back in the scope of the Royal Artillery Museum "Firepower" in Woolwich, England due to budget issues announced in May 2014 is only one example. (Unfortunately, this trend started long ago in the United States with the scraping of the US Army Ordnance Museum in 2007.) It is perhaps inevitable. Reflecting on my own collecting past of 2014, I too scaled back due to budget. In 2014, I continued in earnest my transition from a lucrative consulting career to a career in education, with its corresponding scale back in remuneration. Consequently, my largest single collecting purchase in 2014 cost less than $100; a 1914 Mons Star to a Royal Artillery Gunner. It did not cost a great deal, but it means a great deal to me in terms of my current collecting motivation - history. I did not previously have a 1914 Star in my collection; adding one in 2014 seemed most appropriate. I have yet to research the medal; nonetheless, that brings me to my next reflection and moves this rambling tome on to its next phase - resolution.



    I didn’t collect much in 2014; I only added 10 new regiments in my effort to collect something representing every Imperial German artillery regiments. On the other hand, I researched more of the history behind my items. While quite basic, I enjoyed researching and writing the first four articles in the series “Artillery of the First World War” for GMIC Articles: Germany, France, Belgium, and Russia. I also wrote a special edition, “The Royal Artillery at Mons” and a piece on the “Königlich Bayerisches 12. Feldartillerie-Regiment (12. bFAR).” An article on the effect of large scale artillery bombardments in the First World War is in very rough draft. So, I resolve to spend less money on stuff and more time on research and writing in 2015. I am certain that The Chancellor of the Household Exchequer will ensure I keep this resolution! Like many of us, my collection rambles outside the boundaries of my main focus on artillery in the First World War. So, I also resolve to liquidate some of the more far-flung pieces; of course, if I can construe even the slightest connection to artillery, it will stay. The Chancellor may have to intervene to enforce rigor and discipline in the culling process.



    Realizing that one well-aimed shot can be more effective than several hundred tons of high explosive, I will wrap up this New Year's missive with one simple challenge: share your collecting reflections and resolutions for 2015.

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    30392 Trooper John Northfield was in the 21st Cheshire Company, 2nd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. I have accessed his discharge papers via Ancestry.com, but are any other details available. I'm intrigued because he was a pastry chef by trade and to my knowledge had never ridden a horse.

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    Pat Healey
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    Can anyone tell me please? Is there any particular significance to the words "CassinoStar" in metal, attached to the medal ribbon. From the issue number on the obverse of the medal it would appear that it was issued to a member of the 11th Signals (Polish). Wladyslaw Najduch

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    Dear Members,

    My great-grandfather served in the Serbian infantry during the Great War. Although I have seen his picture in uniform, I am interested in discovering sources of components of the uniform, or of uniforms for sale (original or reproduction.

    Thank-you for your assistance!!

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    Garrison: Landau (In der Pfalz)
    Established: 1 October 1901
    Brigade: 3. Königlich Bayerische Feldartillerie-Brigade
    Division: 3. Königlich Bayerische Division


    Kaserne 12. bFAR Landau

    One of twelve active field artillery regiments of the Bavarian Army, 12. bFAR was formed in October 1901 from the III. Abteilung and the 6. Fahrenden Batterie of the Königlich Bayerisches 2. Feldartillerie-Regiment „Horn“ as well as two newly organized Fahrenden Batterien at Würzburg, Bayern. Prior to mobilization in August 1914, 12. bFAR, was garrisoned at Landau in der Pfalz, in southwestern Germany. The Regiment was subordinate to the 3. Königlich Bayerische Feldartillerie-Brigade / 3. Königlich Bayerische Division.






    After mobilization, 12. bFAR remained with the redesignated 3. Bayerische Infanterie-Division throughout the war; thus earning the same campaign credits as the Division. First World War Campaigns 3. Bayerische Infanterie-Division:


    The I. Abteilung 12. bFAR was armed with the 7.7cm Feldkanone (FK 96 n/A); II. Abteilung was armed with the 10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze 98/09. In February 1916, two guns from each of the 1., 2., and 3. Batterie, were given up to form the 21. Feldartillerie-Regiment. In January 1917, 12. bFAR was enlarged with a III. Abteilung. The Stab, 7., 8., and 9. Batterie of the III. Abteilung initially fell under the command of the III. Armeekorps for training. Training was completed at the Truppenübungsplatz Thimougies in Belgium in February 1917 and the new battalion joined the Regiment in the field.

    At mobilization, the 3. Bayerische Infanterie-Division was part of Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern’s 6. Armee. The 6. Armee was central to the bitter fighting in Alsace-Lorraine during the Battle of the Frontiers at the beginning of the war. Official German reports for August 1914 set casualty figures in the 6. Armee at 34,598, with the number of dead at 11,476. (Herwig) One of those dead was Kanonier Alois Plinganser of 5. Batt. 12. bFAR, who was killed on 24 August 1914. After holding off the French offensive in the south, 6. Armee counter-attacked on 20 August with the objective of capturing terrain south of Nancy, known as the Gap of Charmes. After initial success, the 6. Armee’s attack stalled on 24 August just east of Bayon; the French 1st and 2nd Armies counter-attacked, pushing the line back to its 14 August positions. On 24 August 1914, 12. bFAR and Kanonier Plinganser’s 5. Batterie were located at Remenoville, right in the center the brutal back and forth fighting. Early on 24 August, 3. Bayerische Infanterie-Division was given the task to open the route from Mont to Blainville; 12. bFAR was attached to the 5. b. Infantrie Brigade on the right side of the avenue of attack for this task. By early afternoon, 12. bFAR had taken up a position on Hill 251, north of Blainville, but without the 5. Batterie. The 5. Batt 12. bFAR had been fixed in its previous position by enemy artillery fire and was not able to move until the next morning (the morning of 24 August) when it took up a position south of Lamath. Infantry regiments of the 3. Bayerische Infanterie-Division continued a slow advance from Blainville toward Remenoville, supported by its own artillery, but under heavy counter-fire from French artillery. Progress was made kilometer by kilometer and by 6pm on 24 August, elements of the Division were outside Remenoville. However, during this advance, II. Abteilung 12. bFAR came under heavy French artillery fire near Franconville, a few kilometers north of Remenoville. The heaviest casualties were suffered by 5. Batt 12. bFAR. II. Abteilung 12. bFAR finally arrived at Remenoville by 7pm in the evening. Almost immediately, the German troops at Remenoville came under heavy French artillery fire and infantry attacks. By dawn on 25 August, Remenoville was in flames and the front line between German and French forces was just outside the village. Kanonier Plinganser, however, had not lived to see that dawn.


    The Battle of the Charmes Gap, August 1914


    Line of German Attack on 24 August


    12. bFAR positions Remenoville, 24 August


    Line of French Counterattack on 25 August

    With the end of the war in November 1918, the III. Abteilung was dissolved, with the 7. Batterie being completely disbanded, the 8. Batterie moving to I. Abteilung, and 9. Batterie moving to II. Abteilung. The Regiment was demobilized at Ebermannstadt on 18 December 1918 and dissolved in January 1919. Elements of the Regiment became part of Frei- or Volkswehr-Batterie Zacherl, later Heyl; later these elements became 3. Batterie Reichswehr-Artillerie-Regiment 23. In August 1921, this unit became 3. Batterie des 7. (Bayerisches) Artillerie-Regiments garrisoned in Würzburg. The tradition of 12. bFAR was taken up in the Wehrmacht by the II. Abteilung des Artillerieregiments 33 in Landau und later by Artillerieregiment 69 in Mannheim.

    Sources:

    Kraus, Jürgen. Handbuch der Verbände und Truppen des deutschen Heeres 1914-1918. Teil IX: Feldartillerie. Band 1. Vienna: Verlag Militaria, 2007. Web (Wikipedia Deutschland). 24 August 2014

    Herwig, Holger H. The Marne, 1914. New York: Random House. 2009. Print.

    “Les batailles de Lorraine.” n.p. n.d. chtimiste.com/batailles1418/lorraine.htm Web. 24 August 2014

    “Pierre’s Photo Impressions of the Western Front.” n.p. n.d. pierreswesternfront.punt.nl/content/2012/10/als-lorraine-gap-of-charmes Web. 24 August 2014

    The Prussian and spolei. “Kgl. Bayer. 12. Feldartillerie-Regiment info needed.” GMIC.co.uk Web. 24 August 2014

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    Hi
    Can somebody please help identify exactly which model Lee Enfield rifle this is.

    Thank You

    http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-03628300-1407242878.jpeghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-13444800-1407242900.jpeghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-73086700-1407242920.jpeghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-31203500-1407242950.jpeghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-60023200-1407243024.jpeghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/blogentry-17430-0-15120400-1407243047.jpeg

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    Smartie
    Latest Entry

    Hi. I'm hoping there's someone who can help me? I'm doing some research on a family member who was part of the Northern Rhodesia Police Force during the 1950's. His name is Alexander Dodding and he was a member of Swansea Police(PC 73). He left for Northern Rhodesia in April/May 1953. I would be very grateful for any information and/or records.
    Thank you.

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    Hi all

    I maybe going to Erbil, Iraq with work for an extended period of tie and would like to know if there is the possibility of buying British medals at any markets or shops there, if so any assistance would be great

    regards and thanks

    Caz

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    Victory in combat relies on proficient scheduling along with prompt implementation of strategies. At the same time, there is a need to alter all obtainable information in to rapid dealing and efficient planning. As the saying goes, “the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”.
    In these circumstances, military solutions are offered by companies like Rolta who offer an elegant and helpful tool which not only ensures smooth progress of outfitted planning but also furnishes senior officers at different levels with a wide-ranging training application, which is, war gaming. The solution provides a perfect stability by training the soldier during peace and by assisting rapid planning and implementation during war. They set caters for war gaming necessities at special ranks.

    Some of the important solutions needed during this period are:-

    • Maps and Geographic Information System (GIS)
    • Operational Planning Tool
    • Wargaming System
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    I have written a book which will be published later this year. In it I have written an article about The
    Lord Wakefield Gold Medal. I have been able to name nineteen recipients of this medal and would like to name more if possible. I saw a Blog by HOLYBOY who I thought said that he owned one of these medals.
    Please get in touch. This is my first blog.