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  • Brian Wolfe

    An Apology - of sorts

    By Brian Wolfe

    I often describe myself as slightly paranoid, which then seems to make others think I have some sort of philological issues.  I don’t believe I am being “watched” for example.  That would, in my opinion, suggest that I hold some degree of celebrity in my mind; this would also, if it were the case, indicate that I think that I am somehow a fellow of above average interest to others.  I must admit that if I were any less interesting people would fall asleep during a hand shake with me. Perhaps what I should say is that I strive to be more careful than average when it comes to making purchases and in believing everything I am told.  Purchases such as left-handed baseball bats and non-flammable candles may be easy enough to avoid.  However I have lost count of all of the collectables I have purchased and then a few days later wondered how I could have made such unwise choices. A few examples of what I allude to are, prices being far too high or items that really didn’t fit into my collecting themes.    The problem of knowing when you are being told something other than the truth can at times be difficult.  There are some physical signs which must not be taken on individual basis, such as someone rubbing their nose or excessive blinking of the eyes.  These so-called signs, on their own, can be explained away as having nothing to do with attempted deceit. Collectively such signs, along with other indications may be used, in law enforcement as an example, to accept the statement or doubt what you are being told.   The most difficult “stories” to determine their truthfulness is when the person telling the story actually believes it to be the truth.  This and the manner in which the story is delivered and the interpretation of what has been said may end in one doubting the story as being the truth.  Two examples come to mind.  If you hear someone say that smoking can be bad for you and you need to take measures to avoid smoking, you may think of someone inhaling smoke from a cigarette, which fits the caution; or something else.  If you are standing too close to your BBQ and your clothing is starting to smoke then surely you need to take measures (stepping back) to avoid bursting into flames.  My second, and last example, comes from the television comedy, Saturday Night Live (SNL) that first appeared in 1975 which is famous for their rather juvenile humour appealing to the adolescent mind.  I became rather old and stuffy about 40 years ago and therefore stopped watching SNL.  One of the sketches involved a group of people telling an individual on a beach that “You can’t look at the sun too long”.  Most of us would take this as a warning and realize staring at the sun could be detrimental to your vision and not misinterpret this as you can’t get over the majesty of the sun, for example.  Of course the poor fellow being advised took the first interpretation with disastrous results. No, my retelling of this story is not very funny however, as has been said, “You had to be there to see it”.   One of the stories  that has floated around guns shows and places where people interested in military history gather, at least here in Canada, is the topic of this blog.  Yes, I know it has taken me a long time to get to the point...as usual.  Why say something in a couple of dozen words when a plethora of paragraphs can achieve the same results? That’s a rhetorical question of course.   The story is that one can turn an FN FAL C1,or C1A1, rifle from a semi-automatic to a full automatic weapon by inserting a piece of match book in the correct place in the internal workings.  This I have always held as being complete garbage. Any of those reading this who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces in the past and used the FN FAL C1 and the FN C2 please hold off on your hate mail until the end of this blog.    The Canadians used the FN FAL C1, a semi-automatic battle rife with the 7.62X51mm NATO round from 1953, being the first to officially adopt the FN FAL, until 1984 when it was replaced by the 5.56x45mm NATO C7 rifle and the C8 carbine both based on the American US AR-15.  The British and Commonwealth Nations used the same rifle as Canada but called it the L1A1. I have read that the rifle was commonly known as the FAL however in my area of Ontario at least, we refer to it as simply the “FN”.    Here’s where the claim of using the FN C1, inserting a piece of match book to turn it into an automatic weapon, becomes argument.  In each case where this has come up in the past I have tried to delve more deeply into this claim by asking if the service person is saying that with the insertion of a matchbook into the FN C1 they have changed it from a battle rifle (semi-automatic) into an assault rifle (full auto).  Without exception the answer is “yes”.  The problem in my mind, I have just recently discovered, is not whether you can modify an FN C1 with a foreign object to malfunction and discharge the weapon in rapid succession but have you actually “changed” this battle rifle into an assault rifle.  A basic definition of an assault rifle is that it is a carbine sized firearm using a large capacity magazine capable of sustained full automatic fire.  The FN FAL, even fitted with a large capacity magazine, falls short of being an assault rifle on two of the most important requirements that I have stated, even with the matchbook modification.   To all of the servicemen in my past who have engaged me in this argument, and there have been quite a few, I apologize.  You are correct in that you can make an FN FAL C1 malfunction to fire several rounds in rapid, automatic-like, succession.  On the other hand I would offer the suggestion that this could be done with almost any semi-automatic rifle.    On the other hand (you knew there would be an “on the other hand”) to all servicemen in my past who have engaged me in argument you failed miserably in qualifying your claim fully.  You did not, I must repeat, did not, change this battle rifle into an assault rifle, and especially to one fellow who claimed to have changed the FN FAL C1 into the C2A1, the squad automatic weapon (SAW),  as the C2 has a much more robust barrel to withstand the heat generated by sustained rapid fire.  Some of our members might note that they have seen an FN FAL C1 with a selective fire option and you would be correct.  There were some FN FAL C1 rifles fitted with the selective fire option and used only by the Royal Canadian Navy to give boarding parties the option of a full automatic weapon without the weight of the C2A1.     In past blogs I have managed to attempt to prove and at times disprove some claims.  I’ve disproved some claims about the Battle of Crecy and the crossbow. We then proved the capabilities of the crossbow in experiments that were undertaken with minor casualties. These experiments also brought to light that during an apology for a range mishap the suggestion that, “It is only a cat”, is best left unsaid. I think we successively supported claims regarding the possibility of an accidental discharge of the STEN gun.  Now we have supported the claim that the FN FAL C1 can be made to fire with the insertion of a foreign object; yet without actually fully admitting that I was wrong.  It’s a win, win situation!    I will continue with my version of paranoia and look for myths that I can prove or disprove, while being on guard against my own poor purchase decisions.    The post has just arrived and I need to close now and open the shipment of prefabricated postholes I purchased on eBay.   Ever vigilant   Regards Brian      
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Major Lukas Kirsten

My great-grandfather is Lukas Kirsten. His daughter is Marianne v. Watzdorf-Kirsten, my grandmother. His grand daughter, Angela Schroeder, is my mother. My name is Alexandra Kennedy Corwin.

I have photos/documents left to me in albums. I have his sword.

If anyone knows of medals and so forth linked to him or know of descendants, please let me know. When my grandmother migrated to the US in the 60s, she left Germany behind. I do not know of any other family.

here is Lukas Kirsten's information:

LukasKirsten: born 21 May 1874 Crimmitschau, killed in action 10 December 1917 near Warneton,

Saxon cavalry officer, participant in China Campaign 1900-01 and Southwest Africa 1904-06

Sekondeleutnant
Oberleutnant 28.6.99 C
Rittmeister 15.9.05
Major zD

Went to zD status from Ulanen Rgt 21 19 January 1914. Recalled for WW1 and served in infantry units as a battalion and regimental commander, being KIA as commander of Saxon Inf Rgt 177.

Received the Saxon St Henry Order-Knight for China 19.1.1901, as well as Prussian Crown Order 4X and Austro-Hungarian Military Merit Cross 3 with War Decoration and Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 6th Class. He may have received his Italian Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus-Knight for China.

In Southwest Africa he received Saxon Merit Order-Knight w/Xs and Prussian Red Eagle Order 4 w/Xs.

Until 1914: Saxon XXV Years Long Service Cross

WWI: both classes of Prussian Iron Cross, Swords to Saxon Albert Order-Knight 1st 19.10.15 (when he got a Knight 1st WITHOUT swords—must have been before the war started in 1914) and Crown to that grade 27.6.16. Turkish Imtiaz Medal in Silver with Sabers Bar was apparently a “courtesy” award from a visiting Ottoman Pasha.

Commander grade of the Saxon Order of Saint Henry 12 October 1916 as commander of Saxon Infantry Regiment 103.

LukasKirsten

LukasKirsten

 

2nd King Edwards Horse

I have a group of medals to a Trooper Churchill of the 2nd King Edwards Horse, one of the medals is a privatly awarded medal, which I assume is from the Regiment as the ribbon is their colours. The inscription on the medals reads for bravery in the Field in Irland the other 2 medals are the war and Victory medals to Sgt. Churchill. I have been able with some help from a friend to possibly put him in Dublin during the Easter Rising but can find no real mention of his name.
Can anyone help with any information please.

Brabant

Brabant

 

An Adventure? Are you out of your mind? Part two

An Adventure? Are you out of your mind?
Part Two.
As stated in the last installment Linda, my wife and best friend, and I had paid our admission to the Christie’s Antique Show and were at last on our way to the happy (antiques) hunting grounds. Once we crossed the causeway the area opened up to reveal the affects the night long rains had on the dealers. The wide rows were blocked with large vans and trailers because many dealers had waited until morning to start to set up their booths. Normally something like this would anger me but given the hurricane-like storm that had raged all night and the steady rain we were now experiencing, who could blame them for this late start? Many of the dealers house their wares in tents, though these are mainly protection from the intense heat of the sun; that would not pose a problem today. Some had tents with sides and plastic windows of the same design you see at outdoor weddings, the sides prevent the rains from getting in but also impedes the customers somewhat. Many of the dealers who only have tables set up outside in the elements had cancelled and those who decided to brave the elements were now regretting it. Plastic covered the tables and looked much like the dew spangled web of a grass spider (Agelenopsis spp.) in early morning. Pools of water had collected anywhere there had been a pocket formed in the plastic sheets. In one case between the spokes of a ship’s wheel producing a circle of small triangle lakes and another, in the form or a rectangular pool that was bordered by a picture’s frame under the plastic. There was one poor lady who had left her wares out over night at the mercy of the elements and now had to deal with emptying out the water from dozens and dozens of bowls and vases. The positive aspect of this was that she only sold glass and ceramic ware so everything at least had a good wash. A few were not as fortunate because the winds had ripped the plastic away for the tables and the paper goods and photographs were in ruin. Anything made of cloth or stuffed items like bears and their ilk were saturated. I can only hope that these were able to be salvaged.
Our immediate goal was to go directly to the pavilion, a permanent structure on the grounds, consisting of two adjoining show rooms, a refreshment concession and washrooms. It would seem that one of us was not willing to wait until we got to the show before consuming an extra large double, double coffee making the trek to the washroom of paramount importance. Yes, that would have been me, good sense and planning ahead not being a familiar state of my thought process. This would not have mattered anyway as we always go to the pavilion first as there is one dealer who always has a few medals and good quality black powder firearms for sale. I would like to point something out at this point regarding washrooms. The washrooms in the pavilion are always in good condition, however, when the show’s attendance it at its zenith the demand for the facilities out strips the availability of fixtures. It is for this reason the Conservation Authority brings in portable toilets and lines them up along the wall of the pavilion opposite to the entrance to the washrooms. Having worked for a conservation authority myself for some time now there is one thing I have learned. Water will always run down hill and if there is a depression in the ground the water will find it and fill it to the brim before continuing on to its destination at the lowest possible point wherever that may be. In this case that lowest point, at least for the time being, was where they had placed the portable toilets. These blue beacons of relief for the desperate victims of the extra large double, double coffees consumed, even though their spouses warned against it, were perched on wooden skids. I am sure this was to facilitate the placement and removal by the units by the waste management company. The water in this little lake was at least four inches deep judging by how little the skids were still out of the water, and that was not much. I could not help but think of later in the day when the skies cleared and the crowds arrived that there would be long line ups for the pavilion washrooms due to the inaccessibility of the portable toilets unless the conservation authority was about to open up a ferry service, though I suppose canoes would be a suitable alternative. Imagine if you will a long line of patrons, bladders filled to bursting, forced to wait their turn for relief with a large body of water adjacent to the walkway. Now think of a breeze causing a slight ripple on the surface of that pond. An exquisite torture that only Tomas de Torquemada could fully appreciate.
Leaving behind the thoughts of the torments of those late arrivals to the show I’ll move on to the dealer I wanted to see here in the pavilion. As I have stated, more than once here on the forum, I tend to make purchases from only a few eBay sellers and some fellow GMIC members, in a couple of cases they are one in the same. With all of the scam artists and out and out fakes and reproductions out in the world today I suggest that all collectors find such suppliers, it will be well worth it. The dealer in question has supplied me with black powder firearms as well as medals over the years and his word is his bond. At this point in time at the show there were few collectors on the field so we had time for pleasantries which is a rare thing at this particular show, as the pavilion is usually a mad house of activity. I was looking to add a Snyder Rifle to the collection and I recalled that he had a couple for sale at the spring show. They had, as I feared, been sold but there was a British percussion rifle with bayonet and scabbard on display that caught my eye. I thought that it was an 1858 Artillery Carbine but he identified it as an 1853 Calvary Carbine, both look pretty much the same to my eye. The price was not too bad but there were some condition issues. In our conversation, remember there were few buyers at this point so we had some time, I mentioned that Linda has an interest in the War of 1812 as well as the Fenian Raids as do I of course. I’d have to say that my wife is much keener on these areas of Canadian history and I tend to concentrate on British Empire, Police and World War One history. The dealer pointed out a few condition issues I had missed and reminded me that this particular type of rifle fell between the two areas of our interest (1812 and 1866). Further, this was the rifle that was converted to the Snyder, which would be the rifle we should hold out for and then add to the collection. I think my point about sticking to a few select trusted dealers has been made.
When I first arrived at the display I had noted a nice group of five World War Two medals with a boxed Memorial Cross (therefore Canadian) along with the supporting documents. I figured that I would purchase that since the rifle was not going to be secured. I turned toward the display case next to me and was about say, “I’ll take that group”, when I heard the voice of the fellow beside me as he said, to the dealer’s wife, “I’ll take that group”. I looked at the dealer and we both had to chuckle a bit as it was quite the coincidence. The collector turned and just inquired, “What?” I related why we found this a bit humorous and told him it must be his lucky day. He thought so too.

There was a Canadian Decoration (CD) in a box, this is the Canadian Long Service Good Conduct Medal, and it was named to a Captain. I decided to purchase this one, not only because of the rank, which I didn’t have, but also due to the box which was different than any of the ones presently in the collection. The pavilion was staring to fill up so we decided it was time to brave the elements once again and besides the rains had slackened up a bit and it was now just what I would call a steady rain. The type of rain fall you like to see, one that would soak in rather then run off your lawns a gardens. Tough by this time the ground was pretty well saturated anyway. Just before leaving I took a last look at the rifle, you know how it is...just in case there was a change of mind. It was at this point the dealer asked me to wait a minute and he went to the back of his truck which was backed into the pavilion’s open side behind his booth. He pulled out an object wrapped in some dark cloth and started to unwrap it. He said that I might be interested in this and he that he had just purchased it. What he uncovered was a percussion cap dueling pistol. A British dueling pistol marked as being the Manton Patent. Joseph Manton was a very important gunsmith in the 1800s and his innovations greatly improved the dueling pistol, among his other achievements. This was the treasure of the day, an actual dueling pistol. These are usually in pairs (of course) and come in a fitted box. This was a single pistol from what was undoubtedly once a pair. As most who know me from this forum are aware I seldom disclose what I pay for items as I believe money is secondary to the artifact. If you can’t afford it, don’t purchase it. If you have the expendable cash then make the purchase, however, talking about what you paid for an item results in either bragging or whining, both I find distasteful, and crass. I will post the pistol in the appropriate area of the GMIC at a later date. The rest of the morning passed with no really exciting finds and we left just as the sun was starting to appear and the rains starting to recede. We were both pretty well soaked and with mud splashed half way to our knees as well we arrived back at the van to begin our trip home. Needless to say I thought the day was well worth the effort and not being one to just let it go (see part one) commented that the day had been quite the adventure. To this Linda just laughed and said, “An adventure? Are you out of your mind?”


Regards
Brian

Brian Wolfe

Brian Wolfe

 

24 September 2012

I have been absent from the blogging scene of late… I could list all kinds of excuses but, as most of them revolve around being 58- and a lot of you are in the same shoes- you can fill-in the blanks. For those who have not reached this point in your “development”, I admonish you to enjoy the youth you currently enjoy as it truly is fleeting. For those who have passed me and are looking at 58 in the rear-view, please resist the temptation of telling me what comes next as I just LOVE these surprises :-( .

I have religiously followed the forum and, surprisingly and gratefully, was chosen as a 2nd Place winner in the August competition (thanks to the judging staff). It’s always a “pig in a poke” anticipating if another will find the interest or excitement that you found in a particular piece or pieces. And I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the plaque.

I have also been quite busy adding to a couple/few of the galleries I maintain here- a labour of love. I try to put forward some interesting stuff in a way that folks will enjoy the look. Since my last blogging, I’ve added to the USSR, Veteran’s, PMR and DDR galleries; have a look if you have the time… more than a couple of interesting/unusual pieces there.

The cooler temperatures have arrived and it’s beginning to feel, and look, like autumn here in Central Virginia. The leaves are beginning to turn from green to gold to red- many love this time of year BUT, the “grump” that I am is reminded of Sean Bean’s recurring line, and family motto, in The Game of Thrones, “winter is coming”. Hope it’s not too hard on us this year- it wasn’t last year, but it does run in cycles.

Again, check out the galleries,
Take Care,
Greg

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

An Adventure? Are you out of your mind? Part 1

An Adventure? Are you out of your mind?
Part One.

Summer was just about over, a summer plagued with drought conditions here in this part of Ontario, Canada, with crops being devastated and shallow well drying up. For us at the Grand River Conservation Authority it was equally serious. Fire bans angered the campers, even though it was as much for their protection as anything else. The cottagers who lease their lots from us around two reservoirs were more than a little edgy as the “lakes” receded from the shore line to a record distance as the water was depleted and not replenished by nature. Boat launching from the cottage lots was out of the question and in front of each property was now a border of what could only be described as mud flats. After the drought we had started into what may be described as the rainy season and with its arrival the severe heat of the summer was vacating our lands. It was a heat that was reported to have been in the low forties centigrade, if you calculate the high humidity into the equation. I tend to hate the high temperatures, being born in the North, in a place formerly known as Fort William. The rest of my family are “Southerners” and can’t understand my love of the Canadian winter, I don’t mind being the odd duck of the flock, after all they’re Southerners and you just have to tolerate them; an attitude that led to many, to say the least, awkward situations while I was growing up. I really like autumn and refuse to refer to it as “fall” because it is autumn and not the direction of travel when one’s feet are suddenly horizontal with one’s head when footing is lost on ice. I like the slap in the face from Mother Nature as she strikes your cheek with that fine frozen drizzle propelled by high winds just before winter sets in. Suddenly I am starting to see my family’s point of view, perhaps I am the “odd” duck of the flock, could they have been right all of these year; no that would not be logical...they’re Southerners.

The story is not about my eccentricities, though that is exactly what an eccentric would say, it’s about collecting. That last statement probably surprised absolutely no one.

A neighbouring Conservation Authority to the one I am so fortunate to work for holds a bi-annual outdoor antiques show. This is the Christie’s Antiques Show, named after the Christie Conservation Authority, situated near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. There are hundreds of dealers and is attended by thousands and thousands of dedicated antiques hunters, collectors as well as a good smattering of curious and interesting characters. As always the plan was to arrive before the show opens to assure a parking spot close to the means of egress as after walking for miles searching for collectables one doesn’t need to walk an additional mile to their vehicle. The older I get the closer I want to be to that most welcome exit at the day’s end. It was up at 05:00 and get ready for the day’s outing. Remember that this was the rainy season and the forecast had not bode well for a dry excursion, but we had our rain gear out and were ready for whatever Ma Nature could throw at us. My dear wife, Linda, was born and raised in Perth Ontario which is an hour’s drive south of Ottawa, our nation’s capital the home of our Parliament, or as I like to think of it, “the gas works”. The location where Linda lived would make her a Northern girl; however, the number of years spent here in the South has had an adverse effect on her. Her tolerance to cold wet weather is about as low as it is toward my sense of humor, though she is a good sport about the latter. I have heard her referred to as “Brian’s long suffering wife”; though what “they” are getting at eludes me as her health is just fine, thank you very much.

So there we were on our way to the antiques show, in the dark, in the rain with windshield wipers on full speed and visibility far from ideal. After an hour ‘s drive in relative quiet, the possibility of this being an ominous silence never seemed to dawn on me, though dawn itself was upon us. As we sat there in our van, awaiting the gates of the show to open, the storm seemed to increase in ferocity. Gusts of wind laden with rain hit the side of the van at a near forty-five degrees rocking the vehicle with a violence that only the most vengeful elements can muster. Lightning and thunder were all around and I discovered right there and then that breaking into a chorus of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (you know, “Thunder and Lightning, very, very frightening”) was not to be received in the vein of humour in which it was intended. My dear wife did say the anymore Queen renditions from me and it would result in “Another one bites the dust!” Oh, and I suppose that Queen reference was funny? Suddenly, with the storm raging all around, there was an uneasy silence that only men know when they tell their wives that they can’t attend the ballet because the Stanley Cup playoffs are being played on that same night. Women, go figure. In fairness to the ladies I suppose one could say, “Men, go figure”, though that, of course, would not be my first choice.

Not being one to learn from my mistakes, no matter how recent they may be (it’s a guy thing), I broke the silence with the suggestion that one should see this as an adventure. I offered the image of Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Capt. Ahab standing on the deck of the Pequod as he sailed her around the horn. I often like to think of myself as one of Gregory Peck’s heroic characters, though I am beginning to regret sharing that, oh well, I did say I have a tendency toward the eccentric. Linda offered that this was more like being on the bridge of the Edmund Fitzgerald. For those not familiar with Great Lakes lore this was a ship that sunk in a gale on 10 November 1975 in Lake Superior with all hands, no bodies were ever recovered. Check it out on the internet it is an interesting story, one made legend by Gordon Lightfoot in his song of the sinking of this ship.
By this time the winds had subsided though the rain continued in a torrential downpour and finally after what seemed an eternity the show’s gates were open. We approached the gate, Linda safely sheltered under her umbrella and me in my rain coat and good luck Tilley hat in anticipation of what treasures we would uncover. After passing through the gate we walked over an earthen walkway that cut through a pond, so water was on either side as well as teaming down from the heavens. I could not help but feel a little like Peck’s Capt. Mallory in the 1961 movie “The Guns of Navarone” as they approached their goal climbing up the shoreline cliffs in the gale force storm. Strange, as you would think that I would liken our pending adventure to some Indiana Jones movie but I have always liked the classics and let’s be honest Indie will never be a classic, not as far as acting is concerned.
Finally we entered the hallowed grounds of antiques heaven.

....to be continued.


Regards
Brian

Brian Wolfe

Brian Wolfe

 

Order of Medjidie: Dr Thomas Coutts Morison MRCSE LSA JP

Dr Thomas Coutts Morison MRCSE LAC JP, son of Sir Alexander Morison, volunteered to serve as a civilian Staff-Surgeon during the Crimean War. He died unmarried in 1863 in Rockhampton in the Colony of Queensland (Australia), and apparently among his possessions when he died was a Crimean War period Order of the Medjidie. I'm looking for some information on this from the people that really know the Medjidie.

Morison’s insignia is a silver star comprising seven triple quills with seven small crescents and five-pointed stars between them, the whole measuring 43 mm in diameter (one of the tips has been broken off). Is there any way to distinguish a 4th Class insignia from a 5th Class, just from the star?


The gold central disc bears the Sultan’s tughra, the Royal Cipher of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I, after whom the Order is named. Around this is a gold-bordered circle of red enamel bearing the words in Arabic script for “Devotion”, “Loyalty” and “Truth” and the Islamic year 1268 AH (1852) on four red enamel plaques. There is a suspension loop present, fitted at the rear, but the entire central disc is out of position by 90º clockwise. Is this unusual, or likely to be a fault in the assembly of the original medal?

This insignia lacks the typical suspension (a red-enamelled crescent and star suspender with green enamelled edges); this has been removed and the star instead has a horizontal brooch mount on the reverse. The reverse bears a fitted concave silver disc which is engraved to: “Thomas Coutts Morison Staff Surgeon P.M.O. Sultan’s Coʃsacks”, which I think reflects the writing style of the day.

Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Paul

Paul Rosenzweig

Paul Rosenzweig

 

Software Error in Members Posting Permissions

It has come to my attention that an error in the system has affected some members ability to start topics or post in ongoing threads . This has mainly affected joining members (who joined in the last couple of months), as well as some members who have recently upgraded or downgraded their membership.

I am glad to say the issue has been rectified for new joining members, however there may well be a few members that are still being prevented from posting or starting new topics. Without individually logging onto and checking every membership account, I cannot retrospectively apply an easy fix for all members. Therefore I am having to rely on members reporting the issue to me.

Can i ask that all participating members check this functionality and please PM (PM system is not affected by this) or email me if you think you have problems posting. If you identify, you have been affected I can easily and quickly repair your accounts and rectify the situation for you.

Nick

Nick

 

When some medals seem to just keep coming back...

Over on another forum, the cry usually goes up three weeks before the actual date of the medal auction: "The catalogue is online!"

The first thing one does, if one happens to live in Canada, is check the five-hour time difference between here and the UK, to make sure that most of the British collectors are safely in bed and won't be using up all the website's bandwidth.

Then the apprehension starts: What will they have up this time? Will there be anything for me on there? What if there's *too much* for me on there this time? Do I have enough money in the Fund to pick up something shiny?

I open the search function on the catalogue and enter my terms. Then I click and wait. The list of items within my interests shows up and I start scrolling down. That's nice; so is that ... then one particular listing catches my eye.

I know those medals. I've seen them before. Not just once, but twice, offered for sale from various medal dealers. Every time I've gotten the money together to snag them, they end up being sold, only to reappear a few months later in another shop window. The price, oddly enough, has stayed somewhat constant, allowing for time, inflation, and expenses.

There's nothing wrong with the set, or so I think. Those medals which are named are named properly. Those which aren't are authentic. The pictures all appear to be of the same medals, just taken in different environments, showing the whims of the individuals to photograph them in their own way. The dealers are reputable, as is the auction house.

I've got a canny bid in on this set and would like to win it. But even if I don't, I have a feeling I'll be seeing them again shortly...

But why do they keep coming back?

I've seen this happen before, with Rex Cosh's set of 10. They went through two or three auction houses and a dealer before I snagged them. I've seen it with some other sets. One dealer sells to another, who sells the set. Then they appear a year or two later on E-bay, only to wind up across the pond in the UK, for sale again from yet another dealer, now all nicely mounted together rather than loose.

What keeps some sets in the purgatory of cycling around and around?

Nightbreak

Nightbreak

 

Thomas Coutts Morison MD

I am trying to discover if Thomas Coutts Morison's Medjidie medal is genuine. I have details of his enlistment in the Turkish Contingent in London in 1855, and I know from letters found in Australia that he served in the Crimea with Count Zamoyski's Sultan's Cossacks. I can find no record in the various London Gazettes of his having been awarded the medal but I have seen pictures of a medal which has been auctioned at various times in recent years, and it is engraved on the back with Thomas Coutts Morison, PMO (Principal Medical Officer) Sultan's Cossacks, and has been turned into a brooch. Does anyone know if the Sultan issued medal to the Contingent separately to those gazetted for British army officers? Morison's medal was part of his possessions when he died in Rockhampton, New South Wales. I suspect he may have obtained a medal and had it engraved for himself, but be interested to know if the Turks awarded any medals to British citizens in the Turkish Contingent, not gazetted in London.

Nick Hervey

Nick Hervey

 

Thomas Coutts Morison MD

I am trying to discover if Thomas Coutts Morison's Medjidie medal is genuine. I have details of his enlistment in the Turkish Contingent in London in 1855, and I know from letters found in Australia that he served in the Crimea with Count Zamoyski's Sultan's Cossacks. I can find no record in the various London Gazettes of his having been awarded the medal but I have seen pictures of a medal which has been auctioned at various times in recent years, and it is engraved on the back with Thomas Coutts Morison, PMO (Principal Medical Officer) Sultan's Cossacks, and has been turned into a brooch. Does anyone know if the Sultan issued medal to the Contingent separately to those gazetted for British army officers? Morison's medal was part of his possessions when he died in Rockhampton, New South Wales. I suspect he may have obtained a medal and had it engraved for himself, but be interested to know if the Turks awarded any medals to British citizens in the Turkish Contingent, not gazetted in London.

Nick Hervey

Nick Hervey

 

A Survivor of Isandlawana - Zulu War 1879

INTRODUCTION

The Battle of Isandlawana in 1879 was the worst defeat inflicted on Britain in a Colonial War. For that reason
alone, this old newspaper report is a valuable document. However, it is far more then that - the details given
make it a valuable historical document, and it for this reason that I am posting it on the BLOG section. This
will allow it to be read by nonMembers who can access it from Google.

Basically it is the story of Mr. W.M. Adams - who died in December 1916 at the age of 96. The report of his
death and a short history of his life appeared in the Pietermaritzburg (Capital of Natal) "Natal Witness" of Dec.8th
1916. The story was written by a close friend of his and is therefore accurate - making it a rare historical
document from an earlier time.

Mr. Adams was born in England in 1820 - 7 months after the death of King George 3rd. He came to Durban at
at 22 years of age in 1842 - which makes him one of Natal's earliest pioneers


------------------------------------------------------http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2012/blogentry-6209-0-38958400-1344782858.jpgclick to enlarge---------------------------------------


..................................................................THE LATE MR.W.M. ADAMS........................................................

.....................................REMINISCENCES OF ISANDLAWANA................................


Mr. William Adams Snr., whose photograph appears in this issue ,so well known in the Northern Districts as one of
the old pioneers, passed away on November 28th at the ripe age of 96.

I had known him intimately for some years and it is difficult to believe that the genial old gentleman, who strongly
held his own for half a century, and who so succesfully faced the hardships and perils of those early days, has at last
relinquisheed the struggle and answered the call to his long rest.

Mr. Adams landed at the Port of Durban in 1842, arriving in the 'King William' which accomplished the journey from
England in 3 1/2 months. He was then 22 years of age. Durban hardly existed in those days and ' McDonald's
Hotel ' where Mr. Adams took refuge was built of sods ! The young man became a trader and hunter and in the
course of his wanderings for 30 years he visited almost every part of South Africa, at one time venturing as far North
as the Zambesi.

.....................................................A HUNTER'S PARADISE......................................


Natal was then a hunters paradise and lions and elephants often fell to Mr. Adam's gun . Once an elephant
attacked him with such suddeness that he could only fall flat on the ground to avoid the charge. The animal's
feet actually missed by inches, but luckily the impetus carried the elephant sufficiently ahead to enable Mr. Adams
to recover his gun and as the animal returned to the attack he shot it dead.

Another time, Mr. Adams was being carried across the Tugela River by a native and just as they reached the bank,
the unfortunate native was seized by a crocodile and killed - Mr. Adams barely reached the bank.

In 1853 he married Maria Elizabeth Strydom. It was a happy union. She cheerfully with him the perils and the
privations of those early days accompanying him in his journeys proving herself a true helpmate and a good
mother to his children. She has survived him and is now 82 years of age.

Lattererly they have lived in a small cottage near the Helpmekaar Magistracy, with one of their Grandsaughters
as a companion. The home was not an elaborate one but it was spotlessly clean, and the old couple seemed as
contented with one another's society as they must have been when first married.

Their honeymoon took the novel form of a hunting trip to Zululand, in which they had an exciting experience.
One day a couple of lions stalked out of the shrubs ahead and barred the path. Their manes bristled and they
showed every indication of an attack upon the frightened oxen. Mr. Adams and two of his natives rushed
ahead, covering the lions with their guns - and shot them dead.

The young trader was well acquainted with the famous Dick King, and he often related the story of how one
winter's night he and Mr. King rode from Durban to Botha's Hill, the latter told him of his stirring ride to the Cape'for reinforcements. It was a wonderful story and Mr. Adams always spoke of Dick King as a ' fine fellow'.

One of Mr. Adam's earliest ventures was the establishment of a trading station at what is now Bond's Drift.
Here he met the veteran Dutch pioneer, Piet Hogg , and they had an exciting experience with the warlike Zulus.
It was just about the time that Cetywayo and Umbulazi were disputing for the headship of the Zulu Nation. One
day an armed party of Zulus swept down upon the traders , carried off the oxen and left the owners and their
families stranded. The plucky traders went off in hot pursuit, caught up the marauders and at great personal
risk demanded the return of the oxen. They were succesful and wisely decided to immediately trek South until
matters became more settled.

A year or two later found Mr. Adams and his family settled about four miles from Rorke's Drift. The country was
then a native location, there being only four white families in the district. One of those was Mr. Rorke, whose name
will live forever in history, on account of the famous drift named after him.

When Cetywayo finally became King it was apparent to Mr. Adams - living as he did on the border - that serious
trouble was brewing. He joined the Border Mounted Rifles, and at the outbreak of war held the rank of
Quarter Master Sergeant.


.........................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2012/blogentry-6209-0-38958400-1344782858.jpgclick to enlarge...........................................


There was no adventure which he told so freely as those which befell him in the Zulu War. He and his son were
present at the fatal battle of Isandlawana. He was one of the first to realise the danger on that disastrous day.

The small British force was scattered, and as the mighty Zulu Impi, half moon in shape sprang out of their hidden
dongas and began advancing on to the doomed band, Mr Adams pleaded with the Imperial Officers to concentrate
and form a laager. His advice was unheeded. He fired to the last and as the 'horns' were closing round, he and
others , seeing that all was lost, dashed through the opening and made for Fugitives Drift. He was pusued most of
the way and just managed to reach the Buffalo River in safety. A few days later he had the joy of meeting his son
whom he had given up as lost and who had escaped at a drift lower down. ' How did you manage to escape ' I
more then once asked him and the old gentleman - with a twinkle in his eye - woulkd reply ' Funk and a good horse'.

Mr. Adams also took part in the first Boer War, this time in the Transport Service. At the close he returned to
Rorke's Drift, where he remained until the outbreak of the second Boer War. He was taken prisoner by the Boers,
sent to Pretoria, but subsequently released and he ultimately arrived via Delgoa Bay. Later he was joined by his wife who
though 60 years of age, evaded the Boers and in a small waggon crossed Zululand and entered Natal through
Bond's Drift.

He was fond of telling of the changes that had taken place in Durban since he first saw it. Then it was a collection
od sand dunes and thick bush and these had now given place to an up-to-date and prosperous seaport , with trams,
macadamised streets and all those things which mark the advance of a 20th. Century civilisation.

He returned to Rorke's Drift, but in 1910 after a residence there of 54 years he sold out and purchased a small home at
Helpmekaar, where the old couple spent their declining years. He took a keen interest in the present European War
and enjoyed good health to the last. We all hoped and believed he would reach his Century.

He was born 7 months after the death of George 3rd. of England and so lived during the reign of 5 Sovereigns.

On the morning of the 24th November he looked ill. Mrs Adams sent for the Doctor who pronounced the illness
to be of a serious nature. He never rallied but passed peacefully on the 28th ultimoo and was buried in
Helpmekaar the following day.

In addition to his widow, he leaves 6 children (living) , 36 grand children and 10 great granchildren.


I hoped you enjoyed reading of this early pioneer - of people such as this the British Empire was set-up.

Mervyn Mitton

Mervyn Mitton

 

Collecting more but enjoying it less?

Collecting More but Enjoying It Less?

Up before dawn and after a stop at Tim Horton’s coffee shop back on the road for an hour’s drive. Arriving at the “Tim’s” located in the town or city of your destination, after all, Canadian’s plan their trips in accordance to the location of a handy Tim’s. Fresh coffee in hand you pull into the show’s parking lot and at this early hour there is almost an unlimited choice of parking spaces. Dawn has broke and you find yourself in line, hot coffee in hand to help fight off the cold chill of the morning, awaiting the minutes before the doors will be flung open allowing the flood of eager collectors and hunters to stream in.

Yes, it’s Gun Show Day down Canada way!

An auditorium filled to capacity with dealers and enthusiasts alike. There are guns, swords, knives, medals and sundry equipment in abundance. People talking to people of like interest and you are able to actually pick up an item, unlike the on-line auction houses wares you may have “won”. With a bit of luck and a fair bit of haggling you may be heading home in a few hours with a new treasure to add to your, collection room, war room, Rambo room or study, whatever you call your Sanctum sanctorum.

Gun, militaria and medal shows are tactile and social events filled with sights (no pun intended) and sounds ranging from laughter to argument. Deals made, information and goods exchanged. They are the market places of old where customer met wares, the trading centres so important to the development of our countries and our way of life.

For the past decade I have more or less turned my back on shows opting instead for the ease and convenience of the internet based auction houses such as the famous or infamous eBay. There are others though this is the one I have carried out business with. It hit me a few days ago that while I was collecting a lot more I may, in fact, be enjoying it a lot less.

My mind got to wandering, which it is prone to do now that I am older, of the days when I would go fishing with my childhood buddies. On the lake in our canoes before dawn, listening to the loon song wavering over the still water. A chill in the air and the water feeling like warm tea to the touch; the joking about one of the crew having once stepped in a soft spot in the muskeg and plunging through to the putrid water below, up to his waste, while on portage. Some days the fish would bite and some days it was the mosquitoes, such is the angler’s world and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Then the years passed by, we all got busy with families and careers, some with wives and girl friends, etc. Some got side tracked with divorces when wives met girlfriends. It’s all in the timing you know. Now almost all of my boyhood friends are no longer with us, residing in a much hotter place down below us. In Florida! What were you thinking? Now I go to the supermarket and if I want fish to I pick from a vast array of different fish, both fresh and frozen. I never fail to reach my “quota” and I never provide a snack for those vampires of the insect world. I also don’t talk about the experience as it has become mundane. There is no bragging rights or accusations of exaggerating the length of a fish taken two years hence; and no defending that exaggeration - as we all know it was indeed much shorter than now claimed.

Eventually my mind did return to the topic at hand and I wondered if what has happened to my pursuit of that monster bass, pickerel (walleye), pike or lake trout has happened to my collecting. You don’t have to believe this but about four months ago I swore off eBay and any other on-line auction and started once again to attend miltaria and gun shows. To my amazement the thrill of the “hunt” has returned. The crowd has changed somewhat. The majority are a lot younger and the “old boys” with their gruff exteriors and ample girths have been replaced by...(now this is depressing)...me. The last show turned up a nice little flintlock pistol and I have reacquainted with some of the dealers who are still attending. There is a trade pending involving a Brown Bess and my surplus collectables which would never have happened on eBay.

This may not be the way to go for all collectors, especially the younger collector, trying to build a collection and especially if on a shoestring budget. I’m not bragging but I’ve built a good base collection and I no longer feel the need to add great qualities to the collection. So I am content to pay a bit more and collect fewer items of a bit higher quality. Many of these items are not available on the internet auctions and it is always best if you can handle collectables that are more expensive and rarer.

So for me, I am now collecting less and enjoying it more, a lot more.

Regards
Brian

Brian Wolfe

Brian Wolfe

 

White with elk or deer

I have these two believe police hats, looking for help to identify where they are from. The blue with red band has tag inside "By appointment of her majesty the queen etc.

The white hat has a typed piec of paper inside "POL WISLER HEINRICH".

Any help would be great in finding out where these hats are from.

dalestorm

dalestorm

 

28 June 2012

Haven't written in a while; otherwise occupied lately. Anyway, I have a few days off which, when added to the days I'd normally be off comes to a total of seven days, thought I'd drop a few lines to let everyone know (A) I'm still sucking air and am warm and upright, and (B) what I'm up to as far as collecting goes.

I've been concentrating on my primary interest lately, which is state security/internal ministry/border troops/fire brigades, and my focus, at least at present, is directed toward the USSR. To tell you the truth, it's been kind of nice to return to the USSR after spending so much of my collector time elsewhere. Anyway, while I am limited (financially) to what I can seek ("egg" badges are out for me at present), I've found some gems that are within my realm. I've added the following to my USSR gallery in case anyone would like to take a look:

- Medal for Distinguished Service in Defense of State Frontier (3rd variation)
- Medal for Distinguished Service in Defense of Public Order (2nd variation)
- 60 and 70 Year Border Troop badges (the official badges)
- An early 1985, two piece gold Outstanding Militiaman badge (set completer)
- A '62-'66 Belorussian MOOP badge (set completer)
- A set of KGB type 1 service medals
- A '92 70 Years of the North Western Border Guard veteran's badge (set completer)
- A 60 year Tajikistan Border Troop veterans badge (not posted yet)
- Several Georgian MVD documents, including I.D.'s (not posted yet)
- An interesting 50 year anniversary badge of the MVD unit concerned with the misappropriation of state property (not posted yet)

So yeah, I've been busy. And, I continue the search (in case you may have some things you're looking to get rid of... hint).

Other than that, life goes on here pretty much uneventfully. It's supposed to be quite warm over the next several days- 93 today, climbing to 103 by Saturday. That and, of course, we live without air conditioning- we generally don't need it, but it would come in handy for the few days we have like this. Anyway, if I don't fry or bake to death, I'll write more soon.

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

Document Archive

Document Archive

I have recently refreshed this area and want to explain its purpose and use.

The document archive allows members to upload and download files in a large format. It is like an online library which allows the archiving of material in a variety of formats including PDF files which our members can access to support their research of military history or military collectables. I see it as an area to upload scans of books, or lengthy documents.

This is primarily a free resource in that it is free to upload and download files. However there is is the facility for members to upload files which attract a fee for other members to download. This essentially allows members posting the document the facility to charge a cost per download. GMIC handles this fee (a small administrative charge is made to the member selling files to support the forum) and passes it on to the member via electronic payment.

As with all uploads on GMIC the member uploading must be clear on who owns the copyright to any work, especially when a charge is being made to download it. For further information on costs and methods of payment please contact me direct.

When an article is uploaded a support post is automatically created in the Document Archive Forum which allows members to comment or ask further questions to the members posting the documentation.

Nick

Nick

 

WHAT IF ...............

Comment :

I am sorry for the delay with the Police novel. I am actually 2 chapters in hand - and will
re-commence soon. I will also add a couple of entries for my WW2 memories - surprisingly
I have had several requests - including from Google readers.


What if :

This will only be a short post and really stems from a conversation I had with someone in the shop.

We were talking of developments in the communication field and started to think of where the present
day World would be without these modern inventions we all take for granted.

For example - how would we communicate without computers and cell phones ? Just 25 years ago
most telephones were still operated by a dial - faxes had gained a lot of use after the long postal
strike in the UK in the 1970's. I spent a week doing a course on how to operate a 'Ticker tape' machine - the only means we had to contact Motor Registry at Swansea. Today they are hardly used - just endless emails and a
proliferation of scammers trying to send you 2 million dollars they don't know what to do with.........

However, the changes are a lot deeper then just the equipment. Everyone has become an instant
'expert' with google. A very useful tool to look something-up - but, it certainly doesn't make people
experts - that still requires years of experience.

This carries forward with the growth of media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Obviously
they serve a need and I am sure can help with all sorts of friendships and research. But, the question
is - do they actually serve any purpose ? Should they all be closed down tomorrow - would the World
be a 'poorer' place ? Personally, I think not.

Age has a lot to do with modern applications - the older we get , I suspect, the less we are willing to
embrace these new gadgets. I do think the cell phone was a wonderful invention - in Countries like
South Africa where the old Government had not allowed phone lines into rural areas , the African
communities were cut off from famiies and also, medical or, police help. Cell phones have re-united
families. Having said that, I want the use of the phone - I don't want to send SMS's which are better
as an email.

Whilst risking having myself called an 'old fossil' , I have never sent an SMS - or, stood waiting to use an
ATM.

Really, it is within the space of my lifetime that all of these changes have happened. When I was born in
1936 England was still virtually as it was at the end of Queen Victoria's Reign. WW2 was the catylist that
brought changes. Who could imagine life without kitchen paper - a cloth over the kitchen taps was the
forerunner. TV - if you had the money , was a large box with a small 8 inch (20cm) screen - and B&W. Now I
even have a large colour monitor to watch the four sides of the house.

Just thoughts from the past - but, ones that make you wonder what will be available in a further 75 years.

Make a 'comment' and tell us what you think will be the future ? Mervyn

Mervyn Mitton

Mervyn Mitton

 

Are you kidding, no really, are you kidding?

Are you kidding, no really are you kidding?

Last Saturday one of the largest, if not the largest, outdoor antiques fairs was held near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It has been a few years since we were able to attend and most of the dealers have been the same for many years so it was like a family reunion with some that we’ve dealt with over the years.

One of the first things an antiques dealer will tell you is not to refinish antiques as their value is lost once you do this. You will hear this mantra chanted over and over especially when they are looking to purchase the furniture dear old Aunt Betsy left you. Of course you “cave in” and let the dealer take the refinished ruined junk off your hands for a pittance and letting you feel that they have done you a big favour. Well pilgrim you’ve just been shafted. A walk around any antiques fair will prove me out as you pass display after display of finished and what I would call over finished antique furniture. At the show you will hear these same dealers preaching that it is better to refinish the antique so that you can live with it and use it the way to was supposed to be used. Two definite schools of thought I will admit. However I recognized a couple of these fellows and they talk out of both sides of their faces more easily than could the Roman God Janus. Thinking of ancient Rome I am all for S.P.Q.R. in business, which in this case stands for “Small Profit Quick Return” however some seem to think “buy low sell high” is always an honourable act, no matter what bovine excrement they are required to spread in order to close a deal. Contrary to what I seem to be saying, most of the dealers are honest folk but you know what they say about a rotten apple in the barrel.

This is not really the theme of my article it was just an observation. The theme is all of the fakery that seems to be going on and sold by so-called reputable dealers under the excuse that they are not knowledgeable in this or that field when “called” on the authenticity of an item. This self same dealer will be waxing prophetic to a prospective client one second and then crying that they are as innocent as a new born lamp with the very next breath when trying to explain a fake being passed off as authentic. To be sure this is not the show to attend if you are looking for military collectables though there is always bit to choose from. The prices are usually well above market for medals, weapons etc. so this is a show to attend for other collectables. However, having said that, I found it interesting that so many dealers managed to be displaying fakes and replicas of mostly WWII German medals mixed in with some over prices genuine articles. It is almost as if they are pricing the authentic items in order to hold onto them and low balling the fakes. Low balling the price if it were genuine that is.

I looked at a pair of Figure Of Eight handcuffs that the dealer said he picked up in Georgia last week (it is always “last week” with these guys) and he’d let it go for $200.00. I was polite and passed on the cuffs, however, if I had wanted such a pair I could pick them up for around $35.00 on eBay from the same fellow who makes them...in Georgia. The quality was not really bad though nowhere near that of Hiatt but the poor quality key is always a dead giveaway. I will post mine to show the difference someday (he said in embarrassment) along with a genuine key and you will see a world of difference.

Another booth proudly offered a Police Helmet from the Metropolitan Police sporting a ball top for only $200.00. I think the other police collectors will support my claim that the Met has never used a ball top. Amazingly, though I suppose it should not have come as a surprise, the dealer claimed he had purchased it directly from the officer himself while on a trip to the UK. The officer must have really stood out among the rest of the police all wearing the familiar Metropolitan Cox Comb Style helmet. I wonder if his name was Benny Hill.

Back in the early 1970s there was a flood of Indian swords offered for a pittance; these were over cleaned for the most part but they were authentic. Just after this Tsunami of Tulwars another “after shock wave” hit with thousands of newly made copies being offered in every flea market stall from Chicoutimi to Bella Coola (you’ll have to look those up yourself).

Meanwhile back at the antiques fair.
A fellow was looking at a curved sword that had been ground down as if sharpened before every battle ever fought with sword. The handle was wooden and the knuckle guard was an open style basket and quite well done. To enhance this treasure someone (I wonder who) had recently painted it gloss black. This was obviously one of those replica Indian swords that had the design on the blade removed, over-ground to change the curve a bit and then painted black. The grip showed no wear which should have made the perspective buyer wonder how the blade had seen so much wear while the grip was pristine as was the hand guard. I suppose it could have been a one of those miracles preformed by the Giant Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The dealer played right along and mused as to how many battles the sword had been in and just how many men it had killed. Easy answer...NONE! The customer started to dicker on the price which had started at $300.00 and I couldn’t take any more and walked away muttering “Caveat emptor”. If I was overheard I’m sure the dealer told the customer that was the name of the style of sword.

Most of the time I am pretty good at controlling my indignation and keeping my self-righteous rage in check. However I will admit that the reason I have not been to this show for a while is that I was banned from going for at least a year by my dear wife. We were at the show with some friends, formally from the UK. My friend Graham and I were looking at a drawer unit that I was interested in and I was seeing if the drawers were all in working order. The dealer said “It looks like we have a couple of yankers here” and I thought he said “s”. There was a bit of confusion as to whether I actually grabbed the fellow by the front of his shirt or not...just to make a point mind you. Graham, a quick thinking East Ender, was between us before anything else could happen, but I think I made my point. So now I keep my distance and regarding the over- priced fakes and I just think, “Are you kidding, no really are you kidding!”

Let’s hear from the rest of the membership regarding their collecting experiences over the summer.

Regards
Brian

Brian Wolfe

Brian Wolfe

 

Victory Day 2012

In about 20 minutes it will be May 9th in Moscow and Victory Day will be underway. The annual parade should step-off at 1000. A change from last year's attempt at the utility uniform will be the return to the dress uniform (why they changed that last year I will never know). Hopefully the parade, in it's entirety, will be broadcast (perhaps by RT) and, again hopefully, someone will make a dvd of it that will be available for purchase by those of us who live in the more remote areas (hint).

Aside from the pagentry and splendor associated with the military parade, it will be a time to remember ALL those- the allied nations military forces, the partisans, the civilains whose villages and towns were set upon and who chose to fight back, and yes, those who were selected for "special treatment" because they were, for one reason or another, deemed unfit for the "one thousand year reich"- who sacrificed so much and, often enough, all to bring about the defeat of Hilter and his allies. I had many family members fight in that war; one did not return (Battle of the Bulge- Douglas Kirby, 3rd Armoured Division "Spearhead") and many of you have similar stories- some of you, I dare say, were there... to those who were, thank you so very, very much. I will never forget, nor will I let those around me forget, the magnificent thing you did for all of us.

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

More Updates

Due to ongoing technical difficulties I have had to upgrade the server significantly so I hope that you have noticed an increase in speed. Any voluntary contributions from taking out a members subscription will be appreciated as I now have a significant monthly cost to keep this ship afloat. I really do not want to have to go down the route of advertising to generate income !

There has also been a change in the way the forum loads and some of you may have noticed that there is a slight pause when loading the index page. But when it loads it should fully load. I am still working on remedying that issue which is being caused by a slow mysql query around Topic Markers, but if I switch them off then it impacts on what topics are marked as read with your individual accounts. Work in progress......

Nick

Nick

 

May Day 2012

Happy May Day to all! Not a big holiday here in the US (although it did start here) except for the "faithful" (hard core Reds). Did catch the Moscow goings-on via RT earlier today- they covered events all over the world. Good to see the Moscow parades, although I wish they still went through Red Square. Noticed that even the oligarchs participated in the parade (Medvedev)- hmmmmm. Also good to see the general strike called by the Occupy movement- still strong. All together much more going on this year than last... could be indicative of something- we'll see. Anyway, rather than blather on ad nauseum, thought I'd leave a few colourful images that look better if you hum a chorus of The Internationale while viewing (no kidding). The first is a rather meager collection of May Day badges from the USSR and DDR along with a badge of our founder, followed by two images of some USSR postcards from the '70's and '80's (just like Mom used to send). Enjoy!

Workers of All Nations Unite!
You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Chains!
Greg

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

 

Gallipoli - 24/25 April 1915 Memorial at ANZAC Cove (Ariburnu) by ATATURK

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now living in the soil of a friendly country.Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well." Ataturk, 1934

demir

demir

 

A few back room changes & user names.

I have been updating a few of the back end functions of the software/server to bring it up to date and close a few security issues. It may have meant that some members received the occasional database error over the last few days, but I hope the bulk of the work has now been done. There should not be any real major front end changes.

GMIC is still growing in size and despite some slow down in posting which is reflected across all military collecting forums (sign of the economic times maybe ?) the traffic actually has increased. This combination of traffic and database size can challenge the server. Of course if money was not an issue then a fast modern dedicated server would make a vast differences. As GMIC is essentially a free service then unfortunately this is not an option and I rely on voluntary subscriptions to pay for what I can afford to run. So speed is dependent on subscriptions, the more of you that pay a small annual subscription, the faster server I can afford and the better the service we all get !

If anyone has noticed any significant differences i.e. slow downs or speed ups in the forum please let me know as it is good to get feedback either way.

GMIC is eight years old next month and there is a lot of images and information stored on the forum. Over the coming months I will be getting some of the moderators to do a bit of housekeeping as I intend to start archiving some of the old posts to reduce server space. The information will still be there and retrievable under searching, but because it is old and not regularly accessed it will be stored in a slightly different way to save space and make the forum run more efficiently.

I have also changed my username to Nick rather than Chairman (although I still am the Chairman) as have the Vice Chairs as I felt titles were a little too impersonal and I want to promote the use of peoples real names. If you would like to adopt your real name (even if it is only your first name with a last initial or tag to retain a agree of anonymity) let me know as it makes it a bit friendlier than some forums where members adopt juvenile usernames as par for the course.

Nick

Nick

 

April 16, 2012

I'm not much of a blogger, unless you count my "John and Marie" fiction on the Great War Forum. However, as I get older I feel the urge to muse in (semi) public, which is certainly better than wandering down the street talking to myself.

I've been collecting since 1973, and have gone from British Military longarms to badges, to uniforms, to medals. I've never been an "I never sell anything" collector (can't afford to), but nonetheless bits and pieces of each historical period remain (like the non-original front sling swivel from my Martini-Henry III, and a .577 Snider brass cartridge).

This is one of the downsides of collecting. Medals and badges can pass fairly easily on eBay, etc. But the bits of webbing, helmet covers, paper, etc. are harder to move. Even cataloguing it is beyond me. But realistically most of this stuff I will never look at again, the boys are now too big to fit the uniforms, and I certainly could use the spare change to finance more R.G.A. Victory Medals.

I can't look on this as a retirement project, as retirement at 65 doesn't look like a realistic option for me. I suppose I could stuff a moving box and bill it as "Grand Militaria Surprise Package".

Books are a similar problem. I've got a great British Colonial library, most of which I haven't looked at in nearly 30 years. I'm sure there are collectors out there who could use these books, but postage (even in Canada) is prohibitive. I remember all too clearly clearing out my parents' books from the family home in 1988 with my then fiancée, (now my wife of almost 25 years). It's not a job I want to wish on my sons.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

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