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pieter1012

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  1. For those interested, found a picture of B.F. Blokland in the Life Saving museum Jan Lels, Hoek van Holland. The Sea Gallantry medal can be clearly seen on his chest among the many other life saving medals, including the highest Dutch government life saving medal. regards, Pieter
  2. Simon, thanks for your nice comment. Yes, I will leave the medal as it is. I have enclosed a picture of the rescue boat on which Blokland served. A sad, but for us collectors interesting note, is that one of the victims on the SS Berlin was the Kings Messenger, carrying diplomatic pouches, among which one for Tehran, containing the Royal warrant and insignia of the KCVO bestowed by King Edward on a Persian Prince. I have not been able to find out what happened to the pouches. Regards, Pieter
  3. Recently I could acquire a silver Sea gallantry medal (Foreign Services), awarded to a member of a Dutch sea rescue team, concerning the disaster with the SS Berlin on 22d February 1907. The SS Berlin was a steam ferry operated by a British company between Harwich and Hook of Holland. While entering the waterway at Hook of Holland, because of a winter storm, huge waves and strong wind made the ship uncontrolabe and it was slammed against the granite breakwater at the entrance of the waterway, breaking the ship in two. It became one of the biggest ship wreaks before the Titanic. Immediately after noticing the disaster, local ship rescue teams got ready for rescue efforts. The first rescue boat to come near the SS Berlin was the President van Heel with a crew of 10, including the captain. It was however, very difficult to come alongside the shipwreak for danger of being thrown against it because of the violent and high waves. Nevertheles after several attempts, a number of passengers could be rescued. Together with the other rescue boats, of the 104 passengers and 40 crew, only 28 people were rescued (more, unregistred passengers, may have been on board) The 9 crew members of the President van Heel all received the Sea Gallantry medal (Foreign Services) in silver, the captain receiving the same in gold. The one I bought is named to B.F. Blokland, stoker sailor on the rescue vessel. The rim is named Bernardus Franciscus Blokland "Berlin" 22nd February 1907. However, very unfortunately, the widow (presumably) of Blokland altered the medal into a pendant. The ornate swivel was reversed and soldered to the rim, partly obliterating some letters of the first name and the first three numbers of the year 1907. I doubt whether the medal can be repaired into its original state without damaging the rim further. Still, it is a nice and rare medal to have, which I like to share with you. Regards, Pieter
  4. Although Marxist ideology led to the death and suffering of hundreds of millions of people, we may remember, on the 200th anniversary of his birth on 5 May 1818, that he was not responsible for the atrocities committed in his name. However, with his writings, he did dramatically alter the course of history. One legacy is also the highest DDR order that was named after him. On this anniversary, I like to show the Karl Marx Order I have in my collection. It is the second version, with the marking 900. Regards, Pieter
  5. pieter1012

    Japanese Fieldmarshal sword

    I was recently in Japan and met an acquaintance who gave me some photos of a Gensui Katana from the Taisho period. He is befriended with the family of the fieldmarshal who received it from the Taisho emperor and it is still in their possession. Although the photos are not that sharp, I thought it might be nice for those forum members that are interested in Japanese swords as I guess there are not many pictures around of them. regards, Pieter
  6. pieter1012

    Resistance medals?

    Hi Michael, thank you for your interest in my contribution to the thread. On the organization Medisch Contact (the original Dutch name) several articles have been published, but unfortunately all in the Dutch language. However, one of the members published a book in English in 1982, describing not only his personal experiences as a member of Medisch Contact, but also the resistance activities of the organization as a whole. The author is Dr. Peter Voute and the title is "Only a Free man" (War memories of two Dutch doctors), published by The Lightening Tree, Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1949, the Nederlandse Maatschappij tot bevordering der Geneeskunst (Royal Netherlands Medical Society, comparable to the AMA), asked a historian Dr. PH de Vries, to write, in cooperation with the Institute for War documentation (NIOD), a book about the history of Medisch Contact during the war. It is published under the title 1941-MC-1945, Geschiedenis van het Verzet der Artsen in Nederland (history of the resistance of doctors in the Netherlands). It gives a detailed account of the resistance activities of the doctors, but unfortunately all in Dutch, except for the German documents that are used. The Medisch Contact group was established in 1941 when the German occupier dissolved the Royal Netherlands Medical Society, of which almost every licenced MD was a member. The deposed leaders of the Society organized an underground network of secret communication between physicians throughout the country, called simply Medisch Contact. It grew into a resistance organization. As far as I know, there is no published list of the members, and after the war in 1945, the board of the organization re-established the Royal Netherlands Medical Society and abolished Medisch Contact. However, the Society still publishes a magazine, called Medisch Contact. Regards, Pieter
  7. pieter1012

    Chinese Medal France 1914-1918

    To add to the comments of KimKan, The British had almost 100.000 Chinese workers in France, who performed more or less the same duties as KimKan already described. However, as many of the forum members may know already, the British government did award a medal to these Chinese workers; the 1914-1918 war medal in bronze. The rim has the serial number of the worker followed by Chinese L.C. ( Labour Corps ). Regards,Pieter
  8. pieter1012

    name of a Russian medal

    I will ask him some day how he got this medal. Regards, Pieter
  9. pieter1012

    name of a Russian medal

    Hallo Balkan collector, thank you very much. The person in question is an army general, so surprising that he received a navy commemorative medal. Perhaps he joined some ceremony celebrating 300 years of the Russian navy. regards, Pieter
  10. pieter1012

    name of Bulgarian order

    Ferdinand, thank you very much. Best regards, Pieter
  11. pieter1012

    name of a Russian medal

    Hi Forum members, a friend of mine, a general in the Dutch army, received this medal from the Russian Federation, but he doesn't remember the name anymore and asked me. Unfortunately, I have no books on medals of the Russian Federation. The face looks a bit of that on the former order of Kutuzov. Sorry that the medal is partly blemished. Somehow happened because it is mounted behind the U.S. Commendation. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks and regards, Pieter
  12. Hi Forum members, a friend of mine, a general in the Dutch army, received the attached present day Bulgarian order, but doesn't remember the name anymore. He asked me, but I cannot find it in any books of orders and medals. Can anyone help? Thanks and regards, Pieter
  13. pieter1012

    General Nogi's Pour le Merite

    Hello Nick, that is a very nice photo of general Nogi with the Pour le Merite. Haven't seen that one before. here everything is OK with me, spending my time between Europe and Japan. As for our common hobby, collecting Japanese stuff has become so expensive that most is beyond the means of a retired civil servant. On ebay a prewar Showa grandcross document of the Rising Sun recently sold for over 3000 US$! Yahoo Jp is not much better. But I am content with what I have and enjoy it. I am now interested in the history of Papal medals and documents related to the Risorgimento, when Pope Pius IX lost most of his temporal power. Many Dutch young catholics joined the zouaves to defend the Pope, so from time to time nice items show up here for a reasonable price. Regards, Pieter
  14. pieter1012

    General Nogi's Pour le Merite

    I checked several Japanese books and found one photo of general Nogi with, I am almost sure, the Pour le Merite. Unfortunately, the order is not clearly visible, but the shape is exactly the same. As Nogi is also wearing the grandcross star of the Sacred Treasure, the photo must be taken before the end of the Russo-Japanese war, because after that he received the grand cross of the Golden Kite and again later the Rising Sun with Paulonia Flowers. I also have a prewar postcard of the orders and medals of general Nogi, as used to be exhibited in his house after his death. As you can see no Pour le Merite is included, perhaps because of WWI? By the way, the posthumous medals of both his sons are also shown. I visited the Nogi shrine beginning of this year for "shogatsu" and in the display room only the grand cross Golden Kite was exhibited. His other decorations may be at the Yasukuni shrine museum. I haven't been there for a while, but will try to visit it coming January and will check if Nogi's other orders/medals are there. Regards, Pieter
  15. In 1907 the lions in the coat of arms of the Netherlands were officially changed from outward looking to inward looking, so I suppose the crest on the Star was altered around that time.
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