Michael Johnson

Old Contemptible
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About Michael Johnson

  • Rank
    Old Contemptible
  • Birthday 13/12/51

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Oakville, Canada West
  • Interests
    The Great War 1914-18
    Royal Garrison Artillery

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  1. Sam, I suspect it was his pension that allowed him to send my father to university (granddad started work before he was 14). Dad became a very successful corporate lawyer. I followed in his footsteps, but chose an alternative to practice. This year my son graduates from law school, to make the third generation. A long way from Bells Close Newcastle! Michael
  2. Sam, you must be very proud of your grandfather. My paternal grandfather enlisted in the Canadian Army Service Corps in 1916, got pneumonia on a field day in Toronto, and according to family history, lost an eye when they were attempting to anaethetize him and ether got spilled on his face. Medical discharge on pension with a Class C discharge pin. My maternal grandfather was French, and was recalled to duty from Canada in 1914. He was attached to the British Army as an interpreter - until his company, then engaged in the war effort, realized that he was the only one who knew the processes. After many letters and diplomatic notes the French Army let him go back to Canada.
  3. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic had a dedicated Halifax Explosion room when i was there some years ago. Michael
  4. Sam, Not a mad idea at all. Sadly I suspect that the CWM is more interested in the Centenary of Vimy. I wonder if the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic http://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/ in Halifax could get more traction? Lots of information there: http://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/search/node/halifax explosion I have a small collection of single medals to men who were on ships at or near Halifax that day. Still missing HMS Highflyer and HMS Changuinola. I have two to HMCS Niobe - an R.N.C.V.R. clerk and an R.N. Regulating Petty Officer. I was able to find a photograph of the latter. He's the one sitting on the right end of the bench. Previous service in China in 1900.
  5. Lots of good books on the Halifax Explosion, which is a topic that fascinates me. See here: for a post that illustrates how one family was affected. Michael
  6. Back in the day when the wife and I had time to do things, we go downtown. When we meet up, Terry says, "The antique store has a badge you might be interested in." So, with no great hope I go to have a look. A Canadian Militia helmet, with Pattern 1908 Star Plate to the 31st Regiment. Traces of gold paper (amateur theatricals?). Sadly missing the screw attachment for the spike/button, but 100% authentic ("au jus" for our French friends). And how much? $35!
  7. 25 cents per week Grade 1 to 8; $5.00 grade 9 to 12; $10.00 grade 13. No allowance in Uni. Northumberland and Cumberland, Sir! Not a Yorkie! And sadly my shako for R.N.R. Scout Brigade of Fort George is Belgic. If it were stovepipe, I'd put on my nice brass one, bought at Jack Shepherd's some 40 years or more ago.
  8. Quite rightly. "Type" collectors who split groups for one medal were/are the bane of our hobby. It's bad enough when groups are split within families ("One silver for you, one silver for me; one bronze for you, one bronze for me."), but that is understandable. The sad fact is that many groups will never be re-assembled. But that Victory holds the key to the man's story. And in some cases the story continues. I bought a 1914-15 Star and Victory to a man in the Royal Naval Reserve. His service record showed that he had been discharged with tuberculosis and died very soon after. I got his death certificate, and put the case forward to the Commonwealth War Graves through the "In From the Cold Project". It was accepted and now a CWGC headstone is being erected: http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/75451073/MURPHY, JAMES Michael
  9. Many do feel that way. However many British War Medals were sold for their silver value and smelted. If you are collecting to a theme, Victory Medals are the least expensive way to collect First War British medals. Michael
  10. RN Seamen's papers are available on Ancestry.com, or British National Archives. It would probably be cheaper to take out a monthly subscription with ancestry.co.uk and just get Britain-only rather than a world subscription. The search page is: http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60522. You could purchase credits to search a few medals. For ships, just Google HMS XXXX, and you will probably find what you're looking for. e.g. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=HMS+Queen+Mary This site is great for further information: http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritishShips-Dittmar3WarshipsA.htm Some ships log books have been transcribed: http://www.naval-history.net/OWShips-LogBooksWW1.htm Good luck! And if you find any sailor who was on HMS Highflyer in December 1917, please tell me! (Not a battleship). Michael
  11. Peter, my records are that it was a 1914-15 Star. He was 15th Bn. which took heavy casualties July 1, 1916. Michael
  12. No allowance!
  13. Well, she's changed just a bit since these were taken. Then again, so has Peter.
  14. Try here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Malaysian_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty I suspect that this list was complied by someone in Malaysia, possibly with the Police Force, given the amount of detail. Michael
  15. Rodney, A fantastic display, and a family history to be proud of. I had a similar coincidence, in that I found that my wife's grandfather and my uncle probably worked together with the RCAF in Toronto in the Second War. Of course by the time I met my wife both were no longer with us, so I couldn't ask. Michael