Michael Johnson

Old Contemptible
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Everything posted by Michael Johnson

  1. Welcome back, Ed. Fifty+ years ago I would have died for a Model A - built enough models of them. Of course I was too young to drive, even. Looking forward to photos. Michael
  2. The regiment won two George Medals in Italy, both minefield incidents. Sowar Ditto Ram's citation is here: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37386/supplement/6055/data.pdf St. John Graham Young R.T.R. attached C.I.H. was the second recipient: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37185/supplement/3765/data.pdf Michael
  3. I just purchased my FIFTH named Navy Good Conduct Medal. I keep telling myself I collect British and Canadian. Sadly, the cost of a Freedom of Information request in the UK is almost as much as the medal. For my group to Smart, National Archives sent me his record for free. Back history: I spent my youth building model airplanes, including a whole bunch of U.S. Navy 1925-45. So when a medal to a man who served on USS Hornet (CV-12) from its commissioning comes up, I guess I have to have it. Michael
  4. I bought a USN discharge certificate offa eBay - enlisted 1949, discharged 1953, immediate re-up for 4 years.. When I found his veteran's Veteran's Burial on Ancestry it looks like he served from 1943 into the 1970s - WWII, Korea, AND Vietnam. I'm sending off for his record, and suspect he had quite a rack, ending up as a SCPO. Could even beat Smart's group. Michael
  5. "And how do you know I'm addicted?" asked Alice. "You must be," said the Caterpillar, "or you wouldn't be here."
  6. Gabatgh, You will find that these things are all over the shop. Obviously you will get the best price from a family member, if there is one, who is actively searching. If not, providing as much detail as possible will generate interest. It is always worthwhile to go an Ancestry.com and find out who has a family tree up for your particular man. Do not be put off by anyone who wants it back for free. Many items leave families for many reasons, and the cry of "It was stolen!" can be met with "When? Did you file a police report at the time?" Ignore police reports filed after the events - they are worthless. There is a concept in law of "purchaser in good faith without notice". Michael
  7. I'm pretty sure it's him as he was a Devonport enlistment. Gunner 1944
  8. 1939-45 Star (six months at sea on operations), Atlantic Star (another six months service in the Atlantic), Africa Star (service probably in the Mediterranean), Burma Star with clasp for Pacific Star (Far East service Indian Ocean and Pacific), War Medal with Mention in Despatches, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (15 years' service in the ranks without disciplinary offences or adverse conduct reports. Rank is that of Lieutenant. Obviously commissioned after long service. If we could make out the name it might be possible to identify him. I think it's Lt. Harry Morris Clark who in 1956 was a Commissioned Gunner. I haven't tracked down his Mention, but I'll try the British Medals Forum - the experts there will probably tell me what he had for breakfast July 2, 1944. All in all, that is quite a find! Michael
  9. Perhaps a Drummer or Musician? More likely to have carried a short sword. Michael
  10. 1, could be Platelayer, but that is more a railway occupation than an Artillery one. Not one I've run across in my Indian collecting years.

    • FOR SALE

    In Medallic Art Co. box, dated 1/26/45 Named to James M. Truscello, with lapel pin and tatty box. Obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/newsday/james-m-truscello-condolences/102363269?cid=gbsrchres A high school music teacher in New York State. Lots of high school yearbook entries on Ancestry. Truscello apparently showed Benny Goodman how to play one of Goodman's own songs! His unit served in the Pacific.


  12. The Lincolnshire Regiment was in Bermuda in 1914, so could be older. I think by 1943 the helmet flash would have been obsolete.
  13. Miraculously, given that he was Militia, my father's service record exists. I don't blame the MO - my father's eyesight was 20/200. Michael
  14. While doing some genealogical research, I found this site: http://sippaf.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/Documents/p...07436Doc322.pdf He was my great-grandfather. Now I have a confirmed Franco-Prussian War veteran in the family. The Medal wasn't authorized until 1910, and there was a medal for the defenders of Belfort. He may not have received either. Certainly there were no medals in his son's estate (I have written about Capitaine Marcel Verzieux, who was French Engineers and served at Verdun). Now I have to dig out the old photo albums and see if I can find him in uniform. Of the other people named in the obituary, Antonin Gautier was killed in 1918 with SPA80, so his graduation from the ?cole centrale lyonnaise was posthumous. Edmond Mathieu I remember from my childhood. There was an adrien helmet and a rifle (which I believe I was told by my mother was Franco-Prussian) at the family chalet at Seyssins. I believe he was infantry during the war.
  15. I was spared that - two boys - who still have had their challenges. I grew up at the ROM (we were about four blocks away) - I remember when I wan't tall enough to see into those table displays, and had to stop for a rest before the next set of galleries. I also remember studying Classics at the University of Toronto - and all the classical galleries were closed. I'm coming to terms, barely, with the fact that I'm now a senior - albeit a working one.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic had a dedicated Halifax Explosion room when i was there some years ago. Michael
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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