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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

peter monahan

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Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. Absent strong evidence to the contrary, I'd say 'R.A.' is 'Royal Artillery', so that leaves the 'F/t' to puzzle out.  Perhaps 'From the R.A.'?

    Looking at a very extensive list of military abbreviations doesn't suggest anything more likely than 'Royal Artilery' and nothing at all for 'F/t'.  'Fd' is 'Field, as in artillery, and 'FT' is French Translator but neither of those is relevant so... ??? :(

  2. 1) Read, read and read some more!  Look out all the sites which identify the 'fake' marks/errors on the commonly faked medals.  Buy books on the subject if they exist.  It will save you a lot of grief and money in the long run.

    2) Examine real medals, in museums, collections or at shows.  Other collectors will be more than happy, generally speaking, to help you learn and there is simply no substitute for handling multiple examples of the real thing to 'tune' one's knowledge.  

    3) The Kandahar Star is one of the 19th century medals which is faked, due to its rarity and the campaign and actions it represents.  OTOH, most IGSMs are still not so valuable that faking them is worth the bother, I don't believe.  Of course 'improving' a medal with extar bars is and was done.  I once collected IGSMs to Indian troops and almost all the multi-bar medlas had had bars added locally by regiment or indidivdual soldiers, with all sorts of odd rivets, wires and so on.  Collecting to British troops should mostly obviate that issue but again, knowing what is out there is key.  Did the Sussex Reg't issue  650 bars for 'Afgahnistan 1919', making them common and likely pukka or not?  If it's too good to be true, it's likely false!

    4) Ask around before you buy.  Good dealers will always take back a medal if you're not satisfied and some dealers are known for their honesty!

    Good luck!  I hope you enjoy many happy years of collecting!  

  3. It's what we on this side of the Atlantic call a 'hunting knife', which QSA Mike alludes to.  Hundreds of models and sold in any sports store, so it's likely that many found their way to Europe [or were made in Brimingham] with private soldiers, but definitely not an issue item and, I think, unlikely to have been made in Europe or the other theatres in which the Allies fought.

  4. I was going to say 'On his head.' but I guess that won't help.  The fact that the 'digger hat' has traitionally had an easy to manipulate hook and eye arrangement suggests that 'Either way.' is the correct answer.  Without doing any research but relying on my razor sharp [63 year old] memory, I'm going to suggest that 'turned up' is the preferred modern style, which one sees in photos of parades in particular, but that clearly 'down' was the more practical method in sun and rain and seems commoner the further back one goes in time, especially in 'action photos'. 

    All obvious, I know, but my point is that the further back one goes, the less rigidly the regs appear to have been enforced in any but formal contexts:  photos of the Aussie Light Horse in the Middle east, for example, and of WWII troops in the Pacific, show them worn down, for obvious practical reasons.  Photos of individuals in portraits and so on more often seem to show them up - 'for the look of the thing'.  That said, one photo, which I will attempt to locate, shows light horse - near Beersheba, I think - with most brims down but one or two up, supporting my thesis that at some point it became a matter of individual preference.  As someone who wears an Aussie style hat most summers, I can testify that 'brim down' wears better, as the weight balances out and the hat seems less likely to slip on one's head.

    My tuppence worth and then some! :)


  5. Welcome to the GMIC!  I'm afraid I have no words of wisdom, or any other kinf for that matter, on 'Smith of Glasgow' but it occurs to me that the sword might, instead of being Yeomanry or some other 'off make' of a standard blade, be a private purchase by patriotic citizens to present to some worthy hero.  Just a thought and those swords usually had specifics of the award engraved on the blade but... one never knows.

    As to your second post, you are certainly not the only member of the GMIC whose home illlustrates the dangers of leaving adult males unsupervised and in control of various monetary resources! :)

    Welsome to the GMIC!

  6. The 'Yellow Boys' were certainly sharp looking.  Take a minute and Google the Indian Republic Day parades to see what their ceremonial units still look like.  Their one horsed unit - 43rd Cavalry? -  wears the full dress uniforms of a number of regiments, including some State Forces units, for parades and they are glorious to behold!

    Chris, may I ask who the CO was you spoke of?  A WWI or WWII DSO or something earlier?

  7. "W/man" is almost certainly "Washerman". For the record, 'Washerman' is actually a 'trade' & not a 'rank'; but in India, there is a tendency to be casual over long/ complicated ranks, especially where space is at a premium- like on a medal."

    So, the modern equivalent of 'Dhobi'.  Makes sense.  And I completely agree about the casual approach to long rank titles.  Presumably the mint workers are not paid by the letter and tend to abbreviate as the mood takes them. :(

  8. I second Brian's advice: Ed Haynes is your best bet.  And, sadly, a good bit of luck will be required, as there are no central registries or sources for such medlas.  Well done, too, sir, for your aim to re-build an importnat family icon!


  9. I'd say, from the conditions of the ribbon and the lack of a pin, that the group has been remounted for display by a collector or family member.

    Sadly, researching Other Ranks of the Indian Army, either pre- or post-1947 is virtually impossible.  There were 15 battalions by the end of WWII, of wehich several were capture at Singapore and the 2nd, 5th and 8th saw service in Burma.  The 2nd also served in French Indo-China, trying to keep the peace between the Viet Minh and French, with the help of re-armed Japanese troops.  Here is Wikipedia's take on their WWII service:

    During the Second World War the 8th Punjab Regiment again distinguished itself, suffering more than 4500 casualties. It was awarded two Victoria Crosses to Havildar Parkash Singh and Sepoy Kamal Ram, besides numerous other gallantry awards. The regiment raised a further nine battalions. Two of its battalions, the 1st and 7th, were captured on Singapore Island, when the British Commonwealth Army surrendered there to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. [Three] battalions fought in the Burma Campaign, while others saw service in Iraq, Iran, Italy, French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies. Two men from the 8th Punjab Regiment received the Victoria Cross: Havildar Parkash Singh in Burma and Sepoy Kamal Ram in Italy. By the end of the war, the Regiment consisted of 14 Battalions. However, most of the war-raised units were disbanded in 1946 except the 6th and 8th Battalions

  10. It looks like, as far as I can tell, a fairly standard police/military issue topi - Britain/Empire - which some trog has 'improved' with red and white paint and a non-regulation red band.  I'd assume it was picked up cheap, and used for amateur theatricals or a costume party.  Th eliner looks original though, and it's a shame to see it butchered tis way. :(

  11. All from the Nyasaland battalions, it seems.  The KAR had a hard war in east Africa and anyone should be proud to have those poor unloved tokens of that!

    The regiment fought in the East African Campaign against the German commander Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck and his forces in German East Africa. Transport and support into the interior was provided by over 400,000 porters of the Carrier Corps.

    By the end of the Great War the KAR comprised 1,193 British officers, 1,497 British NCOs and 30,658 Africans (33,348 total) in 22 battalions, including two made up of former German askaris, as noted above. 

    KAR casualties in the First World War were 5,117 killed and wounded with another 3,039 dying from diseases. [Wiki]

  12. I do WWI re-enacting in the US twice a year and I can't recall seeing any examples of white blankets being used by the doughboys or sold by the vendors who come out to our site, but I realize that is not evidence of very much. 

    This site says that there were a number of blanket types issued, some of which had a stripe, but all but the 1905 version [light blue] were 'olive drab' in colour, which is what I would have expected.

  13. It's an odd one!  It looks as if it was designed by someone who wanted to look 'like' the British/Imperial forces without getting so close as to get in trouble.  The Legion of Frontiersmen or some similar patriotic and quasi-official group? 

    As Coldstream says, the quality is poor, which suggests to me that it is unoffical, as I would have expected that even the more obscure deptartments of the British/Imperial civil service and such would have had better made items than this.  

  14. Two comments.  With that back, I'd say its' a modern re-cast of something, rather than an actual issed badge,as clearly there is no way to attach it to anything.  Second, while I'm out of my comfort zone with police stuff, I've got two old two-piece Toronto Police badges, which are a maple leaf with an added 'crown over beaver' in the center.  I've also seen pics of other older police badges which feature a malpe leaf.  It seemed to be a, if not 'the' common shape/background for various force.  I realize that's not a lot of help, but at least this lloks to be a remake of an actual badge and not a complete fantasy piece.