peter monahan

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Everything posted by peter monahan

  1. All I can say is that I know, or think I know, that the Aussies did name theirs. But perhaps better to save your silver until you can confirm this one or one like it. Sorry that's not more help.
  2. Jef I'm not nearly old enough to have been in Flanders and yet I have very firm memories of 'seeing' things in my younger days which my rational mind tell me did not occur. I can very easily imagine a WWI vet who did see Canadian mounted troops in Stetsons remembering that as having happened in Nov/Dec '18 in SW Flanders when in fact it happened, but not then or not there. My two cents worth on 'memoirs'! My own memoirs will be highly entertaining and parts of them will be very accurate too. However, the accurate parts may not be entertaining and th entertaining parts may not be accurate, to paraphrase an old professor of mine. Peter
  3. I suspect, based on only a little general knowledge, that these were perfectly ordinary French pocket knives, though presumably manufactured for issue to troops, and that a) searching for 'French knives, 1910' would turn up numerous examples and b) the 'Corsican' thing is a marketing scam, liek every other odd item which immediately gets attributed to 'elite' troops or, in a later war, the 'SOE'. But that's just my general cynicism regarding the state of the market in our hobby these days.
  4. Nice to know there are dealers out there with that honest a return policy! I hope he at least had the satisfaction of thumping whoever sold it to him.
  5. Laurentis, I understand your feelings, but you can't be held responsible for the greed and short-sightedness of another!
  6. Lots of examples of Aussie Burma Stars on-line, but so far I haven't found a reverese shot. The Indians used a small, all caps, system. It's often described as 'engraved' but was in fact stamped/'impressed', if that is any help at all. Noteable in the Indian case for uneven lines and some very imaginaive spellings and abbreviations, as those doing the work may have had an indifferent command of English.
  7. Jef, I can't comment on exactly where the Cdns were, though I certainly believe you when you say that south-west Flanders was a 'Canadian-free zone'. The Kiwis wore a 'lemon squeezer' style Stetson hat too, but I have no idea whether or not their mounted units were re-mounted. As I say, the Cdn Light Horse got their horses back for teh 100 days and served as a cavalry screen for the Cdn divisions, doing some good service in that taditional mounted role. My [very limited] knwledge of the CEf isn't up to saying exactly where they were. Pity the memit wasn't more detailed. It may remain a mystery. Peter
  8. The survival of such items - busbys, bearskins, and so on - is frequently because regiments continued/continue to outfit musicians and/or colour parties in 'historic uniform' long after it has been superceded as general issue. That might also explain the damage - a QM salvaging a plume holder to repair another similar pice in better condition than this one.
  9. Military Mounted Police makes sense. At least two UK dealers list Egypt Medals with similar namings - 'Mil Mtd Police' and Gordon's book says there were 59 Tel-el-Kebir bars issued to 'Military Police'. So, quite a nice find. Here is some info. on the Corps: From the formation of the Military Mounted Police in 1855, the military Mounted Police grew in number as well as in the scope of duties. In 1877, the Military Mounted Police became a permanent corps of the British Army. 1887 saw the establishment of the Military Mounted Police (MMP) for service at home and abroad, and in 1882 during the Egyptian War the Military Foot Police (MFP), manned by selected cavalry non-commissioned officers with experience as regimental police, was raised for service in Egypt… [In the MFP the recruit] had to be of good character and have at least one good conduct badge and have 4 years' service. There were no privates in the corps, each man transferred being raised to the rank of corporal." One might assume similar requirements for the MMP.
  10. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade served in their mounted role throughtout the 100 Days offensive. Not sure where they ended up after the Armstice. Here's a link to a fairly detailed examination of their role, including during 1918:
  11. Yes, the famous 'Stetson', now mainly associated with the Royal Canadian Mouned Police, were issued to mounted units of the Canadian militia/army first for the Boer war and then, briefly at least, for WWI. They were also, of course, standard wear, in various configurations, by cowboys. I believe the 'Mountie' and Cdn Horse configuration - with 4 equal sized indentations in the sides - was sometimes called 'Montana' style.
  12. Somebody has a few bucks wrapped up in her/his collection!
  13. Very classy, both! I love gemstones as well, though mostly the 'lesser' ones such as rubies and sapphires, but have neither the purse nor the presence to wear them myself!
  14. Very nice, Ray! The US was, I think, the only issuer to include 'battle bars' on the Victory medal and I suspect that some other country's soldiers were quite envious. Despite arriving 'late' from the British and canadian point of view, the Doughboys did sterling work and ceratinlyearned their medals and commendations.
  15. Actually, there is photographic evidence that the Canadian Light Horse , a composite unit made up of squadrons from 3-4 Cdn pre-war cavalry units, including the 1st Hussars and perhaps the B.C Horse - mentioned in your Frontiersmen site. They took their Stetsons to France with them. I have a friend, ex-1st Hussars, who wears one as part of our educational programme. At least one of the Canadian Mounted Rifles units also had them, in Canada, probably England and maybe France, before their conversion to infantry and, oddly, some officers of the PPCLI also wore them as a personal affectation, though again not sure whether that survived as far as France. So, if you have a photo of men in Stetsons in Flanders in 1918, I'd say the odds are on them being Light Horsemen, not Frontiersmen. As far as I know - no expert - the Frontiersmen never saw action as a unit, thought the 210th CEF Battalion bore the subsidiary title 'Frontiersmen', presumably from as an indication that the original cadre included some of them.
  16. Thanks, Tony. We do like to share, or we wouldn't be here!
  17. Back in the day [1980s], when I had money enough to at least consider buying orders, the people in London who administered such were very accomodating. Then, one assumes as a result of a personnel or policy change, they swung 180 degrees and started asking enquirers "Where did you get that and when are you returning it to us, its rightful owner?" It is still technically the case that most orders are in fact the property of HMG and, as far as I know, can still be 'collected' again shopuld one be located by, for example, an enquiry from its current custodian. So, sadly, I don't think asking the St James the way to go.
  18. That was my first thought, even beforte I saw your guess. I used to have a long list of 'odd' ranks to Indian and Pakistani units and am almost positive that 'Waterman' was one of them.
  19. I suspect that the perceived need for 'funnies' - DD Shermans and some of the others - was past and the losses among tank units were very high, so the component regiments were re-assigned to other formations. Just a guess.
  20. Dated '1942' ceratinly means that there was no guidance system for these weapons. A year earlier, merchant shipping out of the UK was being fitted with steam-powered 'mortars' which fired hand grenades at enemy fighters! Which smaks more than a little of desperation, so I'd guess that these were seen as a slight improvement, but probably not by anybody with any experience of anti-aircraft work. Easy to forget how dire things were, defensively speaking, after Dunkirk and before the 'war machine' and Lend Lease had gotten into full production mode. Here is a Wikipedia article on 'Z Battery'. 'The first Z Batteries were equipped with a single-rocket launcher, the Projector, 3-inch, Mark 1.[5] It was soon found that the rockets did not perform as accurately as the trials had suggested and that the proximity fuses were rarely effective.' Apparently, Home Guard AA units - with men up to 60 yrs old - served these batteries because the projectiles were lighter than conventional shells. The naval variant - rockets trailing wires with parachutes on the end - is credited with bringing down one Dornier.
  21. I would respectfully suggest that Chris' last post implies that he does understand, if not speak, Oz. Interesting that none of the forestock but all of the butt has survived. Thanks for sharing the full view, Tony. Great relic. And I suspect Brian is correct - wax would be impossible to get off/out of some of the bits on this. I hadn't considered that when I suggested it. Thanks again for sharing.
  22. Certainly done by someone with a degree of skill, a good set of carving tools and lots of time, so POW is certainly a possibility. I have seen some lovely wood and brass work out of RE and RAOC units in WWI - the products of skilled craftsmen with time on their hands - so the other possibility is a bored sprog in an armoured depot repair company or some such. Either way, a very nice and unusual souvenir with some historic significance. The 27th had some of the 'DD' Shermans - the amphibious model - as well as some SP guns and one unit of conventional Shermans and saw service at Normandy, Caen and in Operation Goodwood before being broken up at the end of July, 1944 .
  23. And you were doing so well, Chris. The rest of us looked at that title and, in the extremely unlikely event that our minds went in that [low] direction, remembered the place and our roots - 'Gentleman's' - and resisted our inner demons. But thanks for contributing! [Actually, it was my first thought too, but... ]
  24. Personally, I'd go with the beeswax: doesn't add or take away anything, but will help seal it against further desication. With artifacts of this sort/condition, one is caught between 'making it look good' and 'keeping it as found' but musuems and conservators will always come down on the side of the latter, as it's history since it was made is a key part of it's value.