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Hello All,

In Oct. 2005, just short of a decade ago, I acquired a CPM, named with engraved block capitals, as follows..."DET. SGT. MAJ. EDWIN F. KELLY. TRINIDAD POLICE". I bought it from a coin dealer colleague at a Los Angeles area coin show, who himself acquired it from a nearby coin shop in Northern California. I began to research the officer and his citation in early 2007, and for two years I wrote and emailed every governmental agency, department, archive and library (including the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Museum in Port of Spain) that I could find in the nation of Trinidad & Tobago. My correspondents were, for the most part, cordial and, but for one exception, slow and unenthusiastic about helping with my inquiry. After two years of off and on effort, I gave up, having achieved absolutely nothing. One reason I kept writing to T&T officials was a phone conversation I had with the original coin dealer who bought it over his counter in 2005. He told me that the seller, a black man, was the step-son of DSM Kelly, who was purportedly the first black man to attain officer status in the Trinidad Police.

I'm loath to mention that this CPM was part of a two piece group along with his Col. Police LSGC. Sometime is 2006, while disposing of some UK medals at Ebay, Kelly's LSGC medal was inadvertently sold. I tried to buy it back from the UK buyer, but he did not respond, so it's out there somewhere.

Today, while filing away a newly acquired DFM, I found this interesting medal again and thought I'd ask fellow GMIC members if any have had better luck with research, and perhaps a few tips on how to proceed with this award. Before hitting this send button, I just did a name search and found Kelly's gazette entry in the 1942 King's Birthday Honors list 5 June 1942; CPM to Edwin Fitzosbert Kelly, Trinidad Police Force. Any further comments re: my pal "Fitzosbert" will be appreciated. Many thanks.

Frank Draskovic (medalworld)

GB CPM Trinidad Police DSM E F Kelly obv.jpg

GB CPM Trinidad Police DSM E F Kelly rev.jpg

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Try an enquiry with the National Archives at Kew, London. The original paperwork for the award of the medal starting with the written recommendation from the Trinidad Police Commissioner through to the Governor of Trinidad and on to the Colonial Office should, in theory still be held at Kew. That paperwork should give full details of his service up to the time of the award recommendation. Insofar as the authorities in Trinidad are concerned, I would tend to agree that any attempt at dealing with them is like trying to knit fog. I contacted them several years ago on the subject of the badges which they had used in the past and was equally frustrated by their inability to assist me. I hope this is helpful.

Dave.

  

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All notification would have been made in the Trinidad and Tobago Gazette, they would certainly have copies in the Trinidad national archives.

Paul

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Hello Dave and Paul,

I just today (7 Sept) read your comments on Trinidad & Tobago medal research. My thanks to you both. I'll give Kew a try as that makes sense. I also thought the Trinidad archives must have had something, but after two years of trying, I gave up dealing with them.

Frank

P.S. Doesn't the GMIC system have a way of contacting me when other members reply to a post of mine? I had no notice of the replies of Sept. 1.

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And then came this...not sure when...maybe 20 years ago....for 18 years....reverse has T & T coat of arms...

 

Trini.jpg

Edited by gongz
Attach photo

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Thank you for posting.Very interesting,did not know that they had released their own version.Might be an idea to let the Medals Yearbook know of this one ( if they don't have it already - my copy is 2012 ! ).

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Trinidad & Tobago became a Republic in 1976 and the police would at that time ceased to be eligible for the award of the Colonial Police Medal. The British Crown was removed from police badges at that time and I suspect that this coincided with the "Republic" versions of various long service medals being introduced. Its interesting to see that they have retained the original Colonial Police medal ribbon on the new medal, that is assuming that the ribbon on the new medal is correct and not one simply "put on". Trying to confirm that with the authorities in Trinidad will be something of a "chore" if my own experience of trying to get information out of the is anything to go by!

 

Dave. 

Edited by Dave Wilkinson
typo

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Hello Dave et al

Provenance if this medal is impeccable - obtained same time as VERY senior T& T police officer collected his own from police stores still in original packaging and with "as supplied" ribbon - out of storage bin filled with all sorts, including WW I gongs. Medal newby at the time....should have got more.....ahhhhhhhh those were the days......

Graeme

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Graeme,

A very strange way of awarding a medal! Simply go to the stores, ask for one and they give you one (or two)!! Ah, but that is Trinidad & Tobago for you.....

Dave.

 

 

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Yes But.....

He was an Asst Commissioner and had been on a training course in the UK when his award came up. When he got back they told him to go to the stores and pick up his gong. He said "NO - I want somebody to pin it on me" - but they didn't....so some years later he went to the stores (with me) and at last got his medal.

Graeme

 

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T&T has a general medal for long and meritorious service called the Hummingbird Medal, established in 1969, in three classes, Gold, Silver & Bronze. Oddly, the same medal can also be awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action. One would think they might have separate medals for high gallantry or life saving. The post nominals for this medal are "HBM", rather than HM, though the award is the Hummingbird Medal, not the Humming Bird Medal! They do have their own way of doing things. A dated roll of awardees can be found at https://gislblog.wordpress.com/heroes-gallery/Trinidad_Tobago_Hummingbird_Medal_gold_o

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Greetings all. @Frank (medalmedal world) I am lead to believe I am a GrandSon of whom I've come to know as Cheif Inspector Edwin Kelly. as I've been educated he was the 1st Man of Black heritage to hold this position. I'm effort to myself find information on my family history I would be willing to assist you in any way I can by the means of sourcing information locally.

Regards

Kharis Carmino 

Grandson of Stella Kelly who is the Daugther of Edwin Kelly.

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Hello Kharis,

What a nice surprise to hear from someone who knows about Chief Inspector Edwin Kelly. I had pretty much abandoned any hope of finding out anything about him. It is a pleasure to "meet" his great grandson in this forum.

When you say that you understand that CI Kelly was the first black man to reach Chief Inspector rank, do you mean in T&T only, or within the entire British Commonwealth police system?

I would indeed like to know as much as possible about his career details and it would be great to acquire a nice old photo of him in uniform. You may reply to me directly at fdraskovic@hotmail.com

Many thanks. Regards, Frank Draskovic

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Hello Kharis,

As about six months have gone by with no reply from you, I thought I'd check in to ask how your research is going? Have you found any interesting biographical information yet?

I still would like to acquire (buy) an original nice old photo of CI Kelley in uniform. Could you ask your Mom if she has one to spare?

I look forward to hearing back from you. Many thanks,

Frank Draskovic

 

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Hello Frank & others Gentlemen here,

To add to this topic, I will post the photo of the medals of Trinidad & Tobago Police Force,

Here the TT Police LSGC in use from 1962 to 1976, TT became a Republic in 1976, so a new series of Awards replaced then the older serie (mainly the lion in center of the star was replaced by a hummingbird).

The 1st type is well made, in silver

Diameter : 36 millimeters, thick : 2 millimeters, weight : 37 grammes. Ribbon width : 34,5 millimeters.

It is extremely difficult to get TT Medals.

Best regards.

    Emmanuel

Trinidad & Tobago Police LSGC Medal 1962-1976 obverse small size.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police LSGC Medal 1962-1976 reverse small size.jpg

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Hello Gentlemen,

Now here is the serie of 3 medals of Trinidad & Tobago Police from 1976 onwards.

The Gallantry Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal & the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.

I have been said that so few, Gallantry Medal have been awarded, that a specific ribbon was not designed for....

The current medals are 35 millimeters in diameter, 1,5 millimeter thick, weight : 19 grammes, and ribbon width : 34,5 millimeters.

And whatever you may think, it is extremely difficult to get them.

Best regards.

    Emmanuel

Trinidad & Tobago Police Gallantry Medal Post 1976 obverse.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police Gallantry Medal Post 1976 reverse.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police MSM Medal Post 1976 obverse.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police MSM Medal Post 1976 reverse.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police LSGC Medal Post 1976 obverse.jpg

Trinidad & Tobago Police LSGC Medal Post 1976 reverse.jpg

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If you read this thread you will see that a previous correspondent indicated that if you are well connected and visit their stores, they will dip into an appropriate cardboard box and give you one (whether entitled or not) . The photographs indicate (to me at least) that the medals are poorly made. That said, they are an officially approved medal in that Country and as such merit a mention here.

Dave.

 

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Waw.........so easy, so why isn't the market flooded by them......?

Maybe  you're not aware, but I know Graeme (gongz) personally, we met several times, I even visited him ounce, and believe me he lives very far (far from Europe, and far from the America's) I know he travel extensively, and do great effort to get medals for his own collection. I know he toured the Caribbean in the early 1990ies. Remind us what year we're in now ??  In 1995 Graeme organised an exhibition on Commonwealth Medals in his home country (at the occasion of a Commonwealth Summit), it was a succes.

So Dave Wikinson, explain us, why collectors that are always in motion, never ever saw one similar medal (from Trinidad), in Shows in the UK, or at OMSA, or in auctions in the UK, or elswhere on the continent ??.....if it is so easy.....

To criticize is ever easy, to be constructive demand some effort

I can only agree that the current medals are not of exceptional quality but the verison before 1976 is of good quality (for the records, Prisons Service Medals & Fire Fighters Medals from Trinidad & Tobago post 1976 are of better quality than the Police one's)....., but again on that specific point I agree with you Dave, I got T&T Medals post 1976 that certainly have been struck in year 2010 or a bit later, it make sense to assume that such similar medals struck in the 1980ies were of better quality, but if so easy to get, where are they .........???

Instead of criticize, you should thanks that there are some fellow up there in the forum to post photo of those (because as long as I understand, nobody did before.......). It is not over-reacting, but just "framing the pictures"

And we have to thanks and greets the members of this forum who are from Trinidad, to take parts and post their own photo (I know on other thread related to TT, some did).

Best regards to all.

     Emmanuel

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And because I like to see myself as a constructive person, I post a photo of an officer from Trinidad & Tobago Police, you can see he's wearing 3 medals, the first from left being the Commemorative Medal for the 5th Summit of the America's in 2009, the 2nd in the middle being likely an MSM on a different ribbon... or something else, the 3rd one at right being the TT Police LSGC Medal.

Best regards to all.

    Emmanuel

Trinidad & Tobago Officer another one.jpg

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Bonjour Emmanuel

J'espère que tu vas bien.

Je n'allais pas répondre aux commentaires de Dave. Merci pour vos commentaires.

Donc - vous trouvez toujours ces articles difficiles à obtenir - vous devez être lié à cet autre célèbre belge - Hercule Poirot!

Si vous en avez deux de chaque, et vous ne voulez pas le deuxième ...
Cordialement
Graeme

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Posted (edited)

I have simply made an observation in respect of comments made by someone else (see a previous posting) regarding the availability of such medals from the Trinidad & Tobago Police stores. My other observation concerned the quality of the medals. I'm not quite sure of the relevance of the photograph showing a police officer wearing them. 

Dave.  

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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I was going to ignore previous erroneous comments regarding  the "availability" of medals from T&T Police stores.

They never were, and definitely are not now "available"!

The fact that the most senior officer at one time decided to uplift his own most genuinely awarded medal from the stores (where else would they be kept?????), and very generously presented me with a specimen in no way reflects on the integrity of the T&T Police or any implied laxity of store-keeping integrity.

If one is not fully aware it is perhaps wise  not to make  malicious statements.

This is my final correspondence on this matter. Subject closed.

Graeme

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Posted (edited)

Medals are not (certainly in the UK or in the UK Overseas Territories) ) kept in the "stores". They are of such value and individuality (to the Officer so awarded) that they are "minted" as required and are kept at the Commissioner's/Chief Constable's Office until approved presentation ceremonies. Your assertion that you were simply given one when you were not entitled to such medal does indeed reflect upon the integrity of the police force concerned. It also undermines and devalues the medal itself as any right minded individual will surely agree.

Finally, I am simply repeating what you yourself have said. If that is a "malicious" statement then you need to take issue with the individual making it. Namely yourself.

Dave.

   

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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Thank you, Emmanuel, for sharing fascinating images of rarely-seen medals.

As for the somewhat ungentlemanly bickering, all I can say from my own experience is that storekeepers can often been quite reluctant to hand out the stuff you ARE entitled to, never mind anything else :)

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