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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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gongz   

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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1314   

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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gongz   

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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gongz   

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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