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Brian Wolfe

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Brian Wolfe last won the day on April 13 2012

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About Brian Wolfe

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    brian.wolfe@bell.net
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Medals: British and India (post 1947), Special Constabulary and a few others.
    General: Staffordshire and British Police memorabilia
    Plus odds and ends that capture my interest from time to time.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story, it was most interesting and greatly appreciated, it makes this blog well worth the time to post. Regards Brian
  2. Thank you for your most interesting comment. The thrill of the chase didn't interest me in the beginning but over time it started to overshadow the act of simply adding yet another medal or group to the collection. Regards Brian
  3. The British and Their Tea. History is not just about the dates of battles, there is the consideration of planning, tactics, and supply, as well as establishing objectives and the logistics in general to be considered. All of these factors and more could never take place or even be considered by the British Military of the Victorian era without the key ingredient; tea. Some background: Before we get out the Brown Betty let’s consider tea and the way different counties enjoy this beverage. I understand the British like their tea with milk and in some areas of the UK with the addition of sugar; this, along with the offer of “I’ll be mother”, a non-gender specific nor indicative of any genetic kinship, offer to pour the brew when ready. Those in Canada who, like me, hail from the far Northern regions of Ontario take our tea black. This is often made in an old tin pail over the noon-day camp fire (during hunting season), using water from a beaver pond, hello Guardia, (also known as Beaver Fever, which sounds like an emotional obsession of a teenage boy; only it’s much worse) after skimming the green pond plants from the surface of the boiling water. No wonder you can’t poison a Canadian from the North. From what I have read the Americans like to bulk soak their tea in questionable harbour waters before the drink is prepared. The only reference to this comes from the Boston area so they may no longer practise this strange behaviour. Exactly how the Australians take their tea remains a mystery though I suspect water from a Billabong may be involved. If this is so then they too might be like Canadians and difficult or even impossible to poison. I asked a friend from Australia this question and was bluntly told to f**k off. I may have touched on a violation of the State Secrets Act. The question in the minds of many readers, unless I have already “lost” you, is when did the British stop transporting loose leaf tea on campaign? If you never thought about it, then you might just be doing so now. It’s OK, you can admit it, we’re all gentlemen here; it’s in the Club’s title. While reading the book “In Abor Jungles” by Angus Hamilton, chronicling the Abor Expedition into North Eastern India, 1911 to 1912 (see page 180), I came upon this interesting fact. A warning about the book in general: if you are not into in-depth studies of relatively obscure military actions then this book may not be for you. Mr. Hamilton covers the traits of the different tribes in infinite detail and these sections are about as exciting as the list of “Begets” found in the Book of Geneses. Just to be fair that section of the Bible is actually quite important as it sets out the lineage of a certain family. Just so I don’t spoil the ending I suggest you read the Book. The Quote from “In Abor Jungles”: “The tea was Liptons of very good quality and the subject of a somewhat daring experiment, as the well-known firm had been permitted by the Government of India to provide supplies of compressed tea for the use of the expedition instead of loose leaf that hitherto had been favoured. A special machine was sent to India for the purpose of compressing the tea; and, as it was the first time that troops on service in India had been given compressed tea, the military authorities were taking a keen interest in the experiment. Happily the departure from the customary methods of carrying tea was a great success and it was pretty well certain that compressed tea will be employed in future wars. The advantage in transport was very obvious, a chest of forty-five pounds only measured 20 inches by 15 inches by 8½ inches”. -First printed in 1912 I say old boy, never thought your life would be enriched by an article regarding tea here on the GMIC, did you? Regards Brian Photo below is from the book, “Military Ink: A pen at war”, available through IMA (International Military Antiques Inc.
  4. Interesting how that statement and your avatar picture complement one another. 😉 Regards Brian
  5. I have just compared yours with the only one I have in my collection and I believe yours to be authentic. Well done. Regards Brian
  6. Interesting. It seems ages since I took out my collection of Indian Police Service Medals and looked them over. I'm sure adding the COVID19 service medal to my collection will not be something that I'll see anytime soon, perhaps not even within my collecting lifetime. Thanks for this new information and the excuse for me to go over my medals collection once again. Regards Brian
  7. Is there a discount if someone wanted all 5 items?
  8. Very nice sword and the history that comes with it makes it a one of a kind. He may have had the final guard installed as the Pattern 1897 guard had the inner edge turned down to protect the uniform from wear commonly caused by the guard of the Pattern 1895. I would assume that he anticipated that he would only be using the sword for ceremonial purposes during his retirement. Not that it couldn't have had the guard changed as a gift, that is totally possible. It also, of course depicts the cipher of the reining monarch of that time. The leather scabbard is the field issue and I would bet there was a steel version in his possession for parade duty. Thanks for sharing this exceptional sword and its owner's most interesting history with us aussiesoldier. Regards Brian
  9. Peter, I have been following this thread and was also looking in my WWI material for photos of these "masks" to no avail. On the other hand if I had been a betting man I would have made a small (very small) wager that these were fairly modern remakes or even fantasy items. After reading Bayern's reply I'm happy I didn't waste my money, once again proving, "Wagering bad, collecting good" is the best motto.I also wish this was the first time I was wrong. A few years ago I passed by a really nice supposed British sword at a show thinking there was never such a thing only to find out recently that it was a very rare experimental Pattern. It is so hard knowing everything while I lack so much knowledge. 😞 Regards Brian
  10. No problems Spasm, Colin's work is indeed awe inspiring. Regards Brian
  11. Thanks for the kind comments Brett and Peter. An additional tip of the hat to Peter for setting the record straight regarding the Asian flu. I like my writing to be as accurate as possible and anything medical is a long way from my comfort zone. Regards Brian
  12. Many thanks for your comments and wishes for Spring's arrival. I don't know where spring is hiding as it is snowing here at the moment. Like winter, we will be happy when this virus becomes a part of history. Stay safe. Regards Brian
  13. The Meiji Period (1868 – 1912): The end of the feudal system along with the Shugunate (War Lords) and samurai was the beginning of modern Japan under Emperor Mutsuhito. The name of his reign or nengo was Meiji. Upon his death, as with all emperors, he himself became know by the name of his reign, in this case he was known as Emperor Meiji. Many think that the end of the samurai period coincided with the restoration of the Emperor in 1868, however the wearing of swords was not abolished until 1876. Further confusing the question of the end of the samurai period was the short lived rebellion of 1877; an effort to reestablish the old ways of the Shoguns with the Emperor only in the roll of a figurehead. The defeat of the rebellion army in 1877 brought an end for all time of the Samurai era, Therefore the date of the beginning of the Meiji Period of 1868 should be called the transitional period. The dating for what is known as Modern Swords starts with 1868 to the present. Police Sword, second pattern, early Meiji Period: There is not a lot to be found in the way of research on these swords that I can find and I take what little I know from Richard Fuller and Ron Gregory’s book, Military Swords of Japan 1868-1945. I have found some auction house descriptions that the police were armed with theses swords but like a lot of auction houses they are in the business to sell not to educate so you to take what they say with a grain of salt. I believe from what I do know about Japanese swords and their use, that these were dress swords for senior police officials; a true civil service dress sword. As you can see from the description below and the attached photos, while capable of being used as a sword much as the Wakizasi (short sword) there were available to the police weapons designed and made that would have better served the purpose. There was also a move to copy European swords and sabres so a traditional Wakizasi blade would not likely have been used and the traditional style blade more desirable for official and court functions. I base this supposition on my studies in Toyama Ryu Iaido in both the tactics and techniques of Classical Japanese swordsmanship. Second Pattern Japanese Police Dress Sword Description: Overall length: 28" (71 cm) Blade length: 21 11/16" (55.1 cm) (this is longer than the first Pattern) Grip" Black same, or ray skin. (the first Pattern was white ray skin) Back strap has Police badge (on all police swords) The inverted cross guard has a ring in the front while the pommel incorporates a smaller one for a brown leather sword knot. The first Pattern used a chain guard. Both First Pattern and Second Pattern blades were handmade. Regards Brian
  14. Thank you Bayern for your input. Those horrible times were much worse than today, as your story reflects. Perhaps this new era where the news comes into our lives through our computers, phones and tablets on almost a minute by minute basis makes today seem almost as frightening. I think that we can take comfort in the knowledge that if we stay strong we will get through this. Regards Brian
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