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Brian Wolfe

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About Brian Wolfe

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    Senior Moderator

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  • Gender
  • 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. A little over 100 years ago a pandemic spread out over the world with devastating results. Misnamed the Spanish Flu it seemed to accompany the soldiers returning from the Great War. In actuality started in the State of Kansas in the United States, spread through the thousands of American volunteers for war service then crossed the Atlantic. Recent research has shown that the facts involving the influenza, or flu, were withheld from the general public so as not to start a panic and the thinking was that the governments didn’t want the public to think that there was a another threat to their “boys” besides German bullets. The one country that remained neutral was Spain and the news media in Spain reported the virus infection in its fullest thereby giving the influenza of 1918 the name of “The Spanish Flu”. The soldiers returning home brought with them a new wave of infections that, in the end, resulted in 500 Million people worldwide, or about ¼ of the world’s population being infected with deaths of from 17 to 50 million people worldwide. The 1918 Influenza Pandemic was the first of two pandemics caused by the N1H1 virus, the second being the so-called Swine Flu of 2009. The reason that the first pandemic in 1918 was so devastating was due to the general poor health of the soldiers as well as the general public at the time, coupled with overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Having said that, we are at a point in history where we can only hope that the current pandemic will not eclipse the devastation of 1918 to 1920. I have taken this opportunity to present to you an item from my collection that is very important to me and is a small part of the story of a contemporary of mine. This sounds strange, even to me, that a man who served in the Great War was a contemporary of mine but such is the case and sadly such is my age. More about this in another post I will start soon. Sherman De Groat, Private, number 3137517 was drafted into the Canadian Army 21 November, 1917 at the age of 24 and discharged 17 May, 1918. During this time he fell ill with the 1918 Influenza and was hospitalized at the Beach Hill Hospital, Sheffield, where he recovered before being shipped home, a survivor of the Great War and the greatest pandemic to hit the world to date. Below is a section from his Medical Records along with his BWM. There is a photo of a group of soldiers as well. It was easy for me to pick him out as he looked a lot the same when I knew him and I will bet you too will be able to recognize him as easily. He is in the middle row, second man from your left. Regards Brian
  2. In looking through my German collection I realised just how many groups and individual medals I really liked. I do tend to purchase only those I like rather than attempting to get one of every type of medal issued. Not that there is anything wrong with that as a quick look around the collection room would prove me a hypocrite if I were implying there was anything wrong with one of each type. With that in mind I decided to pick out no more than two groups that I would hate to sell almost no matter what. Here they are. not the most glorious of groups I am sure but the ones I like the most. Regards Brian
  3. Everything so far is just my guess but I'd say that you are correct regarding the numbers on the back strap area. I have been through every book and listing I have for the British and Canadian regiments and even delved into Indian regiments. Shows how desperate one can get. 😄 I even considered Provost Division but that quickly went nowhere. When and if I find out I will post a photo of the whole sword and scabbard. It happens that the scabbard is not original to this sword and is marked 21 L for 21st Lancers. It is in excellent condition so if I see a sword marked to the 21st I'll snap it up as a match. The search continues, and like the search for the Northwest Passage I am starting to feel like a member of the Franklin Expedition. Thanks for your efforts. Regards Brian
  4. Very nice groups fellows. Mine is more of a work-a-day group of Colonial German medals. The two photographs are not associated with the medals themselves. The group would indicate to me that after his military service he was in the civil service, if I am incorrect please advise me as this is not my area of knowledge. Regards Brian
  5. Hello everyone, I just acquired a Pattern 1899 Cavalry Trooper's Sabre marked to 3 P. D. and I cannot find what P, D, stands for. I believe the 3 is for the 3rd, and the D could be dragoons (?) but nowhere can I find a mention of what the letter P stands for. I've included a photo of the stamping on the guard but the description (in case the photo is unclear) is as follows. 3. P. D. followed by 26 that has been crossed out, over the number 6. I would think the 6 is the accountability number that would be registered to a particular trooper. The back strap on the grip which is also the tang is marked P N, though these may not have any significance to the identification to the regiment but I have included a photo just in case. Any assistance you can extended to me would be greatly appreciated. Regards Brian
  6. Those are great thanks for adding them. Regards Brian
  7. Today my Provincial Government has issued the list of essential services that will remain open with all those not on the list ordered closed “until further notice”. Contacts in the Regional Police Service (friends who still don’t have real jobs) have told me they are gearing up for a spike in the number of domestic disturbance calls due to the government policy of Social Distancing and Quarantining of those infected with COVID 19. It is somehow a little disturbing that two of the essential services that will remain open are the Beer and Liquor Stores. Domestic violence with the addition of alcohol seems an equation that just doesn’t add up; but then what do I know. Obviously I don’t always agree with my government but they are still my government and compliance (so far) is the only option open to a fellow like me. To that end my wife and I had decided to practise Social Distancing, though my dear wife, Linda, has suggested that knowing how I am a stickler when it comes to the law that I should move into the shop “until further notice”. I hope she was joking. Regardless I also decided to keep a personal journal of how this Social Distancing was going to affect me, here it is below. Day one 06:30 hours (6:30 in the morning for normal humans; those with real jobs): Today is “Garbage Day” the day where our garbage is picked up at the curb. Not wanting to wait until first light I decided to place the garbage at the curb in darkness so as not to be seen by others (a.k.a. “them”) who might want to socialize. Avoiding opening the garage door and triggering the automatic interior lights which might attract “them” I went through the adjoining shop. Cautiously opening the door and only exposing my head far enough to detect any potential socialisers I quickly looked both ways up and down the street. Seeing none I decided it was safe to take a second look, a slower and more complete surveillance of the neighbourhood. Again seeing none I, as quickly as possible, taking all of the garbage I could in one trip advanced to behind my truck which was parked just outside of the shop. Then as I decided the coast was clear I heard a noise and froze in place fearing to move a muscle least I give my position away. Could I have imagined it, was there a noise and if so was it from one of “them” walking their dog this early in the morning? Or, could I have stepped on a twig or scuffed the bottom of my boot on the driveway pavement. There it was again! I dropped the garbage and bolted for the shop door, slamming it shut behind me. Looking through one window then another, the blinds bent upward and downwards to allow just enough to see, I checked for danger. Nothing, no one; all was clear and safe. As quickly as possible I dashed out, grabbed the garbage, ripping one bag open as I ran, leaving a trail of trash behind me like the debris trail of the Titanic. Depositing the bags at the curb I sprinted back to the shop and safety. Now I was worried that I had alerted the neighbours, those socialisers, of our existence. I had waking nightmares that they would surround our home moaning and muttering, “Hi neighbour” or “Hello how ya doin” over and over in an attempt to break down my will to become “one of them, one of them”. After this scare passed I decided to check my i-Pad for the updates on the virus, more disturbing news. “Ok”, I told myself, check back in a little while and the screen will have changed revealing new information. I did so but the screen remained the same, again a while later and still no change. I threw the i-pad onto the couch with disgust as the news reports obviously were not coming in. What the Hell was going on? Later I noticed I was developing the “Repetitive Action Syndrome” doing the same movements over and over like the caged animal I was becoming. Then perhaps the most horrible syndrome I have ever experienced swept over me. This uncontrollable urge to leave the house and purchase as much toilet paper as possible (bathroom tissue to you more refined folks), but I don’t have time for niceties, I was in panic mode. Must have toilet paper, lots and lots of toilet paper. Oh my God, from what I have read this could be the first sign that was actually coming down with COVID 19. I was going out of my mind, trapped like a rat in my own home, possibly surrounded by socialisers trying to infect me. I had this overwhelming sense of impending doom or danger, a fear of loss of control and possible death, a rapid pounding heart rate, profuse sweating. I was trembling, shaking actually; I had shortness of breath and tightness in my throat, chills and hot flashes. We’re doomed I tell you DOOMED! Day one 07:00 hours Linda called me for breakfast and coffee. Things are much better now. >< Seriously, my friends, this COVID 19 is no laughing matter. It kills, not everyone but make no doubt about it, as they say on television’s Forged In Fire, “It will keel”. Think about a pair of tigers loose in your neighbourhood. Some will die some won’t. Ignoring this virus is like going out against the advice of smarter people after rubbing yourself down with pork chops chanting, “Here kitty, here kitty”. Don’t be that guy. Stay well and take care, we can’t afford to lose a single member: not even the “pork chop guy”. Regards Brian
  8. Interesting and quite timely, thanks for sharing this with us. Regards Brian
  9. Thank you for your help, 1812 Overture. I am guessing that the print is much like the China Incident Medal in that it is a commemorative piece. I have framed the print and it now resides in the gallery that is the hallway between my office and the collection room. I've included of a photo. Again, many thanks for your assistance. Regards Brian
  10. Hello Everyone, While going through a drawer of military prints for an article I am working on I came across this one that I actually forgot I had. I believe it is a commemorative print showing victorious Japanese soldiers beside the Great Wall. On the back is a stamp which I think could have been a mark denoting the piece was authorised by the government, but that is only speculation on my part. On the front and under the picture is an embossed section with a descriptive message. Could someone please translate these two sections for me. It would be most appreciated. Since "finding" this print I have decided to frame it and hang it on the wall in the collection room, which was my intention several years back when I purchased it. Thanks for any assistance you can give me. Regards Brian
  11. That is very nice work, your wood shop teacher would be proud of you. I especially like the way the edged weapons stand proud of the backing material, the shadowing really brings them to life. Thanks for sharing your work not to mention your exceptional collection. Regards Brian
  12. Hello Nightbreak, Excellent tip staffs with very nice display stands. Thanks for sharing them with us. Regards Brian
  13. When I'm correct I like to be 100% correct yet when I am wrong I am usually 110% wrong! In close examination the W is in no way a W but the number 10 as you have suggested. I took for granted that it was a W based on what I was told and am embarrassed to confess that I never took a closer look. This post has turned out to be a complete revelation for me . Thank you so much for your assistance and having started this post. Regards Brian
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