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Old Contemptible
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Veteran last won the day on October 3 2009

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  1. This is a VERY strange medal indeed ! I have collected French lifesaving material for over half a century and I cannot recall EVER having seen an UN-NAMED life saving medal such as this one. I am sure the reference you mention is correct. A first class silver lifesaving medal of this type was only awarded to a person who previously had received a second class silver medal or would have given absolytely outstanding services at his/her utmost risks. Congratulations ! Veteran
  2. Hello Brian, Your collection is part of your estate. The question is therefore : how do you handle your belongings ? The value of your collection is simple : it's worth what it can be sold for. How can you tell ? Offer it for sale, to a dealer, at auction, on eBay, whatever. But you don't want to sell it away. How could you tell what you can get for it ? You can have it valued by a competent auctionneer and pay him (her) a fee for the effort. You don't want to get into that sort of expense ? Have a complete inventory of your collection and keep posted on the prices y
  3. Hello turtle, This group is typical of post WW1 period. The only way to get this man's records is to find the "departement" (i.e. county) where he was born and probably draughted. The local archives would then be the place to research. A difficult task genealogists overcome when they are lucky. Sorry I cannot be more constructive. Veteran
  4. It is a nice period piece, locally made by a Tunisian silversmith (hallmark for silver in the back); the center pieces were sometimes clumsily inserted. Or it might have been removed and replaced. Anybodie's gess, I would say. This order was widely awarded both to Tunisian nationals and to French administrators and military personnel even at rank level. The numbers of Beys (local rulers under French protectorate) and variety of manufacturers (both Tunisian and French). I have a feeling the series is gainiing interest with a larger number of collectors. It is well worth their attention, th
  5. coldstream You are quite right about the LSARS which I happen to have been one of the original members. I will get in touch with them soon. Sorry I was so slow with this answer. Best regards.
  6. Hello all A long time has elapsed since this post was initiated. I recently found a book which relates the awarding of the Lloyd's Medal to Dr. Kovache. Here it is should anyone be interested : Jim GAWLER. "LLOYD's MEDALS 1836-1989. Awards for courage and exceptionnal services". Hart Publishing Toronto 1989. It seems that this Silver Medal for Saving Life at Sea was presented in 1974 at Lloyd's. It was the last to bear this title, further awards being Lloyd's Medals for saving life. A total of 275 silver Life saving medals were issued between 1836 and 1989 over a period o
  7. Dear Guy Thank you for your prompt reply and translation of the inscription on the badge. This brings up a few questions : 1. Is this a badge of office or rank ? 2. Does it belong to one of the regular battalions of the Batavian Army or to a town-guard ? 3. Where could I possibly find further information about this specific badge and/or documentation on the specific unit it belonged to ? I believe it was meant to be worn on some kind of leather strap. Thank you again for your kind help. Veteran
  8. Hello everyone, This large badge, possibly silver and gilt silver, is a mystery to me. I rather suspect it has Something to do with a local militia town guard. Thank you for your help.
  9. Hello Igor This is a very nice medaille militaire. To make it short, when the Medaille militaire was established by Napoleon III, the ribbon was suspended to an imperial eagle. After the fall of Napoleon III, the eagle was replaced a trophy of arms still which was sculptured on both sides and sodered to the medal itself. This proved to break easily and the trophy was attached to the medal by ring. The first of these loose trophies were sculptured on both sides, either with the two canons apparent or with the back part of a cuirasse covering them. Later, the run of the
  10. Hello Adrian, There is, unfortunately, no official list of awards to foreigners (non-French nationals). The style of the breast star indicates that the award was an early one (1964-1980). Your best bet would be to write to the French Military attache in Lisbon. He might have the necessary archives available. The alternative would be to write to the French Foreign Office who certainly have the archives, but no obligation to answer.... I sincerely hope this information will help you. It would be nice of you to report here the result of your possible inquieries. Veteran
  11. Hi fellows, This "Major' has indeed seen foreign service (known as OPEX for OPerations EXterieures in French military jargon) !. It should possibly be mentionned that the rank of "Major" was relatively recently introduced to be given to very senior Non Commissionned Officers for whom it is the highest available. The true aristocracy in the Legion. The men in the back of the picture are Foreign Legion vétérans. They wear the traditionnal blue blazer, with white shirt, grey slacks green tie and green beret. Full size awards are always worn, never the reduced size.. All the best Veteran
  12. Hello Igor, Your silver croix de guerre is a very nice one. The small "hole" on the obverse of the short section between the upper arm of the cross and the ball for the ring is the "boar-head" French hallmark for silver. You realise that it is not any special class or level of the croix de guerre, just a private refinement. Such crosses were available from a number of private firms who offered for sale badges not only in the normal bronze material, but also (at a higher cost) in silver or silver gilt. Not a special award of any kind. On the other hand, the palm in silver was meant to replace
  13. Hi Chris is right. The Foreign Legion never used skulls, it just is not their tradition. I don'r know what is this lapel badge for sure. But I could venture a theory; The colours are those of the Medaille militaire which is the highest reward for bravery in the field for NCOs & other ranks. It also is the long and distinguished services award for the same personnel. The same duallity exists with the Legion of honor for officers. After WW1, a number of French officers who had received the order for gallantry felt they wanted to have something to tell this ; la "Société des membres de la L
  14. Yes it is. The eagle head hallmark is used in France for 18 carat gold since 1847.
  15. Thanks Paul, it's an interesting piece of news. Will look out for more if any exist, Best regards Veterans
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