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Michael Johnson

Old Contemptible
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    1945 dated to Albert Larue Delp Jr. Enlisted January 27, 1942; Served postwar as well - 1947 USS RENDOVA as AVIATION MACHINIST'S MATE (INSTRUMENT MECHANIC) PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS. Discharged Nov. 26, 1947. Died 1990 Postage charged at cost from Canada.


  2. In the summer of 1972 I became bored with going to the cottage with my parents; I was shy and never met any girls there (many were from Buffalo NY and I was in Toronto, so a non-starter there) - I resolved to find a summer job next year. After seeing a newspaper item of a young man being awarded "Guard of the Year" at Old Fort York, I applied and was hired. We drilled with old Snider-Enfields, there were Martini-Henrys in the barracks racks, and we were issued repro Brown Besses (the quality wasn't great - once when mine was in for repairs I was issued an original Bess). I started off collecting British military longarms, before I finished university. Badges were an adjunct. Then came medals, which became my focus. The photo is me in 1975 with a SMLE and CFA uniform. My collection does not give me happiness - I am old enough to have learned that things can only give you pleasure. But that's enough. Plus I am a fairly talented researcher, which has enabled me to bag some "sleeper" items. Michael
  3. Thank you, gentlemen. Merçi messieurs Michael
  4. I think he's probably an Airman/Air Mechanic, South African Air Force, Dutch Reformed Church, serial 323747V (Volunteer). He's either Willem Jacobus or Willem Johannes. There are some very good researchers in South Africa who can get his service record. Michael
  5. Chris, maybe you recognize this Polish Legion veteran? Apparently finished as a Captain. Posted on the BMF, here's the poster's list of the medals he identified: 1. Medaille Militaire 2. Ordre national du Merite (awarded by the President) 3. Croix de la Valeur Militaire (like the Croix de Guerre, MID level) 4. Croix du combatant 5. Medaille d’Outre-Mer (Overseas Medal) with clasp TCHAD 6. Medaille de la Defense Nationale, en Argent (version 2 – took me a while to work this out), two clasps INFANTERIE and LEGION ETRANGERE. 7. Medaille de Reconnaissance de la Nation, with clasp, OPERATIONS EXTERIEURES 8. Medaille commemoration francaise, with clasp, EX-YOUGOSLAVIE 9. Medaille des blesses de guerre (Medal for War Wounded), later version 10. UN UNPROFOR, I’m pretty sure with clasp KOSOVO (can’t see other examples of this) 11. ?? Big foreign award, blue and white ribbon, crown with leaves at top? 12. Foreign medal, silver and green star, Arabic writing. Can’t identify. Saudi colours. 13. Medal itself completely obscured by ‘Big foreign award’, ribbon sixth blue, sixth yellow, third black, sixth green, sixth red. Michael
  6. I don't know whether his family was issued a Memorial Plaque and Memorial Cross, but I have a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to a Garrison Artillery Gunner (later Canadian Engineers) who was killed by a mine in 1916. I know, you're saying "So what?. Thousands were." Here's the kicker- it was a naval mine ON LAKE ONTARIO. He and a member of his company were rowing out to place several mines in the lake so they could film them being swept. Unfortunately they (against orders) put mines and batteries in the same rowboat.
  7. I hate gardening as well. My wife and I fill many, many bags as we try to eradicate invasive species. Unfortunately we find that when we put them out to the street, there are some dog owners who feel that their plastic bags of dog crap qualify as "garden waste" and so deposit them to save the hassle of carrying them home for disposal. Michael
  8. His pension papers are available on Ancestry. William Soper, b. 29 Nov. 1829 Woodbury Devon. Discharged 24 Feb. 1874 (deafness). Joined at Blackheath Stn. Oct 25, 1858. In R Division until 1865, then P Division. 5' 10" Warrant 3851. Father James Soper; mother Emily. Wife Elizabeth
  9. I've passed along the link to Greg. The jacket is reversible, with white (naturally) on the inside. Michael
  10. I'll check the notes tomorrow, but as I recall it is a skinning knife, with, besides the Finnish national insignia, badges for Artillery, Signals, and I believe Infantry. The detail is hopefully better in this closeup. Michael
  11. I'm mounting an exhibition on Canadian Peacekeeping. One of the veterans who is helping me served as a Signaller attached to the Finnish Contingent. He was on very good terms with them and brought back some souvenirs.
  12. Those of you who were born in the 1950-60s in Canada may recognize the title as a line from Romping Ronnie Hawkins's 1970 song "Home From the Forest", written by Gordon Lightfoot, about the death of a forgotten veteran. I fall into that age group. I've been a militaria collector for 45+ years now. This Friday, I'm opening a year-long exhibition on Canadian Peacekeeping at the Oakville Ontario Museum. Apart for occasional presentations to Cub Packs for Remembrance Day, it's about the only use I've made of my collection. Last November I retired, not by my own choosing. Given my family situation, which includes the care of my soon-to-be 90 mother-in--law, to whom we owe our comparative freedom from 1990 to 2005, I probably couldn't have worked much longer. Our sons have followed us into my wife's and mine respective professions, and are working on establishing themselves, living at home to save money, and helping out. But when I go on Youtube and play some 1960s music, I'm still that awkward teenager making model cars and airplanes.
  13. After the war, the CEF organized War Graves units from men who had made it to England, but not to France. These would mostly be conscripts. There were two companies. I have a BWM named to the Canadian Engineers, but his service was with one of them. I recall reading (in one of Norm Christie's books) that the labour was provided by German pows. Michael
  14. Hello/Bonjour I'm restoring a couple of French ribbon bars for my peacekeeping exhibition, and need the following mini clasps: "Liban", and two "Missions d'assistance exterieure". Does anyone have some spare to sell, or can source them for me? Je suis en train de restorer deux barrettes dixmude, et j'ai besoin de LIBAN et deux MISSIONS D'ASSISTANCE EXTÉRIEURE. Comme je suis au Canada, c'est pas facile de les trouver. Thank you/merci
  15. I can confirm that the Metropolitan Toronto Police also used lead-filled coshes like the O.P.P. I remember an officer who visited my Elementary School showing us his. My wife's uncle, who spent 30 years with the Force could have been an excellent source, but he passed away 12 years ago. Michael
  16. Great find. I've always had a soft spot for the 19th, as their predecessors, the 19th Light Dragoons, served in Canada during the War of 1812. I have an Egypt Medal to the 19th, bought as a no-clasp. My researcher found that he was entitled to Tel-el-Kebir, and when the rolls became available online, I discovered he also had Suakin 1884 and El Teb. I added the Tel-el-Kebir clasp, but doubt I can afford the other two, El Teb as a single being scarce. No papers found, so not clear why he missed Tamaii.
  17. A teacher friend of my wife's brought a Panetone bread pudding with her (I think he son made it. It was delicious!) Incidentally, one of my lines is "My ancestors came over on the Pedantic." Michael
  18. I beg to differ, Peter. The 61st Pioneers became the 1st Madras Pioneers in 1922. The Madras Pioneers were disbanded in 1933. If they had gone into the Sappers and Miners, surely it would have been into the 2nd QVO S & M?
  19. Sadly Archives now wants $25 for a service record, so I didn't send off for any more. That's almost as much as I could sell the medal for. I'll probably put most of my USN GCMs up for sale, as I can't afford to have too diverse a collection anymore.
  20. I have a Videsh Seva and I,C,S,C, to a Barber in the Dogra Regt. Michael
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