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peter monahan

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About peter monahan

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    Britain & Canada Moderator

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    British and Indian Military History and Militaria

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  1. It is definitely brass and not overpainted white metal or an anodized one with the silver stripped off? Very curious indeed.
  2. That is interesting. I know that any number of the Canadian battalions sent to England in 1914-16 had badges made privately there, either with or without official permission, and that many of them were stamped with makers names on the reverse. I believe that this was done because there was a shortage of the badges to units who were raised hurriedly in Canada and sent overseas straightway - perhaps as few as one per man, which wouldn't accommodate several sets of headgear. I also suspect that many units had 'smart looking' versions of the badges made by private purchase after the Canadian made ones were deemed too crude for walking out and such. Nice find!
  3. It is a fairly obvious symbol to connect with soldiering - and pirates, I suppose - as death is part of the whole package. The Elizabethans were fond of including skulls in artwork too, as a reminder of Man's mortality.
  4. Yes, the Police section of the GMIC is now named in his honour, as that was his first love. He lived in SA for many many years and ran a militaria shop - in Jo'burg, I believe - but was an inveterate contributor to a number of the pages on this site and very willing to assist others with research and with his knowledge. He is much missed.
  5. Well done, Loski. Sadly, Mervyn is no longer with us and is sadly missed - an expert on things South African and a true gentleman.
  6. My first thoughts were 'Directorate [of] ???' and 'Chief of Staff', so not too far off what Gensui has said. Well done on finishing that mammoth task!
  7. I do WWI living history and many of the men who portray French soldiers wear a wrist chain with very similar information: unit, name and rank, as I recall. So, not unlikely that the Belgians died as well. And, while 'Evens' doesn't sound very Belgian, my sisters went to school with a whole family of Poles surnamed 'MacDonald', so... ?
  8. I agree that this must be a rare occurrence, particularly to an already rare group - civilians assisting the forces in an unofficial capacity. 'Unique' is a rare bird indeed, but perhaps in this case, within those parameters, deserved. Congratulations on doing so well with this research, Owain! Please do post a photo of the reconstructed group if/when that is completed. Thanks. Peter
  9. All I can say is that Voluntary Aid Detachment members were eligible for the BWM and VM, according to the statutes. Perhaps some of our British or SA members will have leads for further research.
  10. Bayern Both those awards and perhaps a few others were made, I suspect, in the post-War euphoria after 'The War to End Wars'. And perhaps deserved, who knows. Sixpence a day added to one's pension, plus ten pounds, for winning the VC, or L15 if you did it twice sounds more typical of the shall we say 'thrifty' British.
  11. OTOH, I think you'll find that Haig's very generous pension was not typical. Just found this! "Honours and Decoration For Which the RN and Royal Marines are Eligible June 1957 THE VICTORIA CROSS 1. The Victoria Cross may be awarded to officers and Men of the Royal Navy, or of the Royal Marines, for " most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy on land or at sea." Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers and Men of the Royal Navy, and Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the Royal Marines are awarded concurrently with the award of the decoration, an annuity of £10 a year. plus *6d. a day (£9 2s. a year) addition to pension. For each bar, an additional annuity of £5 is awarded. This annuity (together with any other pension from public funds) may be increased to £75 a year in all cases of need due to age or infirmity. Petty Officers and Men of the Royal Navy and Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the Royal Marines who have been awarded [the Distinguished Service Medal] are eligible for the award of 6d a day (£9 2s a year) addition to pension, or a gratuity of £20 on discharge without pension, transfer to Reserve, or appointment to a Commission. For each Bar an additional gratuity of £20. The monetary grants to those Naval Ratings and Royal Marine other Ranks who may be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the Military Medal or the Distinguished Flying Medal are the same as for the Distinguished Service Medal
  12. Yes, apparently wearing unearned medals as a way of 'communicating' something about the conflict or uniform or award itself is a form of free expression and so, it has been argued, the SVA is unconstitutional in its ban on such wearing. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/us/ex-marine-can-wear-medals-he-didnt-earn-a-court-calls-it-free-speech.html But I'm not sure I'd want to try it! Likely to get a significant negative reaction from those who are entitled.
  13. This is the US version. And, as Captain Boddington says, 'unofficial'. That is, a commercial venture.
  14. Many other soldiers, units and groups have used the skull unofficially. It's a fairly obvious symbol for a soldier, I think, as it allegedly was for pirates: death, merciless, etc etc. However, the number of units who use it officially is fairly small, I think, because the optics aren't good in this day and age. I recall a public fuss when a member of the French Foreign Legion on patrol in Africa was photographed wearing a skull mask which covered most of his face. Wearing the masks against dust is common in the theatre, but this one was deemed 'intimidating' and 'inappropriate' as, I believe, his unit was on 'peacekeeping' duty.
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