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peter monahan

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Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. "So, no, I don't think this it is a supply or cost issue. There are other, perhaps, political reasons. They certainly are the only ex. colonial Republic that I know of that has not demonstrated its "divorce" from the UK by removing from its police and other disciplined services all vestiges of British colonialism. "


    You make a convincing argument.  And, yes, my initial response may have been simplistic.  No slight on Fiji or its people intended.  I too wonder why, other than 'its traditional' they may have chosen to retain the associations with the Crown.  Cheers.


  2. While the UK authorities, unlike India and Australia, did not issue named WWII medals, apparently Boots the Chemist would add naming for a modest charge.  I don't know what font or naming conventions they used - probably just engraved whatever the veteran asked for -  but the naming on this looks very like the WWI style of lettering. 

    So, I'd say there is a reasonable chance that this is a legitimate award, privately named after issue.

    I offer the information below 'without prejudice',  as the legal johnnies say.  Now idea whether any or all of the references are to the same man or not.

    London Gazette, 6 DEC 19149,  28 Feb 1956 and Chaucer Auctions, Nov 2017

    6 Dec 1949.JPG

    28 Feb 1956.JPG


  3. Sadly, many units of the CEF seem to have used the term 'Overseas' pretty promiscuously, whether or not it was part of their official nomenclature.  The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th University Companies were sent to England in 1915 as reinforcement drafts for the Prince Patricia's Cdn Light Infantry. 

    The 6th University Company was recruited in Military District 4 - Montreal and Eastern Quebec, so very probably made up of McGill University students - the English language university in Montreal.  The original serial number block assigned the 6th was: 489751-490250.  A large number of the men with those numbers ended up in the PPCLI or in the 1st and 2nd Pioneer Battalions.  Paylists exist for the 6th Uni. Coy in our archives in Ottawa but have not been digitized yet.

    As you have his name and serial you can look up his service records here: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/search.aspx

    Good luck and please let us know what you find out!

  4. Two comments.  One, given the distance to suppliers - Australia or UK, I suspect - and the cost of replacing insignia, buttons and other appointments, plus the well know parsimonious nature of Quarter Masters, it should be no surprise that the Fijian Police continue to wear a mix of Royal and non-Royal badging.

    Two, on the subject of the Police medals including gallantry and UN service: Fiji had at one point, with Canada and Eire, the proud distinction of having personnel serve in every single UN sanctioned peacekeeping mission.  I don't know if this is still true but suspect that, given a military force of 2,500 regulars and 6,000 reservists and two battalions permanently tasked to peacekeeping - off island - there must be a number of police officers who have served with UN contingents over the years, either as Army reservists or as seconded police officers.

  5. Dom

    A very quick look shows two perhaps comparable groups:

    WWI Trio and Navy LSGC to K.19832 A. Gilson, L. Sto[ker], HMS Cumberland $350.00

    WWI 1914 Mons Star Trio & LSGC Medal to MacKenzie RFA GBP L225.00 = $290

    Presumably a bit of a premium for the extra rarity of the RN group.  A site called medalsofengland.com  seems to have a fair selection of RN groups if you wanted to check there.  Perhaps a UK member could comment on that firm's prices and reliability.  

    Good luck!


  6. The Commonwealth Air Training Plan was, of course, one of Canada's major contributions to WWII in the air, as we trained members of all the Commonwealth nations, as well as Norwegians and others, as pilots and air crew and, perhaps, air craftsmen too.  So, perhaps your man did make it to Nova Scotia, but that would not have qualified him for the CVSM if he were not Canadian or at least serving in the RCAF, I don't think..

  7. Swagger sticks, as carried by all ranks in the British Army when 'walking out' in uniform -  off duty and 'oot on the toon' as  Cameronian might say - weer popular from the 1880s or so until WWI and many examples still exist.  "The practice ceased with the outbreak of World War II. Uniforms are no longer worn by British army personnel when off-duty and the swagger stick has accordingly become obsolete.", according to Wikipedia, but I think it was not common by then, the Great War having taken the shine off the sight of uniformed soldiers in the pubs and theatres.

    Probably impossible to date any more closely than 1880-1918 or so [or just possibly from the 1920s-30s] unless there is something very distinctive about the badge on the end, or a maker's mark, either of which I presume you would have mentioned. :(  Your Granfer may just have picked it up because it is a sharp looking souvenir!

  8. Could well be, Duncan.  I once bought a group of 8 to a Risaldar Major, Indian Cavalry out of a suitcase full of silver medals, smuggled out of India in defiance of the 'no exporting bullion' law.  The irony is that the two non-silver gongs - 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal- had been thrown away by the picker who bought the group for the value of the metal. :(  It may well be that the country has now banned all exports of military awards.

  9. At one time the only way to get silver medals out of India was 'privately' - undeclared or by arrangement with an accommodating shipper, as Indian law forbid the export of gold and silver.  Probably honoured more in the breech than in the observance, but that was the law twenty or so years ago when I was trying, with limited success, to collect silver medals to the Indian Army.

    So, it may be the case that a new law, or new enforcement of an existing regulation, has made the dealers stop advertising - because I'd be very surprised if they stopped actually selling - on easily monitored platforms such as ebay.   Just a guess, however.  Ed Haynes, who runs the 'SA Gongs' Fbook page, will know if there is such a reason, as he is a true specialist and travels regularly to the subcontinent.

    Or perhaps they've just found better ways to market.  But I would be interested to hear, if you find an answer!



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