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peter monahan

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Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. On 12/05/2019 at 23:44, Bayern said:

    The recipe was given to me years ago by a tanner , to prevent the action of insects or fungus ,is convenient to add to the mixture some boric acid . five grains for each egg yolk .

    Good to know.  Thank you!  I have just enough training in museum conservation to be a little suspicious of 'home recipes' but one would assume that a tanner would know. :)


  2. My pleasure. 

    Yes, the fact that name combinations - identical first and last or even first, middle, and last shared is a major obstacle to research.  I did a book on 70 men whose names are recorded on the WWI memorials in my area.  About half are a surname and first initial only and in at least two cases I had to go with 'this is probably Private...' because of cousins, uncles and nephews or in one case completely unrelated men with the same three names. :(


  3. Noor

    This one is an oddity.  First, as far as I can tell from looking at numerous examples on line - Ebay and various numismatic dealers, it is not meant to have a suspender or ribbon.  It seems to be what the French call a 'jeton' , which translates [roughly] as a 'token' or what I've seen described as a 'table-top medal'.  That is, meant for display in its box on the mantelpiece or wherever.

    There were a large number of such awards given out by various French government ministries in the 19th and early 20th century, including for Labour, the arts, and so on.  It's just possible this of is from the Ministry of Labour and so might be for union work, an international conference or...?  But not at all sure of that.  My French is pretty awful and I'm still looking for a site that actually describes them, not just sells them. :(

    The official title seems to be "France, Médaille, La Renommée proclame le Mérite", which phrase translates as 'the name proclaims the merit' - not much help! - and it came in silver as well as bronze.


  4. Duncan

    Not my field at all, but I see that no one else has responded.  A quick look at the Wiki entry for this award indicates that it is in the personal gift of Her Majesty and several footnotes, which I did NOT check, reference the London Gazette, so my guess is that awards appear there and have not/are not listed in a publicly available medal roll.  But that is strictly a guess, based on a very general knowledge of British honours and awards [and how hard they can be to research].  However, the Gazette is available on line, so a search of the period during which the letter was sent might turn something up.

    However, the organization still exists, as the Royal Voluntary Service, who can be contacted here: https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/contact-us.  Presumably someone in their upper ecehelons could answer your query.  Good luck with the hunt!


  5. I think these are both made up for theatricals or costuming. :( 

    The braid on the top one is the wrong colour and weave to be British Army cavalry or Horse Artillery.  The flat buttons with the POW feathers are wrong and may not even be military and the point-up chevrons on the right sleeve are not a British device.  

    The second one looks to be a copy of a late 1800s - Zulu War era? - infantry tunic but the colour of the collar is wrong and it looks far too flimsy to be an issue uniform.  Also wrong buttons.

    Below are examples of an RHA tunic and one from the Grenadier Guards, both modelled from the period these two are meant to represent.


    GG tunic.jpg

  6. 9 hours ago, Bayern said:

    Hello , Beewax is used today by the Blues and Royals for their parade boots in the inside ... personally i used for old and very dry leather items a the following a mixture of egg yolk and olive oil ...

    I would be worried that such a mixture might attract insects, as it is 'edible', leading to damage over time.  Is this your own recipe or is it recommended by restorers and curators?

  7. Wadin in where angels fear to tread, I am going to suggest that these may have been made by French civilians to sell to the various troops stationed in and around these communes/communities.  It's easy to forget that even 'front line' troops might spend as much as half their time out of the line and were in France and Flanders for over four years, so there was a thriving trade in souvenirs, cheap wine and other 'commodities' aimed at soldiers with pay in their pockets.  

    I suggest civilian manufacture because of the sophistication of the design on the bi-metal ring.  It could have been made by a soldier but he would, I think, have had to have access to a workshop and some fairly serious metal working skills.  Also, the '1918' inside the first example suggests to me an object which was mass produced then 'personalized' for the buyer. 

    Just my thoughts.  Fascinating things and, as Tony says, the full story may not be discoverable.  

  8. Well done!  A very nice 'piece of history', especially for a tank enthusiast.  

    I was intrigued to see the surname of this man too, as Canadians are more familiar with on e of our own, who earned HIS Victoria Cross on the beach at Dieppe:

    John Weir Foote, VC CD was a Canadian military chaplain and politician. He received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Dieppe Raid in 1942. Foote is the only Canadian chaplain to be awarded the Victoria Cross.


  9. KOYLI, welcome to the GMIC.  And with a topic dear to my heart too!  Sadly, at the moment, I have no idea what any of the three ranks/rates mean but will do a little digging.

    Could you perhaps let us know which units these men belonged to,as it may have some bearing.  There are some very odd ranks among the various 'followers' of the old IA and some of the 'Bombay Presidency' units seem to have used unusual terms, I'm assuming based on the old, pre-amalgamation, ranks and trades.

    Any chance that 'Mate SK' is a naval rank?  

  10. As Coldstream says, a Middie's dirk, which were used by many if not most European navies, so country or origin and period - anywhere from 1750 -1914, I think, will be the key to discovering its value.  The British, Japanese, Americans, Russians and Germans all used an 'ivory' hilted dirks or swords in some periods and, as Naval officer's appointments were private purchase.  Moreover, the 1796 RN sword had a '5 ball' hilt - see below - which looks very like this one, so it may well be RN.  

    5 ball.jpg

  11. 'Name erased' medals are out there, though not as common for the first war as for earlier periods, I would have thought.  I have picked up a few loose singles as place holders for groups myself.  Back when I had the $ to collect, I had a group of 6 to an Indian Viceroy's Commissioned Officer [senior warrant officer] collected in Indai for the silver, so that the two non-silver gongs had been tossed away. :(  

  12. I just saw this post, but Nightbreak has answered the question: the medal entitlement is in the individual service records but no consolidated file is yet available on line.  Given the staff cuts at LAC, you were lucky to get his service record so promptly too.  Most of the medals seem to have been sent out in 1921-22, based on a sampling of 3-400 records I dealt with a couple of years ago.

  13. On 03/04/2019 at 14:23, Nightbreak said:

    You're looking for Thomas J. Everett in or around Prescott, Ontario.

    In the 1871 Census, that's who we find.  21 year old Thomas J Everett, a Farmer in Hawksbury East, Prescott.

    No sign of him in the 1881 or 1891 Census, though, oddly.  Because the medal would have had to be claimed by him in 1899 or later.

    I dabble in genealogy - as it applies to military service and medals - and I am often surprised by how many people are missing from Census reports, before, after or between counts in which they do appear.  Sadly, between transcription errors, missed households and those who moved - more common than we think, I suspect - it's not uncommon to find this kind of gap.  If Everett was a farmer but not an eldest son, for example, he may well have left his home district to find his own land in another area.  Or he just got missed.  Interesting puzzle!

  14. I agree with Paul -  that will give you something you can carry about tio shops and shows and in most cases will give enough magnification.  A stereo magnifier might be useful for checking to see a medal hasn't been re-named or enamel repaired/changed, but to me it seems a bit 'overkill' for most situations.  I use the 8X magnifying glass which came with my two volume [8 photo reduced pages per leaf] Complete Oxford English Dictionary.

  15. Gordon

    The nickname thing is universal in 'shallow gene pools', I think.  I was raised in 'New Scotland' [Nova Scotia, Canada] and 2,000 of the 3,000 people in my town were MacDonalds  Most had what the Gaelic speakers call 'side names' - Black Donald, Tall Donald, Awkward Donald, etc.  My favourite was 'Mrs Doctor Macdonald' and the widow known as 'Mrs D.D. [dead doctor] Macdonald' to distinguish her from the live doctor's spouse.  That was over 50 years ago and when I was back last year, everyone in town still refers to 'Angus D.D., Jimmy D.D. and 'Phyllis D.D. aka 'Fiddledeedee'.  True story! 

    A friend is of Acadian descent and tried to research 'Joseph Marie Chiasson' - his own name and that of a great grandfather.  The Acadian History Centre said 'we have 86 of them' but when he mentioned that the man was also called 'Joe Gickum' the response was 'Oh, sure.  We know him.' ;)

    I can only imagine what the conditions were like in the POW camps.  I still recall the first time I watched 'Breaker Morant' and his defence lawyer explained what he'd been doing before he was called to the trial 'rounding up Boer women and children, burning their homes and poisoning their wells' or words to that effect.  I always mentioned to my history students that 'concentration camps' were NOT a German invention. 

    Take care.


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