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Iraqi Active Service Medal 26-58


censlenov
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Recently i purchased this medal as i thought it was a good example of what we may see comming on the market as fakes...... However Upon looking at it i found that it has some private engraving done by (supposedly) the recipient. Name ......... Rank ........ 1924-25 ........Unit. I don't want to get into the specifics of the naming yet as i don't want it to affect the opinions on authenticity at the moment.

This engraving combined with the fact that the medals appearence is so crude that it wouldn't fool a blind stink monkey. i was wondering if it was possible to have been made officially in Iraq????

I did a little digging in this section and in one of Ed's posts on this medal he mentioned that it was

"Manufactured by Huguenin (La Loche, Switzerland); there is also a variety made by V. Singal & Sons (Baghdad)." So could this be a V. Singal & Sons or is it as i originally suspected a plane sand cast copy.

Cheers

Chris

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At first glance, this seems to be the sort of thing being made up for sale to current occupation forces.

Thats what i thought at first also and why i now don't know what to think. The medal is engraved privately on the edge to CAPT. E.E.J. MOORE 1924-25 INNIS FUS a name i never really heard of previously until i began digging the archives. First i purchased his MIC from the NA as it wasn't available on Ancestry and sure enough it confirmed his entitlement to the medal with no clasp!!!

I then began googling the mans name to see if there was any mention of his entitlement on the internet and i had no luck. I then turned to the LG to see if i could find anything and i found a load of info on him. Which i'll post when i have the right portable jump drive with me (after lunch). I then began asking other British medal collectors with interests in ARAB units and Levies if there were roles at the NA for the IASM and the answer i got was yes but you have to know where they are and they are not available for viewing online.

Forensically the medal does have a patina on it similar to the way a penny dirtys with circulation and also the engraving isn't bright and the lettering doesn't appear to have been done very recently.

All of this really has me thinking now. Is there a picture available of the IASM which was minted by the Baghdad maker so i can put this theory to rest???

Attached is his MIC

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My own view is that this is not a fake but an example of a locally manufactured piece (cast copy?) from the period in question - I have a similar one but slightly smaller purchased many years ago. The naming would also imply a period piece - I cannot see any reason to fake such an obscure item - indeed I have yet to see any fakes of this medal . All in all an interesting piece and to my mind worthy of any collection of this period. With regard to the Seigal issue - the name is on relief on the reverse of the suspension bar. If you require more details on this series of awards I would refere you to my recent article in OMRS.

Kind regards,

Owain

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you Owain for your educated opinion. Sorry for the late thank you

To add a little more to this discussion I've developed a theory why this would have been made. Moore received his Official Medal on Jan. 1 1931. I believe if he knew he was entitled and others (perhaps in the RAF) had already received theirs prior he wanted to show his entitlement and had this piece commisioned.

This theory is dependent on the date that other recipients began receiving their medals though. If they did start receiving there medals in 1926-27 there would be a gap between entitlement and issuance that i believe this medal would have filled.

To further back this up i've seen similar cases with British recipients before (always officers to).

Any thoughts???

Cheers

Chris

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Chris,

Your theory is as valid as any other and in the light of no known fakes of this medal I remain convinced that this is a cast copy made locally - possibly after an orignal issue had run out. I have yet to identify the manufacturer of the original issue but as it is of good quality I would suggest it is European but to date I cannot confirm wheter this would be British, French or Swiss. Perhaps it is indeed Iraqi as the Faisal Bravery Medal of this 1926 series was locally manufactured butI am not convinced. We now have evidence of at least six varieties of this award:

Original issue 33.5mm diameter

Sigal Baghdad issue 34mm diameter

Cast issue - Owain - 32mm diameter

Cast issue - Chris - diameter tba

Huguenin issue - 35mm diameter

Republican Huguenin issue - disc 34.5mm diameter

With regard to the clasps these were all locally manufactured:

Southern Kurdistan 1930-31

Barzan 1932

Tiyareen Campaign 1933

Euphrates campaign 1935

Euphrates Campaign 1936

With the exception of the first which is today relatively scarce, the latter four are nigh impossible to find.

Kind regards,

Owain

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My assessment is that this is a crudely made cast copy, made to sell to us GIs!

If so, then how would the maker know such obscure British imperial officer information from 80 years ago AND

why haven't more of these popped up over the past 5 years?

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A good point about the naming. Officially, the medals were not named, so we are left wondering when it was added and by whom. Perhaps by the recipient himself, detailing a period "tailor's copy"? In any case, the naming is unofficial and I strongly suspect the medal is as well.

This is all complicated by the suspect and dubious nature of almost everything coming out of Iraq these days.

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Thank you for all the feedback everyone it's all be greatly constructive. I've have looked at another MIC for another man I knew is entitled to the IASM and his was issued in the first quarter of 1930 and his medal is an original issue with Kurdistan bar. I'll have to check several more specifically issued with no bar to see if i can develope this more. Unfortunately this is all to build just a strong theory as definative proof has slipped away with the passing of Moore.

Great conversation piece

Cheers

Chris

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