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This is an interesting example of how a group of medals can be altered and re-named to fit a particular need. Having the odd medal in a group that has been re-named and added is fairly common. Quite often it is because the person feels he was entitled to that medal - or, his friends in the Legion or, the Moths have more then he has - hence the addition. However, to find a group with eight medals - and all problematic, is not that common. The only example that springs to mind was a group that came-in, where he started with the 1879 Zulu War medal, had the Egyptian campaign of the 1880's, Boer War pair , 1906 Rebellion and the War Medal for the 1st WW. Of these only the WW was genuine - he had awarded himself all of the others.

One does have to point out that there is always the possibility that the original medals have been lost or, stolen and he has replaced them himself. However, in this case it seems unlikely - however, if anyone has the rolls it will be interesting to see if he ever did serve with the named Regts.

For these, alterations, wrong lettering and obvious signs of skimming and re-naming would seem to make this unlikely.

One has to look at obvious things - i.e. The Devons were not at Talana - the first Battle of the Boer War. He corrected this wrong bar on the min. -so, someone must have pointed this out. The other very obvious mistake is that if he was 20 when the Indian Campaigns took place, then he would have been 60 years of age in 1940 - and certainly would not be front line material.

This was all pointed out to the seller and the only reason I bought them was because I wanted the bar from the Indian medal - it is the correct pattern for the 1879 medal and I have one that has been brooch mounted. The value of the silver is about stg. 10 per oz. ($16) and of course, original medal bars are hard to find. So, we were both happy. The pity is that the medals will be melted down - but it is wrong if they are allowed to stay in circulation.

post-6209-076574100 1290438781_thumb.jpg

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Good Morning Mervyn......

If these medals are heading for the smelter as you have stated there are a couple of the bars that I really need...... In my case to a medal that is missing its bars as the bars were issued seperately about 2 years after the medals was awarded so became seperated.......

Not making a new medal......

Transvaal and South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902

Mike

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Hallo Merv, :beer:

If the chap was at least 18 when he got the 1879 Zulu award

would he not have been 48 in 1909

so by WW2 he would have been 78+ in 1939

and was the Indian Service Medal not only issued to

officers and men for three years non-operational service in India,

effectively replacing the Defense Medal in respect of the Indian Forces?

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Nick - it is a possibility - however, the level of re-naming and the wrong Regt. details seem to indicate one person's idea of 'glory'. Also, the chap who brought them in knew the old man - he was an old family friend - and apparantly a little eccentric.

I agree with comments that it is a great shame to destroy original old medals - however, we have a duty to take them out of circulation. One of our members has shown interest - and I know that he will keep them separate - so, I will see if I can reach an arrangement. Had the medals been properly named the value would have been in the region of 700 pounds ($1120)

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Many years ago there was a bloke who showed up in Toronto [Canada] representing himself as an officer and a veteran and wearing a group of medals starting with an Egypt and running up to and including WWII. He managed to get himself accepted as a member of the Canadian Military Institute and was treated in all ways as an honoured old soldier. However, a canny member of the CMI eventually twigged top the fact that the ribbon for "an Italian award" which he wore behind his other ribbons was in fact the same IGS ribbon Mervyn has shown here! At that point somebody stopped to do the math and figured that he would have had to have been 12 or 14 at Tel-El-Kebir to have earned them all. He was outed and quietly crept away into deserved obscurity.

Oddly enough, the Egypt and 'his' Boer war pair floated around the medal dealers and junk shops in Toronto for years after alway, to the best of my knowledge, with this story attached. As best I recall, they were name erased, not renamed to him - he had an explanation for that too, apparently. I'm not sure whether its a good thing or a bad that we are still so prone to take a man at his word, but it must say something about the brotherhood of old soldiers that we do. Sadly, this seems to be an increasing problem. The Yanks have even passed a new law after several fairly high profile outings of "self-made men" and I recall the fuss last year when a British chap tried to pass himself off as a decorated vet at a memorial parade. We are a curious race!

Edited by peter monahan
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Please do not have these medals melted down. I do understand your concern, however they are original examples....just very very played with in regards to naming, renaming etc. I am most certain there are collectors out there that would like examples of these medals, but due to costs etc, they can not afford them.

May I suggest if you decide to have them melted, offer them to a collector who falls into the above mentioned category. I am one.

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Michael - I suppose his first group was lost or, stolen and he had to replace them himself. With the correctly named ones that makes them a collectable group - with history.

Pylon - I have agreed with one of our members that he can have all of them - less the bits I need - for the scrap price of just the five silver ones. Like you, he wants to show them as representitives. Sorry, I only had the one set like this.

Mervyn

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Michael - I suppose his first group was lost or, stolen and he had to replace them himself. With the correctly named ones that makes them a collectable group - with history.

He may have sold them to raise his passage money to Canada. He had a six-clasp QSA- CC OFS Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing's Nek, Belfast; Samana 1891 and Hazara 1891 on his 1854 IGS, and Relief of Chitral on the 1895.

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I agree that one should never destroy anything original, even if it has been monkeyed with. Many younger or debutant collectors cannot afford certain medals to begin with and things like this make better 'fillers' than outright copies. Many soldiers of the period replaced lost medals in this way too, although many 'walts' renamed medals acquired from pawnbrokers in order to go a-walting. These days, eBay is full of outfits that will supply sufficiently convincing, ready-named medals. Regarding WW2 Stars, I have seen a few perfectly genuine groups named in this way by their recipients or next-of-kin because the originals were unnamed, in Britain at least. Well done for not smelting them!

PK

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