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Victoria Cross in box


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UNFORTUNATELY - YOU ARE CORRECT IN THINKING THIS TO BE A COLLECTOR'S COPY. Many people like to have an example in a collection. With Queen's Crown

and the then very rare aspect - a genuine one would probably be worth up-wards of 200,000 pounds.

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Guest Darrell

Here's a Canadian VC (as yet none awarded):

Too bad I ave to reduce to MICROSCOPIC size to show here :angry:

Cant even upload ..;. JOKE .. I give up.

Edited by Darrell
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If you computer skills are so poor that you cannot reduce an image to at least 160kb which is the limit for your membership I am sure one of our members can assist you.

Just a reminder that membership and the ability to upload images to post at GMIC is FREE or of course you could host the image yourself at your own website and you can use as many MB of space as you want or alternatively keep paying your money elsewhere.

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Darell,

If you need help, feel free to PM me and I'll send you my e-mail address. Just mail the pics which I can then post on your behalf.

We're always glad to help anyone who wants to share his knowledge with others but encounters some difficuilty or other!!!

Jim :cheers:

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Darell,

It really is time for you to leave us here. I am sure that from your spelling and grammar you were tired and emotional when you made this post but even so, if you have nothing to contribute here at GMIC please stay at the forum you feel more comfortable with.

Goodbye and good luck.

Craig

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Darrell - as the Moderators for the British Section, both Brian and I are sorry to see you acting in this way. I had hoped when I wrote to you last week, that things would settle down and we could get back to Medals.

Obviously, we support our Chairman and his Committee, but, never-the-less I personally am sorry to see you leave under these circumstances. The obvious inference is that we keep 'politics' out of our collecting forums .

I wish you well for the future. Mervyn Mitton

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And yet another topic with the potential to develop into an interesting or useful discussion is knocked off course by tiresome trolling. It would have been nice to have been able to discuss copies and reproductions of the Victoria Cross since its inception.

Instead we get a toxic rant by a persistent troll whose more prominent contributions to Phaleristics seem limited, as far as I can recall, to his involvement, with his close male friend Brian Hildemann alias Brian S alias Brian von Etzel, in the promotion as original pieces of, for instance, the L/13 Knight's Cross, the "dotted" German Cross in Gold, the alleged "Otto Schickle" Condor Legion Tank Badge and, of course, the "Rounder" Knight's Cross.

Other than this, his main function appears to be that of self-appointed attack dog for the website he keeps promoting and its management. I am actually on quite civil terms with a couple of the senior officials there and they wish he would stop. But he won't even listen to them so there seems little chance that he will pay attention to requests here that he modify his behaviour and his attitude.

Regarding inter-forum politics, it isn't really a question of 'politics' but more one of honesty-versus-dishonesty. The first two major forums were set up by dealers who installed a couple of internet-literate individuals as webmasters. Neither webmaster knew much if anything at all about militaria in the beginning and the dealers' aim was to use these websites as marketing and sales tools.

They were promoted as collectors' forums but as soon as they began to attract members with sufficient knowledge to challenge some of the items proposed by dealers, usually presented as "sponsors" of the websites, or sufficient experience to be able to discuss fakery and forgery, heavy-handed censorship and banishment, along with smear tactics, quickly became the order of the day.

When these two forums began to exert an unhealthy hegemony over militaria on the web, before affordable generic forum software had really become available, a third forum sprang up where the dissidents of our internet community could publish information censored elsewhere. This third forum was unashamedly tabloid in nature and while it was far from perfect, it had an effect.

And then GMIC appeared, offering those who were disenchanted with the existing forums a haven. GMIC isn't sponsored by dealers, crooked or otherwise, and it shows. And that is why GMIC will never be accepted by the managements and backers of certain other forums and their shills, who pop up on GMIC derailing threads or sending endless PMs to management demanding the exclusion of people they consider a threat to their interests.

That's not 'politics'. Some of the moderators and even the co-administrators of the other website claim to have cleaned up the act. Well, they don't put it that way because that would be an admission that it needed cleaning up. They just say that things have changed. Have they? I'll believe that the day these sites issue apologies to all the honest people they smeared and booted and delete the Expelled and Banned tags from their profiles.

But they won't do that, anymore than they will act to stop people like Darrell from perpetually reminding us of all of this unpleasant history. Unlike GMIC, you see, they are essentially money-making enterprises and sites like GMIC are seen as unwelcome competition because they 'dilute' the marketshare and pose a risk to business because members here can and do discuss items like Rommel's baton, Sepp Dietrich's "honour sword" and so on.

Follow the money...

PK

PK

Edited by PKeating
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Prosper - as I understand things he has just been expelled from GMIC - at least that was how I interpreted the different threads. Under the circumstances, I would like to have the subject closed at this point.

However, your point about discussing repros and copies of VC's is a very good one - and worthy of keeping the post alive. So, let's have a 'go !'

I must be honest and say that it is not something I have really considered - until the Boer War VC's were sold for quite low prices and I doubt if many repro's existed. Perhaps some Jeweller's copies for uniforms and also, for stage costumes.

What do you think ? Megan - do you have any specific info. ?

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Hancock's themselves produced replicas at one point, back in the late 1970s. If I recall rightly, they were admonished for doing so and stopped. I have an old replica somewhere, said to have been engraved to a recipient by his family, the original no longer being in their possession. It is not trying to be a genuine award piece. The engraving appears solely on the reverse of the cross itself, with none on the suspension bar. I must scan and post it here.

On another tack, the late Tul Bahadur Pun VC said that the cross displayed in the regimental museum was not his and that the engraving was not as he recalled it. This is interesting as the museum never responded to my letters and emails about Pun VC and the whereabouts of the genuine cross, the one on display being unlike a Hancock's cross and therefore an obvious copy, if you know what you are looking at. Museums do of course display copies for quite legitimate reasons but it seems odd that someone went to the trouble of faking the engraving on the cross purporting to be be that of Pun VC when the reverse is invisible to visitors. Pun VC's solicitors had persuaded the staff to let the old boy handle it, even if there was no intention of ever returning it to him, despite the controversy over the way in which it came into the museum's possession.

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Unfortunately, Prosper - rare medals are like rare paintings - certain collectors 'just want them', whatever their provenance. The one you discuss - where the awardee said it wasn't his, has probably gone into a hidden collection. Some few years ago, we heard that a VC had gone missing from the Jo'burg Military Museum - eventually they admitted this was the case - now they deny that it is missing - but no-one has been able to view (to my knowledge). We also heard of another one missing from a MOTHS (Memorable Order of Tin Hats) - one of their senior officers told me this - however, not another word has ever been said.

Copies of the VC and the GC have been made in considerable numbers for the past few years - I suppose that they are the two reproductions that are acceptable. Some collectors like to just have one example of every medal in their collection - and how else do you get a VC. Mervyn

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KDVR: Is anything engraved on the reverse of the VC that you asked about in the initial posting of this thread? In early 2008 Hancocks produced 1,356 replica Victoria Crosses cast in bronze and hand finished in an original Hancocks' Victoria Cross case. They were sold for £385 plus postage. The reverse center of each cross had the name 'Hancocks' engraved along with the number of the cross.

Regards, Gunner 1

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The head of the Gurkha Museum ain't sayin', Mervyn! He and his colleagues never even acknowledged my communications, which is often the first step in an intended denial strategy. And Pun VC died recently, which relieves the pressure on them to some extent.

It was interesting that one of the partners in the law firm that made such a great reputation for itself helping Pun VC and other Gurkhas on a pro bono basis, having told me about their visit with Pun VC to the museum and how Pun VC had examined 'his' VC and found it wasn't his despite the engraving on the back, clammed up on me completely after I had spoken with the senior partner who, for all his posturing about helping Nepalese veterans, didn't seem to want to court any serious controversy concerned the present whereabouts of the medal. I wonder where it is. Were it in the museum safe or a similar place, then why not just respond to my letters and emails telling me so? I would not have including the following paragraphs in the magazine article:

As for Pun VC’s cross itself, it remains behind glass in the Gurkha Museum in Winchester. Or does it? Maintaining that Pun VC’s medal belongs to the museum, one museum official stated that Pun VC had been paid the market value of around £500 for his cross in 1974. However, the market value of a VC at the time was around ten times that amount. A Chindit VC would have commanded an even higher price. Pun VC recalls receiving a letter in March 1974 from 6th Gurkha Rifles informing him that an officer would visit him to collect the medal: “They informed me the medal was too valuable to be in my possession and that the army would hold it for safekeeping. Some time later, I received IRs 40,000”. As a Gurkha Senior NCO of the old school, Pun VC simply complied with what he saw as an order. As for the money he received, he speaks of this as an advance or a surety and maintains that he did not sell his VC to his old regiment.

In conversation with the writer, one of Pun VC’s lawyers described their visit with Pun VC to the museum: “He doesn’t read English, as you probably know, but when they finally took it out of the display case for us, he looked at the engraving on the back of the Victoria Cross and said it wasn’t as he remembered it”. This is hardly surprising as the VC attributed to Pun VC by the museum is clearly not a genuine product of the London jewellers Hancock, exclusive makers of the decoration since its inception in 1856. The suspension bar is the most visible clue, even in low resolution photographs. With VCs commanding six and seven-figure sums from wealthy collectors like Lord Ashcroft, familiar to many as the Deputy Conservative Party Chairman, it is not unusual for museums to display copies, the genuine VCs being kept in secure places like bank vaults.

To date, the Gurkha Museum has not responded to the writer’s questions about the whereabouts of the genuine VC awarded to Pun VC in Delhi in March 1945 and entrusted by Pun VC to his old unit when based in Hong Kong in 1974. Nor have they explained how or when Pun VC’s Victoria Cross came into the possession of the museum. It has been claimed elsewhere that documentation proving their ownership exists but no copies of this documentation have been produced. As a former soldier, the writer can attest to the penchant of military bodies for paperwork in triplicate so the failure to produce supporting documentation seems strange. More troubling is the question raised by the engraving on the reverse of the obvious copy examined by Pun VC at the museum: why would anyone take the trouble to try to replicate intricate hand-engraving on the back of a copy when the back is invisible to the viewing public?

Moving on to the question of hand-engraving, here is the engraved copy to which I referred earlier, as I acquired it in 1984 with a clipping from The Daily Telegraph of April 30 1983 referring to Sgt John Hogan's VC and group on sale at Spink's for £10,000. This cross has been described by several who have seen it as a 1950s or 1960s copy in bronze with hand-engraving of passable quality. The engraving does not attempt to ape the original style, with the recipient's details on the reverse of the suspension bar. It recalls more the layout of engraving found on some Peninsula crosses. I gave the fellow a couple of 1st Class Iron Crosses for it, if I remember rightly.

The 'story' - and there is always a story - is that it was bought by the Hogan family at some point and that they had it engraved as a keepsake to recall John Hogan's bravery, the real VC and its accompanying group having been sold. I don't know when Sgt Hogan's VC group first passed onto the market. I suppose Spink's might be able to tell me if the group came from the family in 1983. But I never bothered asking. I collected certain British medals at the time and this was a reasonable-looking VC copy - thought not at all like anything from the Hancock's moulds as far as I can make out - with an amusing story attached to it. I never even attempted to contact the Hogan family to find out. It has lived in the Oddities Box ever since.

I suppose it would be nice to find out that John Hogan, like so many other decorated veterans, had money problems and pawned or sold his medals so often that he or maybe a relative got this copy and had it engraved. Then it would be a copy attributed to an actual recipient, which is about as close as 99.9% of the collecting population will get to owning a VC. A bit like having a 1960s Pour-le-Mérite worn at functions by an original holder or a 1957 Ritterkreuz worn by an original holder. However, John Hogan died in 1943 and I doubt that this copy predates that era so the best one could hope for was that his son or daughter had it done later and put it over the mantelpiece.

Edited by PKeating
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The reverse with the engraving in all the wrong places, indicating a probable lack of intent to defraud anyone. There also seems to be a problem with the 1915 date as the action for which Hogan earned the VC was actually in October 1914m the award being recorded in The London Gazette of December 22 1914. The real VC is in the possession of Oldham Civic Centre, Hogan having been a Lancastrian in the 2nd Bn, The Manchester Regiment. The LG also gives his number as 9016 whereas it is given as 8181 on the reverse of this copy. I am pretty sure that I saw a reference once to '8181' but can't remember where. In the end, it's a copy and highly unlikely ever to have been anywhere near John Hogan. Also attached are images of Hogan wearing his VC and of the VC on display. John Hogan served seven years in the Army before becoming a travelling match salesman, which means trudging through the streets of Oldham selling boxes of matches for a pittance.

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Prosper - it makes a fascinating story and a salutory one in that Britain - repeatedly - allows it's heroes to be badly treated. I would agree with you that the engraving shows clearly it was done with pride for the family to remember him - after all, what else were they left with - match salesmen don't get big pensions.

The cutting is particularly interesting - VC's with a good citation were expected to sell at 10,000 pounds sterling. .......

A few years ago I was told a true story that happened in the old Rhodesia. A long established private business was sold when the old owner - I believe in his 80's, died. The new owner took over and one day climbed up to look on top of a cupboard in his office. Wrappped-up - in a box was a full 1st World War Group - with the original VC ! The owner had been the old man - however, the purchase had been with all contents - this meant the new owner had entitlement. Fortunately , he was a Gentleman - tracked the family down and returned the medals.

Does anyone else have any interesting things they can add ?

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The owner had been the old man - however, the purchase had been with all contents - this meant the new owner had entitlement. Fortunately , he was a Gentleman - tracked the family down and returned the medals.

Very chic of him! He did the right thing. I hope the family did the right thing and honoured the VC holder's memory by keeping the medals or allowing them to be exhibited in an appropriate place, the salutary stories of what sometimes happens to things one lends to museums notwithstanding!

Yes, come on, does anyone else have VC-related stories, about real ones, copies and fakes? We have seen evidence of "Walt" medal groups from the late 19th century - on BMF at any rate - and we hear of US Walts wearing the MoH, along with stories of German Walts wearing the RK at reunions and, in the case of one well-known officer who served with SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500 for about five minutes, even sending out signed portraits of himself with the RK added, saying that as he got it so late, he never had a chance to be photographed wearing it in uniform.

So, anyone got a story about a VC Walt?

I mean, you have to have some front to pretend to hold the VC. It was easier in pre-Internet days, of course, but some con artist must have tried it on...

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I only have 2 VC stories, but both concern genuine holders...

Sometime in the mid-to-late 1970s, I attended a service for the legal profession in Wales, at Llandaff Cathedral. In attendance was Tasker Watkins, who was at the time a judge, and was in full robes plus medals... including a VC. He was very tolerant of a teenage girl who walked up to him during the reception after the service and started talking about medals!

Tasker Watkins's citation reads: "On 16 August 1944 at Barfour, Normandy, France, Lieutenant Watkins' company came under murderous machine-gun fire while advancing through corn fields set with booby traps. The only officer left, Lieutenant Watkins led a bayonet charge with his 30 remaining men against 50 enemy infantry, practically wiping them out. Finally, at dusk, separated from the rest of the battalion, he ordered his men to scatter and after he had personally charged and silenced an enemy machine-gun post, he brought them back to safety. His superb leadership not only saved his men, but decisively influenced the course of the battle."

He was an enthusiastic club rugby football player in his younger days, and one coach to the Welsh international team had the habit of pinning a copy of the citation on the dressing room wall prior to matches!

The second time I met a VC holder, he again was actually wearing it at the time. This was Peter Wright, who was attending a service in the Guards Chapel when I happened to be visiting the Guards Museum which is just across the courtyard. A large number of bemedalled gentlemen came out of the Chapel so of course I scuttled over, and was introduced to him. This was, I think, January 1990, just a few months before he passed away.

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