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Hello,

Has anyone seen many stars turned ito brooches? I've heard that many Sudanese and Egyptian soldiers preferred to wear them like this.

Jeff

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Jeff - I suppose it's possible thay wore it as a brooch - although it is a heavy medal and would have dragged on linen. However, this would have been out of uniform. Perhaps someone will have an example in their collection ?

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I saw a few examples in the Sudan but declined to purchase them due to their condition. Many types of awards were also turned into "neck-hangers" by their owners and were then worn on a silver chain.

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Hello Jeff;

As Mervyn and sabrigade have already commented, military medals to Egyptian and Sudanese troops were sometimes recycled into civilian ornaments and worn in civilian clothes. However, the example which you have is the 1882 dated Star and this was only awarded to about 20 members of the Khedive's naval and military forces after the 1882 Egypt campaign. None of these recipients were of a social standing that would have made such a conversion likely so I suspect that your example was " recycled " by a Brit.

I should just mention that sometimes the Khedive's Star was improved by Egyptian recipients who had it silver dipped in order to look a little better and to match the Egypt Medal which they might have received. I think that this might have been done upon promotion or transfer to the Police when their budget might have allowed it!

Thanks for sharing this item.

Cheers,

Mark

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Hi Mark thank you for your added information on the Star. It is interesting how some recipients felt inclined to alter their medals as you've mentioned. I understand the Khedive's Star also caused a lot of scratches mounted next to the Egypt Medal so that could have been a motive for converting it.

I wonder if there are any other medals that were often found in brooch style, maybe the Kabul to Kandahar Star?

Jeff

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Jeff - I've wondered about this as well. I find that the 1879 Zulu War Medal was particularly prone

to being brooch - or, pendant mounted. I think the fact that many of the British were from local Regt's

and not really military, prompted them to have the conversion in order for their wives to wear them.

They were rightly proud of their achievements.

Although I'm not in favour of this - it does add another aspect to their history ?

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Hi Mervyn I agree that in some cases it adds to the story, just sad to see the medal changed like that. I knew of one instance where a veteran cut all the ribbons off his WWI trio and divided the medals up each to one of his children as gifts. I suppose each veteran does what is most meaningful in their eyes I just think it is a shame to see them broken up - much easier to displace and doesn't easily allow for telling the whole story of the recipient's service.

That is interesting that a regular circular-shaped campaign medal would be brooched, the ribbon in my opinion is more striking and easily recognizable to most. I wonder if it was the beginning of the "challenge coin" idea for retired soldiers in the club back then?

Edited by jeffskea

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Hello again, Gents;

I think campaign medals were also sometimes converted to brooches so that a soldier's window could display the award of her late husband. I have a Crimean War Medal named to an Alma casualty that has been changed into this type of mourning " badge. " Military pensions were pretty meagre in those days and this might be the sole opportunity for a soldier's wife/widow to have a piece of silver jewellery.

Other campaign medals were altered to become watch fobs, no doubt to allow the recipient to wear it every day in a relatively conspicuous fashion in civilian dress. It would be a good conversation starter and allow other veterans to identify, and possibly, patronise a particular person or his business. I have a British War Medal 1914-20 awarded to an Egyptian doctor that has been converted into a fob and wonder if this might have given him a certain cachet or unstated link with his ex-military patients. Yes, I know, sometimes I let my imagination run a little too free!

I think it likely that many Egypt/Sudan Medals converted to jewellery by Egyptian or Sudanese soldiers would have been done for female relations too. Former soldiers would probaly have continued to wear their awards, as evidenced by a number of photos held by the Sudan Archives at Durham University. When the veterans died then I can see the medals being converted to honour their loved ones, as well as providing a pretty flashy looking adornment for the missus.

I agree wholeheartedly that these alterations detract from the original look and meaning of a medal, but at least it has allowed these awards to survive into the present day. So many other campaign medals, particularly in Egypt, etc. have been relegated to the jewellers melting pot and have disappeared forever. I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by MREID

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Good points Mark. During Victoria's reign I could certainly see a memorial aspect coming into play.

I wonder do any other members have examples that are prone to change ? I have a personal feeling

that we will find this fashion to have been for Countries where the population were close to their Army.

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Very interesting Mark, yes I would be interested to see what other medals have been converted and the motive behind doing so. Come to think of it I have a Victory Medal which was turned into a coin. It was awarded to an Australian, Pte W. Follows of the 20th Bn, A.I.F. and 15th Field Amb. I obtained his service record and found he served in Egypt and France after 1916 but spent most time in hospital or on court martial! Not sure his reasoning for changing his but still an interesting story.

Jeff

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My great-grandfather, Burger William Wallace, fought on the side of the Boers against the British during the Anglo-Boer War. As a Scot, he was wounded at Spionkop and spent years as a P.O.W. on the then island of Ceylon. His ABO was turned into a brooch by my great-grandmother. He was part of the Irish Brigade.

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