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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Death Plaque


wellsms

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One of the men I'm researching is remembered on his parents grave. The grave has his death plaque built into it.

I'd like to get a really good photograph, but the plaque is quite weathered and has a mottled blue bloom on it.

Do people think it's appropriate for me to give it a gentle clean.... not to make it all shiney, and if so what's the best way for a one off activity.

your thoughts would be much appreciated

Mike

post-2811-1214640164.jpg

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Perhaps using a small pad of duraglit on the peaks of the name just to bring it up for a photo.

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Duraglit......... no. It's way too abrasive. If it is to be cleaned, warm soapy water and a soft cotton cloth with minimal pressure should be used. However bearing in mind it's inlaid in the headstone, I'd be tempted to do nothing more than give it a gentle "spit wash" just so most of the surface crud would be removed. Never used acid based cleaning agents or abrasive cloth to clean plaques or medals.

Les

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Les,

Agree with what you say, as i said in my post just a touch on the peaks of the name, not a whole hearted rub!!!

eskimo

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Eskimo

No probs.... it's just that the word "Duraglit" sends shivers down my spine when medals et al are involved. I've seen too many that have been "erased from history" due to the stuff.

Les

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I'm for warm soapy water too if the plaque is to be cleaned at all.

Isn't it sad that his parents had their son's plaque put into their headstone. They must have missed him so much. The war to end all wars. What a great shame.

Tony

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Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. I think I'll try just water first to see if it changes the colouring enough to get a photo - similar to the technique for gravestones. Slightly soapy may be the fallback position, but nothing more than that.

Thanks also to those who PM'd me direct with their thoughts.

regards

Mike

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Now you've said that......... fingers crossed it doesn't happen. I can only assume your common thief doesn't know what it is.

Les

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Welshdoc/Les.

A similar comment was made by someone in a PM so I'll not be mentioning any names or graveyards and luckily the photo above is of low enough quality it can't be read.

On the positive side I've visited several times and only noticed it on the last visit....... so hopefully it will stay put for many years to come.

thanks

Mike

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the only one that iv'e seen was on a family grave in woolton liverpool but sadly some bleeders nicked it sign of the times

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From my experience of cleaning coins I don't think that it will clean up with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. It is not dirt that we are discussing. The bluish mark is verdigris - the copper equivalent of rust. I don't think that it will wash away. Whilst Duraglit may be a bit harsh you could try Silver Dip on cotton wool. Yes, it is an acid, but very weak and should not do too much damage. But a wash over, afterwards, with water, will take the acidity away so it won't keep working on the metal. In fact, as a once only operation, I would have no problem with Duraglit as it is over-use that will cause the plaque to become worn. If left, the verdigris will continue to worsen and I believe better dealt with than not dealt with. One thing I would mention, however, is that the headstone does belong to someone - not you. Should you be doing what you are doing even though the owner probably doesn't care. That is why the CWGC will recognise all war graves as in their care but will only do anything to headstones if it is one of theirs and not a private one.

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A little bit of Soap & water & Softish Brush & then to seal it some Boot Polish....;)

Here's OneI Did Earlier....

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