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stevencarpenter

Medal found metal detecting

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kenf48

Am I the only one wondering what this fellow's medal was doing in a field? I wonder where his family is at and whether they would like to see that item returned to them, if they are in fact still around.

-Daniel

That was my motivation to get involved, it seems he died, we need someone with access to the 1911 census

Ken

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Will O'Brien

(there was a marriage in 1936 in Billericay which is a bit more problematic)

Ken

Ken I think the Billericay marriage could relate to Richard Gerald Coe who was born in Billericay (according to the 1911 census & was the same age as Richard George Coe (based on his date of death)

That was my motivation to get involved, it seems he died, we need someone with access to the 1911 census

Ken

Can't find a match for Richard George Coe on the 1911 census at all

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PhilB

Am I the only one wondering what this fellow's medal was doing in a field? -Daniel

They may be popular now, Daniel, but for several decades WW1 campaign medals were not held in high regard even by the recipients.

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David Porter

Can't find a match for Richard George Coe on the 1911 census at all

I think he is listed as just George Coe and is with the Myhill family in Ormesby St Margaret.

Looks like there is a brother Thomas who, looking at 1901 Census, could be son of Stephen and Kate.

If so, Richard George Coe also has sisters in Eliza and Ruby.

In 1911 both these girls are with a foster mother in Caister.

EDIT: Stephen Coe died in 1907.

Kate Coe is listed in 1911 Census, widowed with another daughter Olive, in Great Yarmouth

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kenf48

Ken I think the Billericay marriage could relate to Richard Gerald Coe who was born in Billericay (according to the 1911 census & was the same age as Richard George Coe (based on his date of death)

No I didn't believe it either (seemed to good to be true!) thanks for looking

Ken

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Andrew Upton
On 20/01/2011 at 17:48, old owl said:

Are you a metallurgist?

Slightly confused by this, as you yourself go on to illustrate the difference, bronze being an alloy of copper and tin, brass being an alloy of copper and zinc. Whilst not being a metallurgist I did study archaeo-metallurgy as one of my modules of my archaeology degree, and thus am well acquainted with the difference between the two. All reputable sources I have seen list the medal as being made in bronze and not tombac, and this has been backed up by several other posters.

A quick edit, I have always been led to believe that various finishes were used on the Commonwealth issued Victory Medal, true gilt being one of them, and a search on the web found it had also been mentioned on this forum in the past. I have my own grandfathers brothers mint boxed Memorial Plaque, BWM and VM, and the VM has quite clearly been truely gilded and not simply given a lacquered and now discoloured finish:

[Broken link removed]

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Old Owl

Hi Phil and Ken,

I acknowledge your concerns, but I think as I said previously 'bronze' is used as a generic term in this instance and it is not a matter of using a cheaper material--although tin is an very expensive metal--but rather using a material which is more suitable for the application. The alloy of copper and tin, known as bronze, is more of an engineering alloy rather than a decorative alloy. If you have ever seen a Victory Medal which has been recently polished you will notice that it has a yellow colour and has a look of gold--which I believe was the intention. This is a brass alloy(sometimes known as yellow brass) or a mixture of copper and zinc rather than copper and tin which is a bronze. The medal would be a totally different colour, had it been made in a true bronze.

I am afraid that this all sounds ambiguous but is quite logical and straightforward really!!?

On the other hand and changing tack, the 1914 and 1914/15 stars are also described as 'bronze' and this is probably not far from the truth. I suspect that these are probably made from an alloy similar to gunmetal, which again comes within the generic name of bronze and yet is quite different in composition to a true bronze. Again if you have ever seen a star which has been recently polished you will see that the colour is much darker than that of the polished victory medal, this is because it will have a higher % of copper in the alloy than the metal used to make the victory medal. It's a bit like mixing paints--the more white you add to the colour the lighter the colour becomes.

I think that what I am trying to say is that both 'brass' and 'bronze' are generic names and that not many people understand the differences, which can be many and varied.

Well that sounds and looks about as clear as mud--so I'll leave it there!!

Robert

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Old Owl

Slightly confused by this, as you yourself go on to illustrate the difference, bronze being an alloy of copper and tin, brass being an alloy of copper and zinc. Whilst not being a metallurgist I did study archaeo-metallurgy as one of my modules of my archaeology degree, and thus am well acquainted with the difference between the two. All reputable sources I have seen list the medal as being made in bronze and not tombac, and this has been backed up by several other posters.

A quick edit, I have always been led to believe that various finishes were used on the Commonwealth issued Victory Medal, true gilt being one of them, and a search on the web found it had also been mentioned on this forum in the past. I have my own grandfathers brothers mint boxed Memorial Plaque, BWM and VM, and the VM has quite clearly been truely gilded and not simply given a lacquered and now discoloured finish:

http://webcache.goog...n&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Hi Andrew,

I think that I have explained that 'bronze' is a generic name in my last post, and although it is the 'official' description, it is strictly speaking incorrect.

As far as the Tombac and the lacquer are concerned both these were mentioned by Scott in his post. I have always thought that the gilding was a true gilded finish as you youself have pointed out--so I think you will have to ask for an explanation from Scott about his lacquered finish. Again the Tombac may have been used but I have not come across this in this application--so again perhaps Scott can throw more light on this.

Robert

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PhilB

Until someone produces an official specification for the material, I`d assume that the composition was left somewhat to the whim of the producer. If the medal was to be lacquered anyway, it probably mattered little whether a bronze or a brass was used. The use of brass, as well as being cheaper, probably made production easier as it would be softer. It might even have been a copper/tin/zinc alloy, sort of bross! :whistle:

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Old Owl

Andrew'

I have just checked on the history of the name Tombac, as I was a little uncertain from whence it originated, and this is it:

Tombac, Name given to a variety of brass. Also called Muntz or patent metal, it was invented by G.F.Muntz in 1832 and contains about 40% zinc and 60% copper. It has a full yellow colour.

This is known as 'yellow brass' and is only suitable for decorative work--infact when we occasionally cast yellow brass it used to 'snow'--the snow being the zinc oxide which formed as the zinc was burned off. Infact this could be greatly reduced by placing a small piece of aluminium on top of the molten alloy prior to pouring--the aluminium melted and formed a very thin skin on top of the molten metal and thus reduced the oxidisation of the zinc--clever eh!!?

So in answer to your query regarding Tombac--I rather think that Scott is not far off the mark---as regards the lacquer--??

Robert

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Old Owl

Until someone produces an official specification for the material, I`d assume that the composition was left somewhat to the whim of the producer. If the medal was to be lacquered anyway, it probably mattered little whether a bronze or a brass was used. The use of brass, as well as being cheaper, probably made production easier as it would be softer. It might even have been a copper/tin/zinc alloy, sort of bross! :whistle:

I rather think that there would be an approximate specification for the metal used, otherwise we would find V.M.'s in a variety of shades from yellow to copper in colour--this being after the gilding was removed. Of the many hundreds of V.M.'s which I have seen post removal of gilt/lacquer they all appear to be very similar in tone once cleaned, which I assume was the intention, because as we all know soldiers always polish their medals!!

You may not be far from the truth: :D

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stevencarpenter

Am I the only one wondering what this fellow's medal was doing in a field? I wonder where his family is at and whether they would like to see that item returned to them, if they are in fact still around.

-Daniel

Hi, Daniel, i am at a loss as to why this medal was in a field, one reason maybe that these medals were given to the children to play with, perhaps that is how it was lost? Yes, it would be lovely to find his family and return this medal to them, that is my plan. So any help is much appreciated :)

I think he is listed as just George Coe and is with the Myhill family in Ormesby St Margaret.

Looks like there is a brother Thomas who, looking at 1901 Census, could be son of Stephen and Kate.

If so, Richard George Coe also has sisters in Eliza and Ruby.

In 1911 both these girls are with a foster mother in Caister.

EDIT: Stephen Coe died in 1907.

Kate Coe is listed in 1911 Census, widowed with another daughter Olive, in Great Yarmouth

Thanks for your detective work :D

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