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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Silver 1914-15 Star


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 I have a query about the 1914-15 Star which I’m hoping someone can help me with. When I was a boy in the 1970s I put my best foot forward and traveled up to London and called in at Spinks to look at first world war medals they might have for sale - in those days most campaign medals were only worth a pound or two, and they obviously thought I was a bit of a nuisance but they gave me trayfuls of the things to look through. One tray had about 200 1914-15 Stars, but one immediately caught my eye because it was silver - unfortunately I didn’t buy it.

A couple of years later I was looking through a dealer catalogue and it listed a 1914-15 Star which it described as “silvered”. Now, interestingly, both medals were to the Notts & Derby regiment. I made some enquiries at the time, including to the Imperial War Museum, but drew a blank - the IWM accusing me of confusing the issue with the bronze and silver versions of the BWM.

Recently I have seen another “silvered" 1914-15 Star offered for sale (on ebay) - again named to the Notts & Derby regiment - some of the silver was wearing off to reveal the bronze underneath, but it was clearly "silvered" - is too much of a coincidence that this is to the same regiment I saw two similar medals to in the 1970s?

Have anyone else come across this? Is it possible that some medals to this regiment, or a specific sub-unit of it, were privately silver plated for some reason?

Any light anyone can throw on this would be much appreciated after several decades of wondering...

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I once expressed an interest in purchasing a WW1 trio, which was offered to me over the telephone. Prior to our meeting the Lady, who had telephoned me, decided to clean the medals and wash the medal ribbons! Unfortunately, she cleaned the medals in well used "Silverdip", which resulted in the 1914 Star and Victory Medal being silver plated during the cleaning process!


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Back in the early 1980's I too bought a 1914/15 Trio to the Notts and Derbys and the star was (I thought) chromed. I couldn't live with it looking like it did so I took it to a local chrome works in Nottingham where they went through their procedure, dipped it in a bath of their chemicals and brought it back to normal. I still have it and you would never know as its still beautifully toned and as normal as any 1914/15 Star. By the way he served with the 1/7th Battalion (Robin Hoods). BRONNO.


Edited by BRONNO
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It’s quite easy to DIY silver plate with silver nitrate solution and a 12v battery. Perhaps soldiers did it to personalise their medals and maybe it was prevelant in the Notts & Derbys.

Edited by Lawryleslie
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