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How to tell if medals are forged ?


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Simon Cains

Hello, I saw some medals that were on sale on ebay, one has my relative's name stamped on the back, so would be very valuable to our family if genuine.  But I worry that someone could have easily forged that stamped detail, to turn an anonymous medal set into one with a history.  Can anyone take a look at these blurry photos and have any opinion please ?  Is forgery common ?  Is it likely that only one medal would have his name ?  I was thinking of asking the buyer if I could buy them from him.

My relative was Gilbert ( Bertie) Cains who was in the royal navy in WW1, but there are also some WW2 medals in the clasp, for the merchant marine.  He would have been 40 in 1939.  In the 1939 register he was a market gardener.  Sorry this is straying outside WW1.  

His full history that I know, before seeing the medals, is here. http://www.cains.myzen.co.uk/gilbert cains naval record.htm   Thanks very much.

bertie cains all medals front.jpg

bertie cains all medals reverses.jpg

medal reverse.jpg

medals description.jpg

gilbert record.jpg

gilbert cains birth.jpg

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jay dubaya

Im not a medal collector but the GW Star looks kosher to my untrained eye which may suggest the whole group is good.

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weshallremember

strange the other two ww1 medals are erased

could have been done to make up the set ?????

trevor

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horatio2

The Admiralty Medal Roll shows that his three wW1 medals were issued to him while he was serving in HMS DRAGON.

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1914-15 Star is correctly named.  War & Victory medals should be named, could be  any number of reasons why they are erased as he is entitled to them as he has the 1914-15 star.  2WW medals should be un named as issued.

Its possible the set has been made up around the 1914-15 star but the only way to know for certain is to obtain his 2WW Service Record, & determine what his 2WW medal entitlement is.

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26 minutes ago, weshallremember said:

strange the other two ww1 medals are erased

could have been done to make up the set ?????

trevor

 

My idea as well.

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Simon Cains

Hi, sorry I forgot to say Forces War records do have him in the Royal Navy in 1942, but no specific ship.  I wonder if that meant just some kind of reserve list in case things got desperate.

And surprisingly the comments in Forces War Record say :-
"From the service number it can be inferred that the man belonged to the Executive Branch of the Royal Navy (He was either a seaman or a communicator by trade)."
 
Forces War records says all the information comes from the National Archives, but his service record in the NA doesn't say anything about 1942, he was invalided out in 1924.
 
The history of HMS Dragon is interesting after 1918, a much lesser-known action :-
On 17 October in 1919 the British cruiser HMS Dragon which helped the Latvian army to protect Riga from West Russian Volunteer army was struck, and nine sailors lost their lives, but four were injured. The Western ally ships helped Latvian Army’s fight for independence. Even though Latvia had declared independence in 1918, the battles for the territory continued until the summer of 1920.
Simon

bertie in fwr.jpg

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You may have to apply to the MOD & request they advise you of his medal entitlement for 2WW. I understand this service is free but perhaps a UK member might confirm that.

 

If you know he is deceased & have a definite date of death you might be able to apply for his records. 

Edited by RNCVR
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I do worry about FWR sometimes, they have a couple of my relatives down as pair only but I have their trio's plus plaques, thier actual entitlements, they guess but dont check.

as for erased, one option for Naval personnel was their originals could have gone down with a ship. It would be interesting to know is the cost of an erased medal was cheaper than a tailors copy at the time.  but, why still have the star. I find it odd that the pair are erased as the trio would normally have been kept together.

the other probability is that there was a rank change and WW1 medals were issued star as joining rank, pair as final rank. would have been easier to erase the discs as opposed to the star.

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GWF1967
3 hours ago, Simon Cains said:

Hello, I saw some medals that were on sale on ebay, one has my relative's name stamped on the back, so would be very valuable to our family if genuine.  But I worry that someone could have easily forged that stamped detail, to turn an anonymous medal set into one with a history.  Can anyone take a look at these blurry photos and have any opinion please ?  Is forgery common ?  Is it likely that only one medal would have his name ?  I was thinking of asking the buyer if I could buy them from him.

My relative was Gilbert ( Bertie) Cains 

bertie cains all medals front.jpg

 

medal reverse.jpg

 

 

 

Does it say in the ebay listing that only one medal is named, or does it show just one photograph of the naming?

 If unsure, ask the seller for more pictures, including the naming on the Great War medals. 

 Only the WW1 Star would be named to the back, the British War and Victory Medals should be named around the rim  if genuine. The WW2 medals were issued unnamed.

They look fine, to me. 

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GWF1967
3 hours ago, weshallremember said:

strange the other two ww1 medals are erased

could have been done to make up the set ?????

trevor

Unsure if the medals have been erased, or if the seller has only posted a photograph of the naming of one medal. 

 The WW2 medals were issued unnamed. 

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weshallremember

it states in the description 

underneath medals erased

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GWF1967
7 minutes ago, weshallremember said:

it states in the description 

underneath medals erased

Apologies, I see it now. 

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1 hour ago, chaz said:

 

the other probability is that there was a rank change and WW1 medals were issued star as joining rank, pair as final rank. would have been easier to erase the discs as opposed to the star.

 

His final rank was AB so that rank would have been impressed on his War & Victory medals.

As I mentioned in my first post there could be any number of reasons why his medals have been erased, its all speculation really.

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Jim Strawbridge

I agree with what has been said. The 1914/5 star naming looks good. The rest may, or may not, have belonged to your relative.

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there is an outside possibility that the BWM was one of the casualties of the silver price meltdown. being the only medal with value being silver many were lost to dealers for a few shillings, but not explaining why the victory is gone as well.

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horatio2
17 hours ago, Simon Cains said:

My relative was Gilbert ( Bertie) Cains who was in the royal navy in WW1,

I note that the OP makes no mention of CAINS having served in WW2 at age 40+ in the Pacific Theatre. Is there a family history of this?

If not, the worst case is that someone has found a perfectly respectable, solo 1915 Star and sought to add to its 'sale value' by hanging on an anonymised (erased) WW1 pair of low value and some cheap, anonymous WW2 medals.

Edited by horatio2
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Simon Cains
8 minutes ago, horatio2 said:

I note that the OP makes no mention of CAINS having served in WW2 at age 40+ in the Pacific Theatre. Is there a family history of this?

If not, the worst case is that someone has found a perfectly respectable, solo 1915 Star and sought to add to its 'sale value' by hanging on an anonymised (erased) WW1 pair of low value and some cheap, anonymous WW2 medals.

Hi, sorry what is the OP ?   The only mention I found of him in WW2 was the Forces War Records Index, which just says "Bertie Cains" Royal Navy 1942,  not even the name of a ship.  I have asked if they can explain this.   He was still a civilian on the register 30th Sept 1939.  I know this isn't a forum for WW2 so I shouldn't really ask.  Just wondered if anyone could spot the supposed Pacific medal on those blurry photos.    I could imagine he might have been put on some reserve navy list due to all his WW1 experience.  Thanks

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horatio2

OP = Original Poster = Simon Cains. 

Ir will be interesting to see what (if anything) FWR come up with to justify that WW2 entry. If he served, as indicated, under his original WW1 Official No. J.38963 then, as a pre-1929 rating, there should be continuation records at Kew under ADM 363 - but there are none. And with that Official No. he could not have been a WW2 reservist (RNR or RNVR).

 

This is a discussion about the presentation of a WW1 rating's medals so I think the diversion into WW2 is justified.

Pacific Star = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Star

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OP = original post.

 

Mike.

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15 minutes ago, horatio2 said:

 

This is a discussion about the presentation of a WW1 rating's medals so I think the diversion into WW2 is justified.

Pacific Star = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Star

Agreed! I’d just make it “possible diversion”!

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I don't know when the medals were sold on eBay but perhaps you should get onto the buyer ASAP.

 

The buyer may have concerns with the group and could split it. Before long they may get sold on and the trail more difficult to follow. The buyer may even be reading this topic!

 

Surely someone with a FWR account could follow the link and see their citation for the 1942 entry (without it becoming a look-up)?

TEW

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keithmroberts

 I gather that ordering service records from MOD can involve considerable delay. I'm not a collector, but can't help feeing that these may have been put together just  to make a group, not necessarily by the current seller.

 

Could the FWW entry be the result of a typo or brief mental aberration with 42 being typed instead of 24? I have been guilty of such things.

 

 

 

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
2 hours ago, Simon Cains said:

Just wondered if anyone could spot the supposed Pacific medal on those blurry photos. 

The Second World War stars appear to be as described.

The medals are (L-R):

1914-15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

1939-1945 Star

Pacific Star

Defence Medal

War Medal 1939-1945

 

They all seem genuine, but the question remains , how many of the ones shown were actually awarded to Gilbert.

 

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DavidOwen

Sadly this thread breaches the forum rule which states "Members may not comment or seek comment on the accuracy of description or honesty of any item offered for sale whether on line or in other places" and so will have to be locked.

 

https://www.greatwarforum.org/rules/

 

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