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Tim Brecknock

Medal Collectors

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Muerrisch

priv: I agree.

Moaning and grumbling should always be done with politeness and good humour.

Captain Grumpy, 4th Armoured Thunderboxes etc.

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priv

Captain Grumpy!

What I found particularly difficult to stomach, and others posters obviously found it worse, was the criticism and questioning of individual's morals because of their hobby.

I personally cannot tolerate domestic felines and I am also not at all keen on Golf, but these two things bring an awful lot of pleasure to many. (Don't get me on to Morris Men !! - JOKE)

Individuals hobbies should be respected and not picked apart by those who do not fully understand what draws each one to a hobby. There has also been criticism of dealers - naturally as in all businesses there are good and bad and I have found the majority to be very good indeed. I do not believe that it is fair to criticise medal dealers for what they do as I am sure there are many forum members whose employment could be construed as a range of unspeakable things by the uneducated. Business is Business and without it we would all be pretty stuck !

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stiletto_33853

Nigel,

Thank you, but their is a seedy side to everything, car traders, antique dealers etc etc.

So why this debate, which has led to another long time member feeling the need to leave the forum. I have nothing to add to Priv's observations except I wholeheartedly agree, well done everyone give yourself a pat on the back.

Roland, yes they may be the relatives only link to them, but, you have to ask yourself why these medals were on the market in the first place, someone in that family at one time sold them or they were found in a house clearance, maybe the family line has now come to an end. If they were so important to the family why were they allowed to be sold on or found in a clearance, or could it be the new found fashion of family heritage has now made people realise their historic value, but sadly there eyes probably light up thinking of the financial side.

Yes they are more important than collecting beer mats both personally and historically and the collector has made the effort to save this heritage for future generations.

Time to move on.

Andy

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yellow

I think its about time to draw this discussion to a close.

The comments suggesting............."if you dont know owt, keep your nose out" really does apply for all those people are being critical of a hobby for which has only just been brought to their attention at this point in time through various posts on this forum.

Ok so now someone has had a dig at medal collectors why doesn’t someone start a thread on Egg Collectors since someone did bring this into conversation here. I could then slate them and tell them about how many of the UK's rarest birds were brought to near extinction because of the demand of collectors e.g the Red Kite. Or even about how the hobby of 'gardening' damages the environment. Peat digging and the the removing of rich soils from natural habitats in the the UK.

The above clearly proves I can pull others hobbies to bits.

Frankly medal collecting does not harm to our living environment unlike the above, so get your priorities right. The subject of medal collectors has never been raised in the Houses of Parliament however the hobbies I have mentioned above have. So I tell you what............lets just leave medal collectors alone, because they aren’t going to hurt you or effect your life in any noticeable way.

Steve.

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
Yes they are more important than collecting beer mats both personally and historically and the collector has made the effort to save this heritage for future generations.

Time to move on.

Andy

Agree 100% .

Roland. :)

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Borderman

Jeezz...You've got to hate 'egg collectors'. Eggs from famous hens, dead hens etc. Egg clusters, egg groups. The list is endless. But what if you have an egg from someone elses hen?

Eggs ain't chicken feed either.

End up spend your nest-egg

Or by collecting carefully are you feathering your own nest?

How much should you shell out

Got bored with this now :unsure:

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birkettm
To me it would feel wrong to want to collect medals from other families.

If i came across any , for any reason , my project would be to try to return them to the rightful family.

Roland.

Good.

One for you old chap.

33279 Pte J.E Hazell - East Surrey Regiment.

Enjoy the research!

ta

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
Good.

One for you old chap.

33279 Pte J.E Hazell - East Surrey Regiment.

Enjoy the research!

ta

One has to be very careful how one replies to posts on this thread.Can get a trife heated.

Roland. ;)

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igillian

Hi people, sorry to open this thread again but it is of great interest to me.

Medal collectors are generally people who have a great interest in ww1 or other military campaigns. I started collecting badges buttons etc when i was a kid and would hold the badge or whatever and wonder what its owner was like, what he saw or did and whether he lived or died etc. Medals take away the wonder and it is possible to get a reasonable idea of an individuals part in the big picture. Where would we be as historians (amatuer or professional) without the added knowledge of individual studies of actions ? Much of the reference material around is due to medal collectors. All militaria collectors add to our knowledge of the period, How many times does a badge, uniform or medal collector identify someones relative or place an individual in a regiment or campaign that was previously unknown to them ?

Medals do have an intrinsic value and no one i know can afford to throw money away. If a legitimate claim came my way for medals i own i would be happy to reunite medals for the price i paid. It is possible now to buy copies of any medal and i would be happy to use them to replace originals in order that my research was not wasted. Are museums not collectors ? If medals had no intrinsic value how many would be sold and melted down for their scrap metal value as in the depression ? These never go back to relatives ! I don,t collect for financial gain but am happy if i get a bargain i am also happy when i pay over the odds to get an item that i will treasure.

Do we get attached to the medals we own ? yes of course we do, I have been reduced close to tears on more than one occasion when i have found a particularly sad aspect of an individuals life, is it so bad that we mourn or celebrate the lives of those who we study ?

It is the wide range of views and the fields of interest of members that make this forum as great as it is. Cheers Ian.

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auchonvillerssomme

I've never seen this thread before. There are good parasites and bad parasites. The body in and of itself has lots of good parasites or intestinal flora, i.e. bacteria of many types, that is necessary for its survival. Some parasites used in the food growing process can overcome some bad parasites. It gets complex to understand and develop an ecosystem that can take care of any bad parasites that get into it. A semi-closed food loop that stays intact for 10-30 years and doesn’t mutate or get infected with an outside pathogen will take some understanding. We need to understand how to develop a balanced ecosystem and not let anything from outside contaminate it, overwhelm it, of throw it out of balance. We need to be able to determine the technology of how to toughen up the ecosystem so it can’t easily go out of balance. We need to be able to determine how to bring an out of balance ecosystem into balance. I hope that helps B)

I collect medals no one else wants, otherwise why would they sell them to me? I have turned down medals because of the value I feel they have to the family and bought family medals because they would be sold on elsewhere if I didnt buy them. Im sat here now looking at a BWM and Victory to Pte HW Wyatt 2nd Royal Fusiliers, died 2/7/1916. this afternoon I will be stood where he was stood in the sunken road...well approximately anyway. Would I give them back to people claiming to be his family? Never. Would I give them to a museum? Never.

Museums will take a VC off you no probs. Where is it? locked in a safe for display to a select few, the VC's on display arent the real ones. How parasitic is that?

I hope that stirs things up a bit, I'm off shortly and expect to see some decent responses by the time i get back next week.

Mick

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stiletto_33853

Mick, Ian,

Oh this subject gets better and better. If the search engine decides that it wants to work try looking up a thread on medal sales. There are quite a considerable amount of threads on this theme.

Andy

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Derek Robertson

I'm the parasite who reunited a 1/4th KOSB trio this week after being split up by the descendants of the soldier who was awarded them.

I'm also the parasite who sold the medals of 3 generations of the same family to another parasite who I know has the ability and wisdom to do the research on them that I am unable to do at this time.

I spent money reuniting the first group and made a little money selling the second group but, on balance, I'm financially back where I started.

But, to my mind, I've saved a piece of history to one man for a little while at least.

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birkettm
I'm the parasite who reunited a 1/4th KOSB trio this week after being split up by the descendants of the soldier who was awarded them.

And im the parasite who would love to manage any reunite in any shape or form!

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SiegeGunner

I don't collect medals, but I'm always impressed by the good research posted by some of the people who do. I imagine that medal collecting attracts a cross-section of people - mostly good, some bad and some in-between - so there are bound to be occasional unpleasant stories, just as there are in, say, dog breeding or antique dealing.

There will always be some people who believe that no-one should have someone else's medals, but I think most people accept medal collecting in the same way as collecting anything else that was made for, given to or owned by someone else in the past.

It's inevitable, in a market economy, that certain factors influence the desirability and therefore value/price of medals - and I think it's here that there is perhaps scope for distaste on the part of non-collectors. I recall a thread no long ago that discussed the relative values of medals awarded to a man killed on 1 July 1916 and those of a man killed on 2 July. Someone then chipped in the hypothetical case of a man wounded on 1 July, who died on 2 July. Apologies in advance if I have not remembered the exact details correctly, but it was the generality of the discussion that I found a bit 'off'.

I think that collectors just need to remember that this is a public forum and that not everyone looking in is an 'insider'. The same applies, of course, to all our discussions of issues that some people find sensitive. I'm not particularly squeamish, and certainly not very PC, but I wouldn't, for instance, much care to sit in a pub at the next table to a group of undertakers, discussing their trade in public in the same matter-of-fact way as they would at work.

Thanks again to the collectors who share the fruits of their research into men whose medals they hold.

Mick

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igillian

Hi Andy, Mick and Derek, whilst shopping at a dealers here in Oz i witnessed a man looking for medals to a relative, ask the dealer if he had them, he of course didn,t but suggested copies as an alternative,the man said it sounded like a good idea but on inspection of the copies didnt like the quality, he then asked the dealer if he had any better quality examples at which the dealer produced a pair to a British soldier and said the customer could erase the names if he wanted, the customer left in some haste when imformed of the price and once he,d gone i purchased the medals myself. I wonder how many mens lives have been erased in such a fashion ?

There will always be unscrupulous dealers and collectors in anything that has a monetary value, but i think i can safely say that all those on this forum are decent people trying to get a better understanding of ww1.

I can understand how frustrating it is searching for medals that someone in the family sold for whatever reason,we have a d________ in our family who sold medals he had no right to which will probably never be tracked down, but while medals remain in our care they will be treated with every respect possible and often saved from that which i detest RENAMING. Some on this thread have hinted it would be good if the bottom fell out of medal prices, i personally would love it to do so, as i would buy enough to keep me researching for the rest of my days. But a price slump would make medals cheap enough for ignorant people to buy as a piece of silver to be melted down for rings etc. We here on this forum should be looking for ways to ensure historical items are not destroyed under any circumstances. Cheers Ian.

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HarryBettsMCDCM
I recall a thread no long ago that discussed the relative values of medals awarded to a man killed on 1 July 1916 and those of a man killed on 2 July. Someone then chipped in the hypothetical case of a man wounded on 1 July, who died on 2 July. Apologies in advance if I have not remembered the exact details correctly, but it was the generality of the discussion that I found a bit 'off'.

I think that collectors just need to remember that this is a public forum

As do some non Collectors! ;)

Money will always spoil a good Collector Discussion,We are all aware {to our ongoing cost} that certain medals to certain Men,Actions,Regiments,etc; are capable of achieving certain prices,as a Collector however my justification is can I afford it,do I want it,am I going to eat Cornflakes & drink Water for a month to get it,I am more concerned once purchased with researching & displaying the Medal/Group than ever in its "Value" very few Collectors of any length of Standing would consider profit as a motive for adding any Medal or Group to their Collection,as to all intents & purposes once accquired the Cash pain is mentally written off & becomes "Dead" as there will be little desire to return it to collateral again.

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igillian

Hi Mick, i must have been labouriously typing as you were posting. I think it is often not understood that a casualty group usually gives a better chance of being researchable. There are a number of reasons for this such as a starting point for research. Individuals who became casualties on important dates give the best chance for a succesful research project as there was often a large quantity of written material about that day to draw upon. Most collectors have the deepest respect for all who were involved in the war and i myself dont look for medals or militaria related to specific incidents or dates. There will always be a small minority who revel in the horrific carnage that was the war but ive never really come across any that were serious students of the war. I generally don,t start my research until after ive purchased an item. As for non members or the public i like their feedback and hope that my collection has made people who have seen it spend five minutes contemplating the lives of those involved in this tragic period. It can be difficult to always keep in mind that some of our readers may not understand our motives or morals and your point is certainly a good one. Cheers Ian.

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27thBN
OK Anthony ( or any medal collector ) a small question.

In your collection you have a very smart MM trio which you brought some years ago.It comes to your attention that the daughter of the said man was still alive but very much down on her luck and unable to afford to make you an offer.She hasn`t seen these medals for many ,many years and would love to have them back in the family before she passed away.

What would you do ?

Always wondered this !

Roland.

Very good question well Im not that into charity as i had to buy them in the first place .No i would not Give them back ..Im not really sure that i would feel to guilty if an appropriate exchange could be organized of something to the value of the group i wanted i would return but as above for free its not going to happen.No different than say finding a old gold watch engraved to somebody's father from 90 years ago and then the daughter somehow found out you had it and had no money to buy it back you would not just give it back.If it was say 20 pounds or similar well probably you might but not 700 pounds etc

MC

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SiegeGunner

I'm not a collector, but I would have thought that a few good photographs and copies of your research would suffice, unless there were special circumstances like perhaps a younger family member being an amateur military historian who had been actively searching for the medals - in which case you might perhaps think it appropriate to come to some sort of arrangement.

Roland, sadly, will not be able to respond, as he no longer visits the forum.

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27thBN
I'm not a collector, but I would have thought that a few good photographs and copies of your research would suffice, unless there were special circumstances like perhaps a younger family member being an amateur military historian who had been actively searching for the medals - in which case you might perhaps think it appropriate to come to some sort of arrangement.

Roland, sadly, will not be able to respond, as he no longer visits the forum.

Well thats a good avenue to take ,some sort of arrangement can be sorted out with just about anything in life.Medals would be no different i do understand people can and do want to get back medals to family and would not have a problem returning or as you suggested sorting something out.If they could not be bought ,the only problem is the age old story if you have a Must have group you spent years looking for and then a family member wants it back

MC

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andrew pugh

Hi All.

Ive been reading the threads concerning medals and thier collectors. As one of a growing number of people who alas dont have the medals in thier family any longer, probably being lost in past years gone,but are now researching thier family members who fought in the Great War and are more aware of trying to hunt down the medals ,we are becoming more reliant on collectors and hope they are sympathetic to our needs and sell them back for a fare price. After all when they pop thier cloggs where will thier collections end up? probebly being sold for scrap, when the medals could be back in the bossom of the families where they originated hopfully to be passed down through the generations as the intrest of the Two Great Wars hopefully continues to grow,and i think there are a lot of people out there that may agree with me on this.

Best Regards Andy. Happy New Year to you "All"

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regimentalrogue

Andy, rest assured when most collectors "pop their clogs" they have made arrangements for their collections to return to the collectors' community, or regimental museums, or elsewhere as stipulated by their own wills and arrangements. Collectors' families are usually well aware of the value (in history and heritage as well as monetary) of their collections. They will rarely be "sold for scrap".

Please keep in mind that many of these medals still exist because collectors valued them when members of the original families did not. But for collectors, they would not exist today for later generations to seek at all. If they were not valued by collectors, that disinterested son, or nephew, or great-niece who let it go from the family in the first place would have been the one sending it off to the tip instead. It is interesting that the focus of these discussions always becomes the role and perceived intentions of the collectors, but few examine the possible attitudes and methods by which these (now) treasured items would have left the families in the first place.

With regard to your hope that collectors will be sympathetic to families: I have known collectors who returned medals to families (for market value because collecting isn't charity work) and I have seen other collectors, including myself, share information and refrain from bidding at auction because we knew the soldier's granddaughter was a bidder.

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HarryBettsMCDCM
...Please keep in mind that many of these medals still exist because collectors valued them when members of the original families did not. But for collectors, they would not exist today for later generations to seek at all. .

This is particularly pertinent to Great War Medals,For decades they were virtually ignored by collectors,those established Collectors of the 1920s,through to the 1960s were in the main only interested in early Victorian Medals,pre Crimea,indeed even those for India & South Africa,were available for a few SHILLINGS,which even by todays standards would only equate to a few pounds,WW1 Medals were sadly then valued in shillings & pence!! {the First Spink Price Catalogue only gives the Victory IIRC at 7/6d the BWM @ 20/~ & the Star @ 14/6d,so a Trio was & could be bought for around £2.0.0d {not many Junk Shops had Spinks & there were not that many Dealers in Medals per se!} an MM was priced @ £4.00;The DCM & MC around £16.00,A DSO group of around ten medals could be bought for around £60.00 maximum,with the release of documentation & the nearing of WW1 anniversaries in the Mid ~ late Sixties onwards interest & consequently "values" increased,so without the early interest in them they simply would not have survived in the numbers that they now do...

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James Blonde

Hi Andy,

Festive Greetings,

when the medals could be back in the bossom of the families where they originated hopfully to be passed down through the generations

its all fair and square to suggest the items be returned to a family,

but, there is no guarantee they will keep the items once they get them,

whats to stop them flogging them off, or upon their demise, the set get broken up to divide between

one family member or the other.

That brings you back to square 1.

Connaught Stranger. :D

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nthornton1979

I thought it worth adding that I was contacted by a collector who knew an elderly lady who's family medals I had in my collection. The 'group' consisted of a pair and plaque which I originally purchased for a good price. I had extensively research the soldier and pinpointed where he fell. I immediatley offered the group to the lady at the price I paid (I could of listed on eBay if I wanted and fetched a lot more but didn't)

In the end the lady changed her mind but the offer and willingness was there on my part.

We aren't demons as some people think !

Neil

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