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Remembered Today:

BWM Obverse


PhilB
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I`d always assumed that the BWM obverse was the same as that on the coinage of the day, but it`s not. FID DEF or F D is missing. Was this done so that the medal would be more acceptable to other faiths? Its still on the sovereigns of the day which were internationally acceptable. Phil B

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Hi

I dont know the answer to your question but I do know that the term Defender of the Faith is very misunderstood. Firstly I do not believe that British Monarchs or politicians then (1914-19) really were over concerned about issues such as not upsetting other faiths - i doubt it even crossed their minds. But the most interesting thing about Fid Def is that it was an honour given to Henry VIII by the Pope! That is before he fell out with the Pope once and for all - it is therefore in some ways a very strange anomoly that it continued and continues to be used at all.

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Pure speculation, but it may be something to do with the fact that

Fid Def appeared on the back of contemporary coinage. As did Ind Imp, (as per similar sized silver half-crown) but perhaps inlcuding it all on the obverse would have made the letters a bit on the small side?

Just a guess.

Ian

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But the BWM`s a lot bigger than most coins of the day? See the BWM, farthing and halfpenny below. Phil B

Although the title was originally conferred by the Pope, it was subsequently withdrawn and later restored by Parliament. I`m not sure what duties it devolves upon the monarch today but it would presumably become more important if the established church were threatened in some way? Phil B

post-2329-1170433694.jpg

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I seem to recall that Prince Charles has said he would prefer to be known as "Defender of Faith", as opposed to "Defender of the Faith".

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I seem to recall that Prince Charles has said he would prefer to be known as "Defender of Faith", as opposed to "Defender of the Faith".

And there you almost certainly have it. It was probably known that the BWM would be issued to Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and so on that it would be anomolous to show KGV as Defender of the Faith (ie Christianity). I wonder if Kipling had a hand in it as he was sensitive to the correct use of words.

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I wonder if Kipling had a hand in it as he was sensitive to the correct use of words.

Very possibly. From “The Unending Vigil”:

“Respect for different creeds was a fundamental of policy. The quotation from Ecclesiasticus that Kipling chose for [the Stone of Remembrance] - Their name liveth for evermore – deliberately omitted a previous phrase* which might have offended Hindus.”

*Their bodies are buried in peace

PC even then!

:)

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*Their bodies are buried in peace

PC even then!

:)

Though that could easily have been pronounced as "buried in pieces" which was even less PC! Phil B

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post-15873-1170516918.jpg

QUOTE (Phil_B @ Feb 3 2007, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I`ve looked back over a lot of medals and FID DEF seems to be missing on all except QE2 ones! Any explanation?

There does seems to have been a conscious decision to leave it off for some reason.

Keith

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