is stated elsewhere on this website (see "The
WW1 Bronze Memorial Plaque" page), medal collectors are usually held
in poor regard by the general public. As it happens, medal collectors have
an equally poor regard for the public, particularly those who have disposed
of their relative's plaques, medals & memories. However, many relatives
remained faithful to the memory of their kin until death; & only then
did their precious memories pass into the hands of others. The deaths in old-age
of many next-of-kin without any relatives (those suitable or in the absence
of) is probably the greatest contributor to the "new stock" of WW1
medals etc. appearing on the market; usually via house-clearances. Under such
circumstances relatives remain blameless for their treasured memorials passing
into the field of medal collectors.
Similarly, certain types of medal collectors escape the criticism/derision generally accorded: notably Regimental Museums, the Imperial War Museum, the RAF Museum at Hendon etc. These institutions are all held in high esteem & are considered 'suitable' keepers of historical medals. Even the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have become surrogate keepers of Memorial Plaques & medals bequeathed them by relatives, despite their lack of facilities for public display. It is primarily this 'public display' facility which finds universal approval amongst the public, even though many museums are unable to present their total 'collection' & only a fraction find their way into the cabinets on public show. The vaults of most museums contain hundreds of 'ordinary' medals; usually only gallantry awards or similarly distinguished recipients medals are displayed. Many relatives still send medals to museums, believing them to be the most suitable keepers; only for them to be added to a small mountain of identical awards stashed away for eternity in little medal trays below ground level.
In actuality, private medal collectors are no different in this 'hidden collection' respect; most collections due to risk of theft, reside either in bank vaults, private safes or secret hideaways & no-one ever gets to see them. In fact the only occasion on which most medals can be seen is during their time on dealers tables at Fairs or in images on "E-bay" or "Speedbid" Internet auction sites.
In fairness, it is quite pointless for any Museum or collector to display row upon row of identical medals ad infinitum & would bore the pants off even the most dedicated students of military history.
So there we have it, Catch 22. Collectors of all descriptions cannot display their collections for practical reasons; & if they could, they would only end up boring the visitor/viewer. The cold reality is that only medals & artefacts with an 'edge', be it gallantry (always of interest) or items possessing something of special/unusual interest, ever see the light of day.
It is with
all this in mind, that we present here items which have resided hidden in
private collections for many years, having found their way onto the market
due to their faithful next-of-kin having expired with no relatives extant.
The care taken in the preservation of their 'Fallen' relative's memory is
quite evident & it is hoped that the effort to display & perpetuate
their memory here, will meet with the spiritual & earthly approval of
Click on the name to view:-