WW2 medals insignia and memorabilia

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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:37 pm

When my brother and I were young, the war was still pretty fresh in folk's minds, and- of course, the Korean war was in progress (I only vaguely remember it ending).
It seemed that my Grandfather, and his surviving sibling, (who lost a leg in action) had no interest in the medals they received for service in WW1, in which two other brothers had been killed. There was also a certain indifference among WW2 survivors, including my Dad and his brothers (Army and RAF) towards medals, and so- we were allowed to play with the medals and other souvenirs from WW2: iron cross, inflationary 100,000 (Papiermark) Mark note; stripes, a riding crop (WW1)- and more.

Sadly, all these bits and pieces vanished over the decades. Dad died thirty years ago. The Germans failed to kill him, but the tree he and and his car encountered, down in Ayrshire- did. :| Had he lived longer, perhaps, like many other veterans, he would have welcomed the new appreciation that has manifested itself in recent years for the sacrifices made by servicemen- except- shamefully for Bomber crews, that is- until they'd almost all passed their expiry date. ;)... he might even have worn his medals. :thumbup:
Anyway, I though perhaps members could add pics of WW2 medals, badges and memorabilia here, as a reference source. Anyone painting tank German and Russian tank figures will need to show them sporting awards and campaign cadges, for instance. Even British troops had medal ribbons on their battledress tunics, I believe.

I've just bought replicas (from a great dealer down in Edinburgh) of the medals my Dad was issued in 1950. I also have the (genuine) cap badge of the Recce unit he and his older brother were in. the cap badge went on the black Armoured Corps berets adopted by the Reconnaissance Corps, when its regiments were integrated into the Royal Armoured Corps, during the War. The motto of these elite recce units was: 'Only the enemy in front'...for obvious reasons. They were the first to be shot at.
Do post any interesting bits you might have, and any stories attached to them. Two of the three medals were only issued to soldiers who'd seen action in a theatre of operations (i.e. Europe)

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and a bit of the letter I received from the Ministry of Defence with details of the award:
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Postby jarndice » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:57 pm

I have never met a serving or ex soldier who cared a jot for awards,
As far as this particular ex was concerned all they ever meant was a lot of pressing of uniforms and much polishing of brass and leatherwork which was usually followed by a ruined Saturday,
Any value they ever had passed me by when they spelt my name incorrectly around the edge of a particular award.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:08 pm

jarndice wrote:I have never met a serving or ex soldier who cared a jot for awards,
As far as this particular ex was concerned all they ever meant was a lot of pressing of uniforms and much polishing of brass and leatherwork which was usually followed by a ruined Saturday,
Any value they ever had passed me by when they spelt my name incorrectly around the edge of a particular award.


Pretty much what I thought, Shaun. Lately, however, those old campaigners who are now very much, shall we say, in the 'departure lounge' of life- especially Normandy veterans-seem to take more pride in their awards. That's in stark contrast to those would would ban 'Poppy Day', and commemorations, as they seem to smack of a prouder Britain and patriotism. Qualities, that is, seemingly loathed by the so-called 'woke' generation.
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Postby Jimster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:17 pm

Before my grandfather died he gave me two things. His 1937ish Belgian Browning 12g shotgun and this dagger he picked up in France. He never said anything about his push across France or how he came about this but he wanted to be sure I had it. I miss him still.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:28 pm

:thumbup: That's a German dress bayonet, I believe, Jim. I have a WW1 British bayonet (stamped 1908- so, an antique in the true sense), of the sort my Grandfather and his brothers would have been issued with.
My Grandfather died over sixty years ago, so I never had the opportunity to ask him much about the trenches. My dad and his brothers were certainly more forthcoming about their experiences in WW2- often encouched in unprintable (here) language. Their war ended with the capture of Bremen, pretty much.

It's a pity that the older generation begin to die off, just as our new found curiosity about their lives begins to kick in. :problem: ;) 'Twas ever so, sadly.
edit: if your Gramps was anything like you, he must have been a good 'un :thumbup:

Perhaps I'll find out where someone's holding a local seance, or ouija board classes! Now, there's an idea. :thumbup:
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Postby jarndice » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:37 pm

A relative while gardening discovered what he thought was a Roman Short sword as he lived only a mile away from the Roman city of Verulamium (St Albans) it was not perhaps an unreasonable supposition,
He wrapped it carefully and sent it to the British Museum for their judgement, a month or so later it was returned with a note declaring it to be a WW1 British Army Bayonet,
The note declared that the Aluminium rivets in the Bayonet was the definative aid to dating it :{ :haha: :{ :haha:
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Postby EAO » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:24 pm

Jim,

43rdRR is correct. That is a WW2 German Fireman's Dress Bayonet identifiable by the "fore and aft" crossguard. They came in two versions, a short blade and long bladed example. I believe yours is the long bladed type, but it can be hard to tell at times as the blades differed only in a few inches length. Some were unmarked and other's had various maker's marks applied to the blades.

Check out this page on my friend Paul Hogle's site: https://www.lakesidetrader.com/German/WWII/Bayonet/#Fireman-Bayonets.

Nice piece!
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Postby Jimster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:04 pm

Mine is completely unmarked.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:43 am

Well, here's the 'short sword' Shaun mentioned. :) That reminds me, Some years ago there was a Roman coin proudly displayed in a small museum in York. The curator of this aged find (brought in by local detectorists) assumed that the letter 'R' on it stood for 'Romanum' until, that is, a local child visiting the display pointed out that it stood for 'Robinsons'; the purveyors of orange drinks to Wimbledon's Centre Court, until lately. :haha:
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The Firefly turret is there to give a sense of scale. Clearly, it would be possibly to impale a row of soldiers with one of these. I use it as a backscratcher. 8O :lolno:

edit: No ordinary lens can cope with this. I think Cinemascope or Panavision is needed. ;)
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