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It doesn't make my sh1t boil that he's selling them, it is because :
a. He has the need to sell it, and
b. I'm struggling here, but it's something along the lines of: your gongs symolise your service, by selling them on discharge it is as though they just don't mean much to the seller.
That said, they are indeed his medals and the price that groups fetch show what value others put on them.
When on severly hard times gongs become of little worth when faced with seeing your family going without.
Within two years of leaving the Army I stumbled on some pretty shitty times and faced with a house reposession, inability to feed the clan, stupid self pride that wouldn't allow me to tell mr folks, the offer of Â£1150 for four medals was snapped up without thought.
Do I regret it? I regret it being the only option, I regret not having the balls to speak to someone, I don't regret swapping them for a wad of cash that meant my family got a temporary reprieve from shitty times.
As soon as the grey clouds cleared and a decent income came along, the two first things I did were to pay back the RBL and order replacement medals....... if anything when they are worn on the 11th it makes me appreciate them more, it also makes me look around at some of the oldtimers out there not wearing any if they went through similar hardships... Personally I find that equally as upsettign as the sounding of the last post.
I know mine were only campaign and general service medals, and not an award for bravery.... but I imagine the Marine in question doesn't consider himself brave or heroic and his priority is seeing his kin folk with everything they need..... His memories of the action and the MC citation will remain forever, whether he wears his gong or its in a museum or on a collectors wall.
Maybe there is an option of help available to him, maybe someone could forward a link the the BBC site to the RM association of or the RBL...
To be fair, I don't think there's any suggestion from the article that the guy is in dire financial straits or anything. He just wants to make some extra cash. But why shouldn't he sell something he earned and now owns? His business as far as I can see.
I think the issue here is that he's sitting on 30G. I've got a feeling that he wouldn't be selling them if it were 2G. There's no big story here about hard times and the BBC would have jumped on that angle in detail as soon as they wrote the article if there were.
It's up to him what he does with them... and he can order replacements if he wishes. I hope however that the Corps or a national museum wins the bidding - does him a write up etc.
Sad in some ways... but if he'd prefer 30G as a reward for his actions rather than a metal cross then that's a bonus he's free to take.
It is quite sad that he decided to sell it (for whatever reason), but it's his medal and his decision. I would imagine that there will be a lot of interest in it given the that the theatre is current, so he may end up getting a bit more. I hope he does. From what I can see, most medals of this level end up in collections at some point in their existence.
If it came to a choice between a Â£30g bank loan, and selling a medal, I know what I'd choose. It's the recognition and the right to wear it that means something - the actual medal is just a piece of metal and can easily be replaced with an identical one for a very small fraction of that Â£30g!
Fair play to the bloke, it's his. I think that one day he may regret it though.
In fairness though he can buy exact official replicas of all the medals for a grand total of Â£200, and he would be entitled to wear them with pride. I have a replacement Granby medal and in 15 years no-one has ever questioned it's authenticity (although i still occasionally have a rummage for the original). I'd certainly be tempted.
No WALT would wear an MC (real or copy) without one of us noticing. I can count on one hand those who I knew (know) won MM/MC; two hands MID's.
Though I must admit after My nine years in the Infantry in the 80's I do keep meeting SAS, 14 INT, Para, Marines, some of whom have tattoos showing They "really did serve". Is the SAS really at Brigade strength these days ? ..... LOL, I do what We all do keep My mouth shut, and bite My tongue because I really can't be bothered.