medals and museums

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BONNACON, Jan 17, 2011.

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  1. A relative has a family members medals including a military medal awarded during the fighting around Caen, Palestine campaign medal and usual ww2 campaigns as well as service history,pay book, photos of service in Shanghi, Hongkong, Palestine etc.
    Question is can these be given on loan to a regimental museum or do you have to gift them. If you do could they sell them without your permission?
    my relative has no one to pass them onto they just want them apreciated not used for profit.
  2. Depending on the citation, the group and the ephemera (piccies, notes, letters, etc), rank and regiment, the group could fetch £1200-2000 at auction. Maybe more, maybe less: personally, given the presence of a GSM w/c 'Palestine' (noting longish service) I'd say closer to 2k.

    From a practicable point of view, your relative is looking to give away £2000? Oh, dear.

    Loan it to the museum: if it is gifted, then title passes to the museum (plus, if loaned it goes on their insurance and not the family policy. If there is one).

    Lastly - your relative has no one to pass it to? Hmm. How about another relative?

    Maybe you? Just a thought.

    My view is that these items should, if practicable, stay with in the family. Future generations may regret that such history has passed from the family.

    Anyhoo, good luck - difficult decision.
  3. Thanks for that FZC. Actually not that difficult a decision. We just wanted independent knowlage of what happens with museum loans/gifts. We just couldn't sell them, we didn't earn them it would feel like blood money. As for passing them on well, no one to appreciate their real value still around. Incidentally the chap who was awarded the MM's brother was awarded the BEM and DSO. Not bad for a couple of orphans!
  4. I understand completely.

    ...............and, as you say, an interesting pair of orphans! If you would, I'd be interested to research their names (pm me their details, if you're willing: if not, I fully understand)- if only to trace the individual citations: and DSO with a BEM is really rather rare.
  5. All sound advice. Museums don't like loan items - mostly because of the problem of keeping track of owners and the risk of losing something good should the original donor die and their relatives decide they'd like the stuff back. As it's a "good set" they may buy them from you but, whatever you decide, I'm sure they'd appreciate a look and maybe a chance to photograph or copy letters and other documents for their archives. It also means that there is a copy there for the future
  6. I recently worked for a military museum, and it was a decided policy, no more loan items. There were a number of reasons. Partly a retrospective project was undertaken to contact people who had items within the museum on loan. There was no contact from about 20% of those written/phoned etc., and that makes it very uncomfortable for museum regstrars and their paperwork. Also, family members sometimes popped up and asked for the medals back. If the paperwork is not clear to who they should be returned to at the 'end' of the loan, also asking for trouble. Also the term 'permament loan' doesn't wash any more. There was also no spare cash for medals, and the curator laid it on thick about donating said items. Perhaps the regimental museum your group is related to may have a different policy. If you do loan, have the paperwork written with a five/ten year renewal (with reminder to the family) and copies with your solictors along with detailed instructions in wills.
  7. Ta Oldnotbold and Bookman. Good insider info and very useful. Actualy one of the things we are worried about is what happens if the museum is dessolved or becomes bankrupt. Can they sell the medals then or indeed do museums sell them and other artifacts to pay for upkeep?
    Perhaps we are being petty but their is a strong feeling of responsibility here part of our concern is that they re looked after when we have snuffed it. we are going to the regimental museum in a couple of weeks to discuss this and just wanted some background info. Your suggestion of a renewal sounds good. We can now see the museums side as well.

    FZC. If your interested I will pm you. We have the MM description of the action in the regimental history book (you had to do quite a bit for an MM in 1944)! The BEM and DSO however are a bit harder. He was FAA in Malta (tag as far as I can assertain). We have a small news paper clipping saying he didn't know why he got it. Bit of a Malta buff myself but never came accross his name. This chapmay have family in Canada where he emigrated after the war.
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Be very careful, I fully support miltary museums but they often have so much stuff it sits in storage waiting to be catalogued. My Gt Uncle loaned his photo collection Normandy to Holland with Cdn Gren Gds to the Cdn War Museum only for them to dissapear forever. He wanted to see them displayed and as the regt is Militia it couldnt look after them. Sad but so much stuff is donated/loaned to the wrong place. Also knowing a member of staff at the Ghurka museum when the row about the VC broke and she went through a very difficult time with complete idiots ringing up and sending hate mail. The youngest member of the staff was 60 ffs.
    If you donate or loan without a clear contract then you are pretty much donating. You may never see it displayed or ever again!
  9. Curiouser and curiouser............yep, I'd be very interested to learn a bit more about these two.
  10. Just another fly in the soup. lernt today that regimental museum is in the middle of a development area and my just be put into storage in 2012. of corse in current climate those plans may be put on hold but?
    All good advice from thread but ultimate decision down to next of kin. She's worried as per ugly on things disappearing. Been having a think and will know better when we can see someone face to face at museum. Thats a few weeks away though.
    FZC hope you got pm. and bytheway re above it was a DSO not DSM with the BEM. Misinformed their.

    Just one more thing though as part of our "ww2 clearout" we also have a letter of thanks written by three German POW's to the chap who got the MM's wife. Written just after the war when they were going to be repatreated. She worked in the NAFFI and was over them doing cleaning and peeling tasks. She was a very forgiving woman as the MM holder (Her husband)Llost a lot of his face in the breakout from Caen. Emailed the german embassey a few years ago as I thought they might have an idea but never replied. Frankly not a priority at the time so never persued it. Any Ideas. It's such a kind letter and the back story says more about the times than we usually hear.