Smarties medals

LepetitCaporal

Old-Salt
I gave mines to my bairn and within no time had ripped them up
(Have the silver défense nationale, btw and is un common amongst lower ranks)
 
I wouldn't say you were an idiot for selling your medals, that's you perogative, but you probably were for using Ebay! What did you get? My Lad's a collector, and you tend to get a better price privately or through a specialist, even with the auction fees. The addition of some "ephemera" as they call it, service book, cap badge, TRF, NAAFI cafe loyalty card, photos etc can significantly add to the value, sometimes even doubling it.

You might not think much of your 'tin', or even the service that brought them. You don't have to be a hero to be of interest to an enthusiast though. Remember, we didn't choose the conflicts (or not) for our periods of service, and most of us had little say in whether we or our unit went or got left behind. Even if we went, it's not our fault if we had a quiet tour, or if we always showed up after the shooting stopped. We play the hand that fate deals us.

When you and I are long gone, and Her Madge is just a distant memory, your medals and your story will still be of great value to someone. Even more so when they can look your service record up on Ancestry and access the Cambridge Analytica historical archive. Plenty of people collect Victorian LSGCs and Jubilee Medals of soldiers who never got further than The Shot or Catterick for example.

Hopefully, my kids will frame mine alongside both their Grandfather's and Great Grandfather's. It might help remind them what runs through their veins and the tradition of service it contains. If that makes them put an extra quid in the poppy tin, or stand a bit straighter when the National Anthem is played, I don't think it is a bad thing.

Agree with your comments. My grandfathers WW1+2 medals are held in the family, as are my fathers from WW2, and his discharge papers. I did not fire a shot in anger, so my son will get my red book as proof of service. 3 generations of service to the crown. Last November, my grandfathers picture was projected onto 4 screens in the albert hall, for the remembrance ceremony, I have that photo, and a list of his service record. Enlisted at 13, boy drummer and bugler, in 1910. discharged in 1921, sergeant, cypher signaller to Allenby's desert corps, witnessed the surrender of the Turks in 1917 in Jerusalem. he was 21years and 8 months old on discharge. served in Malta France, Belgium. Gallipoli .Syria. Egypt. His medals and service says it all. I am immensely proud to be his grandson. Those medals represent a life that will never be replicated. All his letters and correspondence are lodged in the IWM. His daughter, my mother is still alive.

Late edit to add:- He died in 1967 aged 70. he still had shrapnel in his body from WW1.
 
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Handlebarbleep

Old-Salt
I understand your point of view but my kids don't know I've even got one, neither does ex- number 2; if the medals truly meant something then how come they count for nothing materially from society/govt? Do they get you a bus/train/taxi pass? An earlier state pension? Better health care? You even have to pay for their mounting yourself, that's how much they really mean to the state that awards them -- truly, just smarties for the eyes.

Campaign medals and their ilk are just baubles, imo, few really and rarely see hazardous service.

If society really gave one then they really would reward service with tangible benefits, at the very least HM-fecking-tight-tw@t-G would pay for them to dangle.

My thoughts so shoot me for them.
I see your point, but if you spend time with medal collectors you realise that to them they are a tangible link to historical events and the men who took part in them. The problem is, we don't see our service in those terms. My other son has just completed his BA(Hons) in History. One of the modules was the Balkans conflicts, including IFOR. My reaction was, "That's not "history", I was there FFS". I see my NATO medal as a token for turning up and making up the numbers. Future historians and medal collectors will see it probably see it very differently.
 
I see your point, but if you spend time with medal collectors you realise that to them they are a tangible link to historical events and the men who took part in them. The problem is, we don't see our service in those terms. My other son has just completed his BA(Hons) in History. One of the modules was the Balkans conflicts, including IFOR. My reaction was, "That's not "history", I was there FFS". I see my NATO medal as a token for turning up and making up the numbers. Future historians and medal collectors will see it probably see it very differently.

Very fair comment, cogently put. I doff my cap. No offence was ever intended. Just my own crumbly thoughts.
 

Mufulira

Old-Salt
I understand your point of view but my kids don't know I've even got one, neither does ex- number 2; if the medals truly meant something then how come they count for nothing materially from society/govt? Do they get you a bus/train/taxi pass? An earlier state pension? Better health care? You even have to pay for their mounting yourself, that's how much they really mean to the state that awards them -- truly, just smarties for the eyes.

Campaign medals and their ilk are just baubles, imo, few really and rarely see hazardous service.

If society really gave one then they really would reward service with tangible benefits, at the very least HM-fecking-tight-tw@t-G would pay for them to dangle.

My thoughts so shoot me for them.
After our tour on 1960's Congo border, a change order for a small ribbon to be mounted below the beret cap badge in the :Blood on the Sand" colours (Red over Gold. The RLI who were apparently also stationed somewhere around the same border immediately went absolutely bonkers at our 'award'. The RLI (Really Lovely Infantry) frothed about this for months until they realised it was merely a regimental addition, however, nothing like letting inconvenient things like facts get in the way of a good story the little piece of ribbon was now dubbed the 'Kipushi Star.' Actually we were pretty good at emulating a very large unit.
 

PaulinBont

Clanker
Very fair comment, cogently put. I doff my cap. No offence was ever intended. Just my own crumbly thoughts.

Some very valid points raised so far; my point was I (along with hundreds of other civvies ) didn't have to turn up or even be somewhere, they were dolled out for simply being in a certain employment when Madge got to her Jubilees; even the most junior probationary got one from the Lord Lt. for being in the job on a certain date ( no I didn't turn up , along with the majority of ex- military, including some ex-Booties and Paras; we had them dished out of a desk drawer); they weren't numbered or assigned individually. As Liz has been around so long, it is not uncommon to see three 'Smarties' , different gongs on display these days; four including the LSGC
 
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chimera

LE
Moderator
I know someone who has more bling than Speakman VC, 12 in fact, but convention dictates that he can’t tell you where they are from.

He has no qualms about black nastying them to his chest (and arm).
I guess "The Elephant In The Room" is that convention dictates that you cannot publically name this hero from the shadows?
 
I guess "The Elephant In The Room" is that convention dictates that you cannot publically name this hero from the shadows?
Fück convention, it’s that cünt John G!
 

Handlebarbleep

Old-Salt
Very fair comment, cogently put. I doff my cap. No offence was ever intended. Just my own crumbly thoughts.
None taken, yours is a position I don't share, but a perfectly reasonable one to take. I never saw my own Grandfather wear his medals from WW1 and my wife's Grandfather never even claimed his from WW2. However, they had more right to proudly wear them than most, having survived the Somme and Monte Cassino respectively.

It's also worth noting that bravery and gallantry medals are not perfect either. Those that are worn are undoubtedly deserved, but those acts have to be witnessed. You can be as brave as you like when no one is looking, but end up with diddly squat. And even when the committee awards them, it is still subject to the politics of the conflict they come from. Labalaba's MiD from Mirbat is a case in point, most of us would think it was worthy of a VC, for example.

Napoleon said "You call these baubles, well, it is with baubles that men are led…". A wise colleague of mine once commented "Medals aren't really important....until you don't get one that is." They mean little to some people and an important symbol of their service to others. Jubilee medals can either be seen as a meaningless "freebie" or as an important link to the sovereign they took an oath of allegiance to. I suspect that is how the Sovereign would probably prefer to see it. Surely the right to think of them as you like is the point of the service they represent.
 
As one of the Cold War warriors I never earned any medals due to a lack of operational tours
The Cold War warriors of BAOR are the unsung heroes of military history. We were suicide squadrons in-waiting. British kamikaze units. On a continual, relentless Operational tour from the moment we set foot in Germany... Our bravery was that we were willing to sacrifice ourselves and be squashed by the mighty Third Shock Army in the hope of slowing it down by just a few minutes as our bodies got caught in the tracks of their armour. The only reason you never got to earn a medal for this brave act is that Ivan looked over the Inner German Border, saw the steely eyes looking back and bottled it*....

.I salute you for your service sir!

* - our bottles were provided in a yellow Herfy handbag... and your steely eyes were probably often bloodshot after a session...
 
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The Cold War warriors of BAOR are the unsung heroes of military history. We were suicide squadrons in-waiting. British kamikaze units. On a continual, relentless Operational tour from the moment we set foot in Germany... Our bravery was that we were willing to sacrifice ourselves and be squashed by the mighty Third Shock Army in the hope of slowing it down by just a few minutes as our bodies got caught in the tracks of their armour. The only reason you never got to earn a medal for this brave act is that Ivan looked over the Inner German Border, saw the steely eyes looking back and bottled it*....

.I salute you for your service sir!

* - our bottles were provided in a yellow Herfy handbag... and your steely eyes were probably often bloodshot after a session...

I was reliably informed that in the event of Ivan thundering across the north German plain, and slipping in through the Fulda gap, the TA from UK along with the first line reservists were to be thrown into the breech, as a buffer zone, thus saving the seasoned BAOR types, this strategy was to allow the 24 hours it would take to totally wipe them out, for the head sheds to make the nessercery phone calls, and thereby stave off some dump **** pressing red buttons. In essence Kamikaze-suicide regiments, thus saving the highly trained, paid, and motivated, balls of steel, firm jawed warriors for the main event, evacuating 93,000 next of kin, and accompanying non combatants, to the cross channel ferries, thus saving potential hostages.
 
I was reliably informed that in the event of Ivan thundering across the north German plain, and slipping in through the Fulda gap, the TA from UK along with the first line reservists were to be thrown into the breech, as a buffer zone, thus saving the seasoned BAOR types, this strategy was to allow the 24 hours it would take to totally wipe them out, for the head sheds to make the nessercery phone calls, and thereby stave off some dump **** pressing red buttons. In essence Kamikaze-suicide regiments, thus saving the highly trained, paid, and motivated, balls of steel, firm jawed warriors for the main event, evacuating 93,000 next of kin, and accompanying non combatants, to the cross channel ferries, thus saving potential hostages.
‘Reliably’ eh?
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Ivan? Buffer zone? Pah! Now, the New Territories in the 1960s, a little place known as 'Robin's Nest', an OP manned by nearly 24 steely eyed dealers of death, equipped with THAT rifle, a Bren gun and 40 rounds of 7.62 instant joy-bringer. Facing us and waiting to cross the border was an entire Chinese army group, complete with air, tanks and all manner of nastiness. Our task was to hold them for up to 12 hours so that either reinforcements could be rushed forward or that evacuation could begin ( my money was on the latter).
Our most useful and sought after bit of kit was a large and very white handkerchief.
 
I was reliably informed that in the event of Ivan thundering across the north German plain, and slipping in through the Fulda gap.....
Pfft... Fulda schmulde... the Yanks were babysitting the Fulda Gap. The Hohne Plains were where it was at. As flat as a witches tit and as bleak as the Siberian tundra... and as much fun as a month in the gulag. Third Shock had our area eyed up as their playground.. it was tough out there. You needed nerves of steel. Didn't need medals...
 
The various Jubilee medals were pretty crap in every respect. The first one, for the Silver jubilee, was limited in number and it was largely left to the organisations to whom they were allocated how they were distributed. That wasn't going to be open to abuse, was it?

The Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals were practically dished out inside cornflakes packets. When I got mine, we received an all call signs email asking us to pick them up and sign for them whenever we happened to be passing the office.

There would have been more meaning in one of those commemorative things from the Franklin Mint that you pay for in six easy instalments. Little wonder that eBay was flooded with the things.

Better, I think, to have saved the money.
 
I was reliably informed that in the event of Ivan thundering across the north German plain, and slipping in through the Fulda gap, the TA from UK along with the first line reservists were to be thrown into the breech, as a buffer zone, thus saving the seasoned BAOR types, this strategy was to allow the 24 hours it would take to totally wipe them out, for the head sheds to make the nessercery phone calls, and thereby stave off some dump **** pressing red buttons. In essence Kamikaze-suicide regiments, thus saving the highly trained, paid, and motivated, balls of steel, firm jawed warriors for the main event, evacuating 93,000 next of kin, and accompanying non combatants, to the cross channel ferries, thus saving potential hostages.
That 24 hours was to allow for you lot to sober up enough to do some warry stuff:p.
 
I was reliably informed that in the event of Ivan thundering across the north German plain, and slipping in through the Fulda gap, the TA from UK along with the first line reservists were to be thrown into the breech, as a buffer zone, thus saving the seasoned BAOR types, this strategy was to allow the 24 hours it would take to totally wipe them out, for the head sheds to make the nessercery phone calls, and thereby stave off some dump **** pressing red buttons. In essence Kamikaze-suicide regiments, thus saving the highly trained, paid, and motivated, balls of steel, firm jawed warriors for the main event, evacuating 93,000 next of kin, and accompanying non combatants, to the cross channel ferries, thus saving potential hostages.
I call bollocks. From memory (I was a very late BAOR ‘warrior’) the whole point of Active Edge was to get to predefined defensive points in a matter of hours. Quite how it was possible to assemble thousands of Gareths to cross the Channel and put themselves beyond the Regular Army FLOT as a suicide screen in that time defeats me. Fanciful stuff...
 

wheel

LE
Whether your medals are for attendance or Valor they are still earned. It is entirely up to the individual what they do with them. Personally mine have not seen the light of day since I left .
 
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