Stolen Medal For Sale

Excellent outcome, well done. Too many medals end up like this and I think that is a shame.
 
A great result, and a real sence of Justice, too, I'd imagine.

There seems to be a few Chancers in the medals and militaria area.

A mate of mine collects British rifles and edged weapons of the 19th Century (frankly if he could go back in time as live as a district commissioner in a colony, he would).

Last year he purchased from a catalogue and through a dealer a New Zealand Armed Constabulary sword from the 1860s with alleged provenance etc. When it was delivered it was patently a poor Indian fake (back to front lettering random letters as proof marks etc) and the provenance was a poor photocopy of a faded letter, purporting the history of the sword.

He immediately took the dealer to task who used the 'sold as seen' defence and would not refund nor accept returns. Luckily he kept a screen shot of the catalogue entry and presented this to the dealer on person (I came along for support as it was in London) who had no option but to accept what he had sold was not what had been listed in the catalogue and gave a refund. His premises was full of poor repro swords and bayonets but given that it's a fairly niche market I'm amazed he has stayed in business.

ETA: An ex US Army mate of mine from Staff College, now a well-known military historian, spends some of his time trying to authenticate American Civil War 'finds' (muskets 'found' in old barns, relics 'dug up' on battlefield etc). The vast majority of items presented to him by buyers (or potential buyers) he believes are fakes - the most common being alterations of Enfield P.53 muskets and bayonets which are in abundance in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (the bazaars in Kandahar and Kabul were full of them, and the Snider conversions). Enfields were provided in prodigious numbers to both sides in the ACW by British manufactures (most notably BSA and LSA), but they were in all cases devoid of British ordnance proof marks and military markings - eg the Broad Arrow). Cheeky chaps on the Indian sub continent over stamp these marks or worse, grind them off, and try to replicate ACW marks. These fakes are easily picked up, but given the potential mark up for genuine ACW rifle (potentially thousands of dollars), some very, very sophisticated fakes are doing the rounds, and catching out dealers and collectors. Some of the fakers are identifying veterans from state and national archives, carving initials in the stocks and creating a 'legend' of provenance that links the rifle with the owner, and how it came to be found in a barn 160 years later. I don't collect medals (apart from my own) but I would not be surprised if fakes are introduced into the market.

<Signed>
F Contract VC* DSO* LSGCM*
General
 
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@Infiltrator Very good result, he obviously realised your determination to get the medal back, what was it

You must have been chuffed to get it back into your hands again

You have taken a good course of action albeit at some expense to you

Archie
 
Excellent result! I was just wondering if the UK engraves all issued service medals with the recipient's initials, surname, and Service Number. I know the Australian Government does:


This policy has shown up a number of pretenders, wannabes and out and out Walts over the years. Not to mention thieving so-and-so's.
 
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HE117

LE
The UK engraves all service medals and honour awards with name rank and number.

Jubilee medals are not marked.
 
Ok, final update for closure of the subject.

Had a call back from the Police who were very interested, but then had another call back saying that as it was nearly 20 years ago, it would be hard to deal with and that they felt it was now a matter for civil remedy as I'd located it.

Sent a letter at the end of December to the dealer outlining the facts and that he had no good title. He disagreed and said that if I wanted it I'd need to buy it.

Another letter, again outlining my position and that I'd rather deal with it out of the courts but that I would go down that route if I were forced to do so.

The dealer called me ten days ago and had a rant that he didn't know it was stolen, but that he would give it back, only, if I collected it in person and showed appropriate ID.

He called my bluff thinking I wouldn't travel from Wiltshire to Newcastle.

Thank goodness for cheap Easyjet flights. His face was a picture when he realised who I was and what I was there for.

I know that he took legal advice from his solicitor, and I can only assume he was told that he would lose if it went to court. Civil cases like this are "On the balance of probabilities " and I had a very strong case.

I have the medal back. Its had its mounting removed for displaying.

I'm happy, he's not. It's a harsh world, but his losses need to be recovered from whomever he got it from, I'm afraid.

To be honest, he is a professional dealer in these things. He knows the score and I think he was hoping that I didn't.
How much was the medal being sold for? Because 2 x easyy jet flight + other transport and a day off must have cost a bit.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
How much was the medal being sold for? Because 2 x easyy jet flight + other transport and a day off must have cost a bit.
As a very wise man once told me "Fundamentally, medals don't really matter....until, that is, you haven't got one."
 

Fake Sheikh

War Hero
Saw on Ebay the other day Afghan/Iraq/GSM/ASM all for under £100.
So it seems walting is cheap, just had an SAS beret & you are part of the UKSFG Ebay Regiment.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
iI believe that there ARE rules on selling stolen goods , artworks etc have a look at Scotland yards Art and Antiques section. People come unstuch at public auctions it is my understanding . i think it does depend on how many hands that the object has passed through as well . you were lucky to spot your medal is there not a web data base on stolen medals coins etc etc .?
 
Out of interest @Infiltrator , what is the medal?
Also, was the dealer located on Mosely Street in the city centre? I am a collector of military medals and have come across this chap on a few occassions, not all good.

Pleased you managed to have your medal returned.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Ok, final update for closure of the subject.

Had a call back from the Police who were very interested, but then had another call back saying that as it was nearly 20 years ago, it would be hard to deal with and that they felt it was now a matter for civil remedy as I'd located it.

Sent a letter at the end of December to the dealer outlining the facts and that he had no good title. He disagreed and said that if I wanted it I'd need to buy it.

Another letter, again outlining my position and that I'd rather deal with it out of the courts but that I would go down that route if I were forced to do so.

The dealer called me ten days ago and had a rant that he didn't know it was stolen, but that he would give it back, only, if I collected it in person and showed appropriate ID.

He called my bluff thinking I wouldn't travel from Wiltshire to Newcastle.

Thank goodness for cheap Easyjet flights. His face was a picture when he realised who I was and what I was there for.

I know that he took legal advice from his solicitor, and I can only assume he was told that he would lose if it went to court. Civil cases like this are "On the balance of probabilities " and I had a very strong case.

I have the medal back. Its had its mounting removed for displaying.

I'm happy, he's not. It's a harsh world, but his losses need to be recovered from whomever he got it from, I'm afraid.

To be honest, he is a professional dealer in these things. He knows the score and I think he was hoping that I didn't.
Good for you, nice to read a good news story.
 
Ok, final update for closure of the subject.

Had a call back from the Police who were very interested, but then had another call back saying that as it was nearly 20 years ago, it would be hard to deal with and that they felt it was now a matter for civil remedy as I'd located it.

Sent a letter at the end of December to the dealer outlining the facts and that he had no good title. He disagreed and said that if I wanted it I'd need to buy it.

Another letter, again outlining my position and that I'd rather deal with it out of the courts but that I would go down that route if I were forced to do so.

The dealer called me ten days ago and had a rant that he didn't know it was stolen, but that he would give it back, only, if I collected it in person and showed appropriate ID.

He called my bluff thinking I wouldn't travel from Wiltshire to Newcastle.

Thank goodness for cheap Easyjet flights. His face was a picture when he realised who I was and what I was there for.

I know that he took legal advice from his solicitor, and I can only assume he was told that he would lose if it went to court. Civil cases like this are "On the balance of probabilities " and I had a very strong case.

I have the medal back. Its had its mounting removed for displaying.

I'm happy, he's not. It's a harsh world, but his losses need to be recovered from whomever he got it from, I'm afraid.

To be honest, he is a professional dealer in these things. He knows the score and I think he was hoping that I didn't.
Well done you. The medal collection field is a proverbial minefield and in defence of the dealer he probably bought in good faith. Families have and will be known for being very fickle with medals (dead man's gains as my grandmother called them). All medals have a monetary value and a fairly nondescript modern group can fetch hundreds, a NI GSM with a decent regiment and a rank can scrape in at £100!
So well done and it was worth the trauma of an easyjet flight!
 
A few years ago my brother in law's father died. His merry widow (BiL's step mother) promptly sold his grand fathers first war medals, within weeks of the death and deliberately intended to prevent them remaining within the family
Apparently perfectly legal because his late father trusted his wife to divide the estate as requested

Not a large set but did include an MC. The widow got a few grand for them, the estate was in the millions, All done completely out of spite

Eventually retrieved after turning up on Fleabay but had to be bought back
 

2000AD

Old-Salt
A few years ago my brother in law's father died. His merry widow (BiL's step mother) promptly sold his grand fathers first war medals, within weeks of the death and deliberately intended to prevent them remaining within the family
Apparently perfectly legal because his late father trusted his wife to divide the estate as requested

Not a large set but did include an MC. The widow got a few grand for them, the estate was in the millions, All done completely out of spite

Eventually retrieved after turning up on Fleabay but had to be bought back
We had a very similar situation, a relative sold off our Great Grandfathers medals which included 1st and 2nd Boer War and WW1 medals without any consultation of the rest of the family. They appeared again years later on ebay but were too expensive for myself and my dad to win the auction. My dad did eventually get in touch with the final purchaser to ask for first refusal if he ever sells them on but we are not that hopeful of a good outcome.
 
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