Diamond Jubilee

June 2012, Volume 50 No. 6
All for a good cause

UNDER normal circumstances we wouldn’t necessarily promote one auctioneer over another nor automatically suggest that auctions are a better place to sell than through a dealer or indeed privately. Every auctioneer (indeed every auction) will have their own merits to consider as will every individual dealer, and often your decision how and through whom to sell your medals has more to do with personality than anything else—if you get on well with the person who you intend to sell through then so much the better. However, just occasionally there may be another reason that prompts you to sell through one avenue rather than another, indeed may prompt you to sell items that you had previously not considered parting with. Perhaps a star item is being offered that you know will attract the interest of bidders who also might be interested in your pieces, perhaps you manage to do a “deal” with the auctioneer for a lower commission or perhaps the proceeds of the sale are being put towards a good cause, something you believe in. Or maybe you get really lucky and all three come together! Such, I hope, is the case with the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust Appeal Auction that will take place at Spink on September 6, 2012. We have publicly backed the Bentley Priory Campaign (and, yes, we have bought a badge!) as we truly believe it to be a worthy cause and it is gratifying to see that others think so too. Such is the importance of the campaign that already a variety of stunning groups have been offered for sale—including, no less, the simply outstanding CBE, DSO and Two bars, DFC and bar group of nine to “Cat’s Eyes” Cunningham the legendary night fighter who was credited with 20 “kills” no fewer than 19 of which were at night. Bentley Priory is now asking for others to come forward with anything they wish to sell at the auction in September, preferably with an RAF/flying theme but Spink will, of course, consider most items should anyone wish to take advantage of the reduced vendor’s commission of just 5 per cent. And don’t worry, you aren’t being asked to donate these items, not being asked to give away your prized possessions in the name of the Battle of Britain Trust Appeal, the money will be raised through the generosity of Spink who are donating both the Vendor’s AND the Buyer’s Premium to Bentley Priory! Any money you make from the sale of your medals will be yours.

Of course September is, traditionally a hot time for auctions, most of the big London Houses (and many of the larger ones out of “town”) have a sale round about this time and you may well have already decided to place your items elsewhere. Undoubtedly you will have your own “favourite” who you feel would do the best for you, maybe someone you have bought from in the past or just somebody you get on well with—if so then excellent, I wouldn’t want to persuade you to change your mind, after all we do pride ourselves on our impartiality here at MEDAL NEWS! However, you may well be somebody who had never before considered selling at auction, have no real preference for one “house” over another or indeed hadn’t actually considered selling anything at all—if that is the case then maybe this is your chance to make your first foray into the auction world; perhaps this can be your opportunity to raise some cash whilst at the same time helping a very worthy cause. So if you do have an RAF group (or indeed anything flying related or anything else that you think would fit nicely into the sale) that is, perhaps, not quite “right” for you, something you were maybe thinking of selling on line or using as a part exchange on a group more to your taste then why not put it forward for this sale? The cause is, as you know, very worthwhile, the commission is low and there are some star lots to attract the bidders—all that’s needed now is as many lots as possible to help raise as much money as possible—and that is up to you! Consignments are being taken up until July 10 and, as mentioned, the auctioneers are trying to attract related items to ensure there is some element of a “theme” running through the sale, but have a chat to them first before you discount anything, I’m sure they won’t turn down a Victorian Naval VC just because it doesn’t fit with the other lots! And please don’t worry if you only have Indian Mutiny medals in your collection, or World War I army gallantry, there are plenty more sales later this year and plenty more auction houses and dealers to talk to, and if you wanted to sell through someone else then that’s OK—you can still help the Battle of Britain Trust Appeal—just donate some of the proceeds of THAT sale to Bentley Priory, maybe use the money you make to buy one of their badges, I’m sure they won’t mind!

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In This Issue

FACT FILE19
A chaplain in the Crimea
Events recalled by a man of the cloth
OUT & ABOUT22
Close up on the Diamond Jubilee Medal
Witnessing an historic striking
OPINION27
Never look back
A medallic muddle or official intransigence?
SPOTLIGHT31
Theodore Veale, VC
An ancestor to be proud of
TALKING MINIATURES34
The other jubilee
Too many portraits?
CASEBOOK36
A natural born survivor
A man with luck on his side
BACKGROUND40
Operation Fustian
With the Commandos in Sicily
RIBBON BANK44
Africa, part 2
More ribbons for African campaigns
INSIGHT45
In the face of adversity
Heroism during a natural disaster

Regulars

THE EDITORIAL PAGE5
NEWS AND VIEWS6
MARKET SCENE13
BOOKSHELF51
ON PARADE52
LETTERS53
MEDAL TRACKER54
DEALERS LISTS56
WEBPAGE57
CLASSIFIED ADS58
DIARY61