Replacement Medal

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by JohnEds, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    I wrote to the medals office to get my Father's entitlement and was very pleased to get a letter confirming not only what I'd already worked out but also that there were 'unissued' medals that will be sent to me shortly. A bit of a surprise, because I thought they'd been issued but still; I will shortly have the 39-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal and the War Medal. He was also issued the General Service Medal with Palestine clasp in April 1945 but that is missing and I'd like to replace it.

    Can anybody give some advice on where to get the medal? I have looked at various medal suppliers but it's very difficult to establish if the medals they supply are authentic or if they are cheap copies? Apparently the original medals were made of silver but these replacement ones seem to be silver plated cupro nickel. Are silver ones available? I have also seen that some suppliers say the medal will be stamped 'copy', to comply with MOD rules, but others don't mention anything about that. I'm not phased by that because it is a copy and we have the documentary evidence but why do some suppliers not mention it?

    Finally, is there a protocol on the order of the engraving. The suppliers don't offer advice, They just say fill in the box with what you want engraved. I was thinking number, rank, (C/sgt) name and regiment. Is the exact format important or do medals come with all sorts of variations?

    Oh, also, he enlisted in 1932 with the Royal Berks and went to France in 1939 with the 1st Battalion and was evacuated from Dunkirk, but he finished the war with the Kings Own in the Middle East and Italy. So what would you put for the regiment, Royal Berks or KORR?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
  2. pierce09

    pierce09 Member

    Worcestershire Medal Service are currently making medals for the MoD and will produce a copy medal to the same standards as the original. i'd recommend giving them a call and seeing how that can help.
    MoD Medal License
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I believe that British medals were cupro-nickel, Canadian medals were silver, originals were not engraved.
  4. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    The original gsm would be named
    Tony56 likes this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Naming should be as you describe:

    Service number/Rank/Initial/Surname/Regiment
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Here is your father on the GSM Rolls Palestine (1936-1939) clasp. He was with the Royal Berks Regiment at the time:

    Royal Berks Palestine clasp (1939) GSM.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
    Tony56 likes this.
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    "The License states that medals must have the word copy raised in letters 1.25mm high on the reverse. "

    No, thank you.
  8. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Back in 1997, the MOD replaced my grandfather's medals, which had gone astray when he moved to South Australia. Cost me a pretty penny, but the only one that is engraved is his TM; it has "Replacement" engraved after his details. As per the originals, no engraving on them at all.

    Does the MOD no longer replace medals? I had to sign a Stat. Dec. declaring them lost before my application was assessed, but I'm guessing it's now too difficult to process the number of requests?

    If they have to have "Copy" engraved, the buyer might as well grab some used ones - they're plentiful and if the recipient was British, the lack of engraving won't be an issue at all. (Australia engraved theirs, so a little more difficult to replace.)

    A great pity, as military medals are high on the list of thefts here in my hometown; another reported break-in just yesterday netted the thief a collection of WW1 & WW2 medals from the one family. Very sad as they have little commercial value but enormous sentimental value to the 90-year-old owner and his family. :(
  9. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Not sure if it helps, but my grandfather's TM is engraved "South Staffs" - the regiment he was posted to when he returned in December '44 and was demobbed in '46. His original regiment was The Loyals, an RA gunner for 437/62 SL Regiment, before spending the rest of his service as a DEMS gunner March 1941-January 1945 and then posted to 1TC (South Staffordshire Regiment) until April 1946.

    I'm sure more knowledgable members will chime in - but for my nan, my grandad was *always* a Loyal, regardless of the TM engraving.
  10. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Huge thanks for the replies, especially Bamboo for the medal roll. That's him; 5334420 Edwards J.

    I've searched high and low to see if anybody makes medals from silver, but they don't seem to. The original ones were definitely silver - I've seen various specifications which state silver and also originals up for sale that are silver. Originals were also always engraved.

    The ones I've seen that are not stamped copy are ones made by makers that are not under an MOD licence. It seems counter intuitive but that means the non-copy ones are less authentic than the copy ones?

    Reid; The MOD will replace medals but only if they are stolen or destroyed by accident - a fire or something. Neither applies so a copy is the only option.
    The British GSM was always engraved. There are loads available for sale but they are all engraved with the original recipient. Your note on the TM engraving is also interesting. The rules say that regiment is at the time of issue, which in this case is April 1945. So he would have been KORR rather than Royal Berks. But the medal roll is from Royal Berks period? My guess is that this was when the entitlement was recorded but not necessarily what was on the original medal. At the moment I am erring towards KORR, which also is what the medals office had him listed under.
  11. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Ahh, that is interesting - I guess they have changed the rules in the past 25+ years. Thanks!
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    If you ever do collect together all of your father's medals. Going by those you have mentioned on this thread, the order of wear would be chronological with the GSM Palestine first, followed by the WW2 medals. In my view, the GSM was gained whilst serving with the Royal Berks and therefore should be named as such.

    Here is an image of the same medals from another group mounted in the correct order:

    Palestine Italy Star .jpg
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
    4jonboy likes this.
  13. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Thanks for that bamboo. We have decided on Royal Berks for the GSM. It just seems the most logical.
    bamboo43 likes this.
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    It would be great to see a photograph of the medals when you have sorted them all out. Good luck going forward.
  15. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Nice Surprise when I got home today Bamboo. Just the GSM to sort.


    Attached Files:

    bamboo43 and Reid like this.
  16. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    It's a shame this thread was moved to Militaria. I don't think anybody but those who saw it originally will see it here.
  17. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Wow, much nicer boxes than I received my grandfather's in. They look superb!
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    The medals look great. My brother did something similar for my Mum a few years ago and replaced my grandfather's Burma Star group which had been lost in the 1950's.

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