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Old 12-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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Looking Back and Looking Forward

So guys, as we draw nearer to the end of another year, it's time for a little self indulgence!

What have you done this year in collecting that you're proud of? Finally bought and researched that Nevsky that you've been after for so long?

Have you learned anything new? Never buy awards whilst operating heavy machinery it may result in loss of limbs

Any plans on how to make next year a good one for your collection? Remembering to avoid wearing your awards in the bath again. However much you wish you were, you're not a Submariner!

For me, I only started collecting in April 2012 and it's been a helluva ride.

The thing i'm most proud of is a hard one for me, as this year as every new award has been a new experience. But i'd say i'm proudest of my Red Banner of Labour collection. Now only missing Screwbacks and an Type 3 with the mint mark at the top! The screwbacks may have to wait a while!

The most important thing i've learnt this year is " You can never read enough" I havent read as fast as have this year since Harry Potter came out and also "Clear, High resolution photos of the front and back of the piece! Suspension is not needed!"

And what does next year hold? By this time next year, i hope to have a Red Banner and a Order for Service to the Motherland 3rd class. Not the highest of hopes ever, but i like to set realistic dreams so i can't be dissapointed!

Forgive the self indulgence!

What are your guys thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:16 AM   #2
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

A blessed and prosperous 2016 to all! Thanks for checking in and subscribing!
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

I thought 2015 would be a year that would take some beating but 2016 has blown it completely out of the water.

I thought the 45 researched awards I posted in 2015 would be the high water mark but 2016 has seen 135 Researched Soviet Medals and 30 Researched Soviet Orders - That's getting close to one every other day. A trend I don't see slowing in 2017 as prices continue to fall.

There are so many researched awards that I won't even try to post links to them all but they can be see in these two sections;

Researched Medals
Researched Orders

Every major battle seems to be covered and almost every conceivable role - Balloonist, Folk Singer, T-34 Driver, Pilot, Cook, Machinegunner, Desk Jockey, ICBM Tester, etc....

As seems to be the yearly echo - there is a backlog (and it's bigger than ever). 2017 will continue to showcase the exploits of participants in the Great Patriotic War but will also probably also uncover the labour exploits of those who served the state during the Cold War. I don't want to speak too soon but there might just be a group to a worker on the Vostok-1 programme coming out of the woodwork soon.

My favourite researched award of 2016 is the one that inspired me to destroy the myth of the "All-Woman" Regiment.

As I also enjoy spreading my interests, I've also been working on post-Soviet awards. The Russian Federation has had a new wave of ministerial awards and I challenged myself to complete the Ministry Of Defence Medals set. I didn't get them all but I don't think falling only 7 short of the complete set is too big of a failure considering how many fakes are out there. There's always 2017 to complete the task.

At least 35 Russian Federation Ministry Of Defence Medals added in 2016.
Over 3/4 of the RF MOD Badges posted were added in 2016 too.

My favourite of them all has to be Demining Palmyra as I have not seen another real example for sale although I have seen hundreds of fake ones sell - often for silly money.

Russian Federation awards may be the most discussed and reported of all the post-Soviet awards but I do like the more obscure ones.

2016 has seen a bumper harvest of Armenian awards and also all but one of the awards of the Republic Of Karakalpakstan - which wasn't even on the map before.

(There's even been three KKASSR Titles posted as well as 22 UzSSR Titles)

I like to get even more obscure though, going where no-one has been before or even completely missing from the map (like Karakalpakstan) and 2016 has been the very best year for the awards of "Unrecognised States".

Nagorno-Karabakh - Now with research!
South Ossetia - and not just KGB.
Lots of awards from the Donetsk People's Republic.
Lugansk People's Republic is a bit trickier to collect.
Although my favourite of the year is this Abkhaz Order Of Leon #12 (More from Abkhazia in 2017).

There have, of course, been additions almost completely over the board. New or at least newly obtained or posted items that have often never been seen anywhere online before. This feat will be repeated in 2017.

Since my greatest achievements of have been completely off topic I'll leave them where they belong - elsewhere. I can say however that what is posted here is only the very tip of the iceberg. "The stories I could tell".

I know 2016 has been a rather double edged sword for many enthusiasts too. Research is now very accessible with more resources than ever and the continuing fall in prices makes collecting more appealing. However, those who "invested" during the booms times have found the reality of the market a very difficult pill to swallow. It has been nice to see not only more people get into Soviet awards but plenty returning after a long absence.

Mentioning people getting into and returning - the forum has seen new highs in the amount of users using it, hits, new items being posted and there have been even more sections created (around 50 in 2016 alone - if they don't strike you at once, good, they're supposed to blend in).

The research service I've been offering has been taking some serious interest - over 500 requests to date. Considerably more hits than misses too. This service will be expanding later in 2017. There are a few pieces outstanding and some people I need to get back to and I'll be on to that very soon. Mainly good news.

When it comes to the forum, research and collecting - a very good year indeed. Let us all continue to build on that in 2017.

It's a positive distraction from more negative things at least.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

2017 has been the most busy year so far for me, it's been difficult to keep up with everything and almost impossible to catch up on some ongoing projects. I certainly intend to get some major projects finished in 2018 or at very least give it an ambitious try.

As I predicted, prices are still falling (though research is up slightly) and it is still a great time to be a collector. In fact a few days ago I bought an Order Of The Red Star (900k serial range) for a price that I don't think has happened in a generation - $8. I don't think that $8 will become a usual price for them but at the same time, prices will edge ever closer to that.

I set myself a target at the start of the year to post at least one Researched Medal per week, I fortunately managed that - in Medals "For Bravery" alone. There have been 32 Military Groups posted that with the addition of additional researched solo pieces accumulates to 26 Researched Orders and 93 Researched Medals. Not quite the heights of 2016 but I have been changing focus slightly (when I've not been too busy too focus!)

In that pile of researched awards/groups a few jump out at me
Stalingrad Tractor Factory!
NKGB Partisan Organiser
Cold War Exercises Red Star
A Researched Medal "For Courage During A Fire".
(And yes I know I need to finish posting the group to the chap who helped put Gagarin in space)

Away from Soviet items, I've posted a fairly random array of awards, documents and groups from areas covered here. 9 documented Vietnamese Orders pretty much summed up my short lived focus on Vietnamese awards - although I have a backlog of hundreds of Vietnamese items to post. When there's time!
Finding a Documented Lao Order to a foreigner wasn't an easy task - Freedom Order
I think my focus may have been mainly towards awards from Armenia and the Artsakh Republic, there are now over 150 items from those nations in the collection. Last week I picked up an exceptional 14 award (yet incomplete - for now) group to an Armenian "Suicide Squad" volunteer. I got the group directly from the family and the group may grow as they continue to go through his things, although the missing Document and Medal may be long lost. This group also busts an old myth about NKR war combatants - I'll save that for another day.
This years highlight out of all the Armenian/NKR bits I've picked up and posted is an easy choice for me. Type 1 Variation 1 Gratitude Medal. That award was at the very, very top of my wants list. I suppose I'll try and research it in 2018 too.

I also find this pair - Colonel Dimit'r Nikolov Mosinov, Liberator/Hero Of The War Against Serbia - pretty exceptional. I've had interest from museums about displaying them. Maybe later - I have plenty of other items on display in museums currently and I need to consolidate.

The forum continues to expand. There have been at least 25 new forum sections created in 2017, with the latest created just yesterday. "Always Ascending".

The forum software is still awaiting its long overdue update, although that is something out of my control. That may bring back some of the options that were lost in 2015, after a cyber attack, I don't know.

My research services have been very heavily used this year, with more than 1,500 researches being performed to date, with less than a dozen "not found" results. At least three "top end" dealers use my services, so I'm quite happy that they continue to be repeat customers. Some other researchers even use me to research for them, my contact has found the "unfindable". I also sometimes spend a whole day searching on "the site" to make sure the correct citation goes with the correct award (trying to undo administrative mistakes isn't always a quick fix!). It's due to being bombarded by so many requests that I've not been able to finish researching my own backlog - 41 awards still on that pile, with a considerably higher number of citations I'll have to obtain away from "the site".

What will 2018 bring? Pretty much the same as 2017, prices falling a bit more, more research and more goodies posted on the forum for all to enjoy. Not forgetting to mention - more fakes on the market! I know I have some interesting groups and a few pieces of gold to post in 2018. The best things will probably be a surprise to me - maybe some strange and completely unexpected research.

I really need to start making a good headway into the backlog of things to post on the forum I've got. Thousands and thousands of scans and that's without touching on the 980 Bulgarian groups I still need to post.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's that time already, another year gone, but not forgotten.

A very busy year for me, so I feel like I have been quiet on the forum, even though I've thrown out 500+ posts. Not only have I been busier than ever, I've changed focus slightly, whilst at the same time still picking up hundreds and hundreds of forum related items. I still have items coming in and a backlog of 31 serial numbered awards to research (and thousands of pieces to post).

Once again there have been new sections created and a continued, yet slow, clean up of the forum (I know there are a great number of intra-forum links to fix). Plenty of goodies to be purchased on the Marketplace too, for participating users.

The prices of Soviet Awards (and militaria in general) have stayed down or even continued to decrease - great news for collectors! With research being the most accessible ever.

I think the highlight posted this year was this fantastic group - Slavik Zaveni Pogosian, Eagle-Suicide Squad Member.

I've been a bit shy in posting new Soviet groups, only two this year;
Deniskin, Mihail Mihajlovich, Assistant Head Of Automobile Accounts, 54th Army.
Bazuev, Ivan Ivanovich, Telephonist, Artillery Commander's Battery, 43rd Rifle Corps.
Only two researched Orders (beyond the two in groups);
Red Star,0968393,Section Instructor,Universal Military Training,Latvian SSR.
Red Star,2184904,Assistant Commander,77th Separate Battalion Of Chemical Defence.
With ten more researched Medals;
For Bravery,1283311,82mm Mortar Aimer,169th Guards Rifle Regiment.
For Bravery,1635388,Starshina,45mm Gun Battery,741st Rifle Regiment.
For Bravery,2971102,Agricultural Instructor,Communist Party Of Kyrgyz,Frunze,Wounds.
For Combat Merits,0101627,Section Commander,278th Army Anti-Aircraft Defence Regiment.
For Combat Merits,0897950,Clerk/Senior Machinist,109th Guards Rifle Division.
For Combat Merits,0921322,Head Of Repair Workshop,7th Rifle Regiment.
For Combat Merits,1714756,Medic,342nd Separate Medical-Sanitary Battalion,Hungary.
For Combat Merits,2719195,Head Of Radio Station,327th Rifle Regiment,Manchuria.
For Combat Merits,2834264,Ammunition Carrier,605th Rifle Regiment.
For Combat Merits,U/N 1949,Line Supervisor,300th Separate Line Battalion.

In other areas;
Dimit'r Grigorov Todorov, Bulgarian Partisan.
National Liberation Front Combat Banners.
An award Banner to a destroyed Female Company.
I've been piling more of these up.
Avoiding the fakes.
Vladimir Aramiisi Ghazarian, Artsakh Liberation War Combatant.
Vasili Fedot Doljenco, Moldovan Liberator.
A police group for only $3.

I also have around 120 more to add to this thread - though they were all picked up before 2018.

The photographs are of some of the bits I have on hand today that have been distracting my focus this year, there's a lot more but this is a fair insight. I've been researching them as best I can too, which also takes time.

As these items fall outside the sphere of the forum, I'll explain what's there.

Photo #1,

British Indian Titles "Khan Bahadur" (2nd Class) and "Khan Sahib" (3rd Class) both awarded to the same recipient (also a Type 1 MBE, not pictured) for civilian service during the Great War (3rd Class awarded 1st January 1915 and the other two awarded 1st January 1920). I have new ribbon and will be mounting the complete group

Waterloo Medal (where Campaign Medals started) named to a driver of the Rocket Brigade, a participant at the Battle Of New Orleans as well as the Peninsular War and Waterloo. He later emigrated to the USA and I've found his grave in Ohio.

Punjab Medal with Chilianwala Clasp named to a KIA private of the 24th Foot, top shelf when it comes to British Campaign Medals (The 24th Foot lost 255 KIA on the day).

India General Service Medal with North West Frontier Clasp named to a Sepoy of the 2nd Punjab Infantry.

India General Service Medal with Burma 1885-7 Clasp named to a private of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers.

China Medal with Relief Of Pekin Clasp named to a sepoy of the 24th Punjabis - one of the first men to break the siege.

King's South Africa Medal named to a Private of the 2nd Battalion, Scottish Rifles - This is a duplicate, issued to his next of kin in the USA, his original was lost when he drowned in service in 1910. I have an original bar and clasps to restore it.

Transport Medal with S. Africa 1899-1902 Clasp named to a Surgeon on original ribbon. Only 1,219 were awarded, often unresearchable. I have found dozens of pages of information on the recipient - a game changer.

General Service Medal with S. Persia Clasp named to a sepoy of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brahmans.

A pair of British War Medals on original ribbon, one to a Canadian private, with full service record and one to a Royal Artillery Gunner with a Medal Index Card and roll.

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, court mounted on original ribbon.

Photo #2,

Military Medal, 1914 Star with Clasp Group to a private of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment. Immediate Military Medal awarded for action at Langemarck 16th-18th August 1917.

India General Service Medal with Waziristan 1901-2 Clasp named to a Bugler of the 17th Infantry - someone who was in the thick of it from the original ambush.

King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, tired old ribbon but only 85,234 awarded.

1914 Star with Clasp Trio to a Sapper/Warrant Officer of the Territory Force's Royal Engineers. Only one company of TF RE managed to make it to France in time to receive the Star and Clasp, so this is a very rare Trio and in immaculate condition.

Two 1914 Stars, the first to a KIA Sepoy of the 57th Rifles (named on the Menin Gate) and the second to a unique rank amongst this award - the only 1st Class Agent awarded the 1914 Star. Only 31,365 1914 Stars were awarded to the British Indian Army. (I have ribbon for all these awards.)

India General Service Medal with Waziristan 1921-24 Clasp named to a bearer of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles.

Two India General Service Medals with North West Frontier 1936-37 Clasps, one to a lascar and one to a gunner of the Royal Artillery.

Photo #3,
Four 1914-15 Stars, Two to Indian Cavalry, Two to Indian Supply.

11 British War Medals, one to a sepoy of the 24th Punjabis, one to a private of the ASC, one to a private of the RAMC, one to a KIA corporal of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 6 to Canadians; (All with full service records)
One to a 51 year old - lied his way to the trenches!
one to a sapper in the Canadian Engineers
one to a sapper of the 1st Tunnelling Company, wounded in action whilst digging!
one to a gunner of the 10th Siege Battery, died of wounds
one to a gunner of the Canadian Field Artillery
one to a French-Canadian private of the Canadian Forestry Corps that died in service of Pneumonia.
Finally, one to a Seaman of the Royal Newfoundland Navy - less than 2,000 rotated through the force throughout the war (He was in prison during the next war).

23 Victory Medals, mainly to British Indians (one died in service) but a few to British soldiers.

A very busy but successful year. Who knows what 2019 will bring? I suppose we'll ll have to find out as the forum continues to grow.
Attached Images
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:24 PM   #6
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

2019 has been a busy year. Not just for me but for the forum. In November 2019 we saw the record number of simultaneous users - 483! The forum was also updated in June, which after a decade of waiting was well received, even if it has caused issues with the SNDB2.

There has also been a few dozen new sub-forums created, you'll find them when you need to.

Although I have been very busy with many different projects, including some audio/visual releases (always nice to get a mention in the liner notes) and live events, I have still managed to throw out just over 400 posts, which is a reasonable amount for an solidly active user.

When it comes to new Soviet Awards only 4 Researched Orders and 57 Researched Medals this year, up from last year but still shy of the old highs. That being said, research has recently been added to many awards previously posted, often tricky research with "NKGB" and "NKVD" popping up with far more frequency (I'm not posting the new research to awards posted before 2019, it's out there if you want to see it). There are only 8 "military" awards left in the collection that are unresearched and the Central Archive Of The Ministry Of Defence has confirmed that none of them are in their archives (A Red Banner, 5 Red Stars and 4 "Combat Merits") so they are most likely MVD long service awards. I will see if I can get that cleared up in the new year.

A trio to a Rifleman at the front.
A small group with a researched Labour Medal to an Army Officer.
A pair of Medals to a Pyrotechnician.
A pair to a chap who got wounded home
An early pair to a nurse who was certainly in the thick of it in 1941.
Red Star,0735579,Senior Telephonist,86th Separate Regiment Of Communications
Red Star,1603635,Commander,6th Rifle Company,311th Rifle Regiment,14th Army,Petsamo
Glory III,010555,Sniper,7th Rifle Company,1142nd Rifle Regiment,340th Rifle Division
Glory III,512142,Machinegunner,800th Rifle Regiment,143rd Rifle Division
For Bravery,0022201,Border Guard,"Ussurijsk" Border Post,Habarovsk Border Squad
For Bravery,0025833,Political Leader,6th Battery,285th Artillery Regiment,Lampela
For Bravery,0104224,Gun Aimer,656th Artillery Regiment,216th Rifle Division,Don
For Bravery,0135926,Armoured Platform Commander,Armoured Train #12,40th Army
For Bravery,0181761,Senior Driver,56th Guards Mortar Regiment,Stalingrad
For Bravery,0124700,Deputy Political Leader,9th Border Regiment Of Troops Of The NKVD
For Bravery,0848902,Mortar Crew Commander,693rd Rifle Regiment
For Bravery,2024480,Chemical Instructor,11th Mortar Regiment,43rd Mortar Brigade,Kusa
For Bravery,2093375,Rifleman,774th Rifle Regiment,222nd Rifle Division
For Bravery,2435455,Horse Driver,45mm Cannon Battery,793rd Rifle Regiment
For Bravery,2501459,Line Supervisor,521st Separate Battalion Of Communications
For Bravery,2618941,Senior Line Supervisor,940th Separate Telephone Company
For Bravery,2733618,Wagon Driver,Transport Company,811th Rifle Regiment
For Bravery,2745106,Starshina,2nd Rifle Company,993rd Rifle Regiment
For Bravery,3133345,Submachinegunner,753rd Rifle Regiment,Königsberg
For Bravery,3220764,Gun Aimer,3rd Battery,1360th Zenit-Artillery Regiment
For Bravery,3347316,Submachinegunner,306th Guards Rifle Regiment
For Bravery,3601137,Aimer,1st Mortar Company,619th Rifle Regiment,Catch-Up
For Bravery,3601976,Machinegunner,690th Rifle Regiment,126th Rifle Division,Catch-Up
For Combat Merits,0024248,Assistant Platoon Commander,890th Artillery Regiment,Tula
For Combat Merits,0059378,Senior Motorist,Base Minesweeper "T-218",Baltic Fleet
For Combat Merits,0203200,Platform Commander,79th Special Section Of Armoured Trains
For Combat Merits,0618670,Medic,1262nd Rifle Regiment,380th Rifle Division,Vjazhi
For Combat Merits,0705944,Section Commander,185th Separate Auto-Company Of Supply
For Combat Merits,1099757,Medic,308th Rifle Regiment,98th Rifle Division,Piusa River
For Combat Merits,1282879,Submachinegunner,203rd Separate Blocking Squad,70th Army
For Combat Merits,1349277,Company Commander,24th Rifle Regiment,10th Rifle Division
For Combat Merits,1430182,Kiev NKGB,Long Service
For Combat Merits,1467768,Company Commander,276th Separate Auto-Transport Battalion
For Combat Merits,1640921,Senior Electrician,Collection-Transit Point,18th Army
For Combat Merits,1667278,Commander,32nd Separate Tug Transport Company,Long Service
For Combat Merits,1790282,Turner,482nd Separate Army Mortar Regiment
For Combat Merits,1803074,Rifleman,2nd Rifle Battalion,1149th Rifle Regiment
For Combat Merits,1895699,Senior Receiver,Military-Post Station #2997
For Combat Merits,1934473,Senior Motorist,Separate Squad Of Camouflage,Baltic Fleet
For Combat Merits,2052117,Senior Lieutenant,L'vov NKVD,Long Service
For Combat Merits,2054834,Deputy Commander,63rd Separate Aviation Squadron
For Combat Merits,2321293,Telephonist,73rd Regiment Of Communications,Manchuria
For Combat Merits,2445060,Clerk,1904th Light Artillery Regiment
For Combat Merits,2476238,Driver,Sorting Evacuation Hospital #2222
For Combat Merits,2481690,Head Of Accounts,Field Army Artillery Warehouse #3197
For Combat Merits,2608163,Driver,Supply Platoon,1280th Rifle Regiment,Schüttdorf
For Combat Merits,2632277,Line Supervisor,255th Separate Battalion Of Communications
For Combat Merits,3180748,Commander,53rd Separate Construction-Track Rail Battalion
For Combat Merits,3200646,Senior Officer,2nd Artillery Section,Second Watch Factory
For Combat Merits,U/N 1969,Operative,Alma-Ata UMVD,1947 Catch-Up
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

For Labour Distinction,40660,Chairman Of Collective Farm "Namuna",Namangan Oblast
For Labour Valour,U/N 1949,Head Teacher,Primary Classes,High School #157,Leningrad
A Medal "For Impeccable Service" to someone working on the Soviet Space Shuttle Programme isn't too bad either.

There were also a couple of Soviet items that are as yet "numb" but still deserve a mention. An October Revolution I was gifted for my birthday and the ZOT Badge that I've always thought was one of the best designed of Soviet Awards.

There's also been quite a few new Mongolian, Armenian and NKR items posted in the last year (which can be found in their own sub-forums, as there's far too much to list) but a few items that stick out to me are Military Merit Order #6966, Polar Star #1646, Polar Star #19838 and the exceptional "For The Liberation Of Shushi" Medal.

There was also a nice pair of Russian Federation that turned up; Honorary Sports Title "Meritorious Master Of Sport Of Russia" & Sports Title "Master Of Sport Of Russia International Class".

Not the rarest RF items but the pieces to 1st Lieutenant Clotilde Mary Govoni Kaluta, 8th USAAF, Operation Frantic are something else.

There have been plenty of other bits posted to many areas of the forum, all adding to the collected information available to reference. Of those multitudes of items the ones that stick out most are the 80 years after the fact award, a gift from the Chinese People and a group that keeps growing.
I still have a vast backlog of items to scan/photograph/post, which is still growing rather than shrinking. Every year I think I am going to be able to make major progress on it and every year I fail. We'll have to see what 2020 brings.

As I mentioned, I haven't been fully focussed on only the sphere of the forum and I've been acquiring and researching more awards from across the British Empire.

Being as unrelenting as 2019 was, I was also elected to the board of the local coin club, so as an active ember of that, I've also tried to obtain items of interest to the other members.

Photo #1, Some of the 2019 arrival British Empire pieces.
Row One;
Sutlej Medal With Ferozeshuhur Clasp, 31st Foot. This was originally displayed at the world renowned Military And Naval Exhibition, 130 years ago.

Baltic Medal, Royal Marine Artillery.

Crimea Medal With Alma, Balaklava And Sebastopol Clasps, awarded to a Private of the 42nd who was killed in action with it on his chest during the Indian Mutiny.

Crimea Medal With Sebastopol Clasp, 18th Foot.

China Medal With Taku Forts 1860 Clasp to 31st Foot.

Pair of Canada General Service Medal With Fenian Raid 1870 Clasp and Army Long Service And Good Conduct Medal to a RA Gunner.

Afghanistan Medal With Ali Musjid Clasp, 81st Foot.

Afghanistan Medal, 15th Foot, not issued until 12th October 1938, when the recipient was in his 80's.

Afghanistan Medal, 72nd Highlanders, issued 13th September 1919 - without his clasps as the mint had run out.

India General Service Medal With Samana 1891 Clasp to a Hospital Assistant.

India General Service Medal In Silver With Waziristan 1901-1902 to the Bugler of the 17th Infantry - the unit that was ambushed, triggering the campaign.

Four 1915 Stars, Three to Indians, One Royal Field Artillery.

Row Two;
Group of five plus dogtag to a child soldier of the Boer War and Old Contemptible; Queen's South Africa Medal With Cape Colony And Orange Free State Clasps, King's South Africa Medal With South Africa 1901 And South Africa 1902 Clasps, 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. As a Royal Norfolk he went to South Africa at 16 and as a member of the 3rd Hussars he landed in France on 15th August 1914. He never claimed his Clasp.

A South African World War One Trio to a Mounted Medic. 1915 Star, British War Medal, South African War Medal. He died in service in January 1943, one of the 11,023 SA casualties of the Second World War.

Group of five to a British Veteran of the German East Africa Campaign, Canadian Legion Post Commander and Gold Star Father of a Medal Of Honor Recipient. Gold Star Lapel Button, 1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Canadian Legion Badge Past Commander. This is a unique find. I have photographs of him and his wife receiving the Medal Of Honor from the Secretary Of The Navy. The first posthumous Navy Medal Of Honor of the Korean War.

British War Medal to a member of the Royal Scots who emigrated to the USA, lots of documents/pictures.

British War Medal to a Woman who served in France, with surviving service records. Only 7,000 British women served in France.

British War Medal to a KIA British Officer.

Victory Medal, one of only 124 awarded to an African-American. The leader of the "naughty boys" of the 2nd Construction Battalion. Vast amount of research. Deserted on the first day of action, 6 pages of disciplinary action taken.

Meritorious Service Medal, RASC for service in Italy.

Row Three - All to family members;

British War Medal, only allowance, RA in India.

British War Medal, only allowance, YMCA, voluntarily went to the trenches in his late 40's.

British War Medal, RFA, wounded in action, prisoner of war, interviewed by the BBC for "The Great War" in 1964. He was originally entitled to a trio but he forfeited his other two after charges in 1919 and 1920.

British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Plaque, Officer of the East Lancs, professional rugby player. missing presumed killed in action at the age of 21 at the Somme. Spent only 16 days alive in France. Body found two years later.

Trio to his Sister, Serving Sister Of The Order Of St. John, Service Medal Of The Order Of St. John, Defence Medal (Also awarded the MBE but that is not at hand). Most decorated resident of Hull during its Blitz (the most severely damaged city in Britain with 1,200 fatalities and 3,000 wounded). Head of the emergency hospital, which continued to operate even whilst being bombed.

Pair to a Police Sergeant, Defence Medal and Police Long Service And Good Conduct Medal. These Medals were only worn as a pair once, during the Queen's first review of police forces in 1954. The Sergeant dropped dead during the review.

Row four;
British War Medal and Victory Medal, official replacements to an English born Canadian soldier. Documents prove his widow was issued replacements 23 years after his death (from prolonged complications after Spanish Flu).

British War Medal and Victory Medal to a Yorkshire born Canadian Soldier. Blown to pieces in August 1918 but survived.

British War Medal and Victory Medal to a Canadian Original, signed up August 1914 and landed in England November 1914, discharged due to ill health in 1916, returned home and re-enlisted. Was not issued the 1915 Star.

British War Medal to a Canadian Officer.

India General Service Medal With North West Frontier 1930-31 Clasp to a Carpenter of the IASC.

General Service Medal With S. Persia Clasp to a Private of Coke's Rifles.

Five Medal Group to the only Wakefield recipient of the Vietnam Medal. United Nations Service Medal With Korea Clasp, 1954 General Service Medal With Malaya Clasp, 1962 General Service Medal With Malay Peninsula (Australian Army), Vietnam Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal With 1960- Clasp. The recipient joined the British Army along with his twin brother (who died in service) and after tours in Korea, Malaya and training as a Paratrooper, joined the Australian Army and did a tour of Malaysia and Vietnam (including an airborne drop with South Vietnamese forces). After returning from Vietnam he returned to Britain and rejoined the British Army. The group comes with all his identifications, badges, uniforms, hundreds of photographs and other personal items.

Photo #2,
Set of all four portable devices issued for the King's Commendation For Bravery with original paperwork, for bravery during the attempted rescue of the tail-gunner of a crashed plane in 1940. The plane crashed into a building I am very familiar with.

Photo #3,
Some bits away from awards. A piece of world famous "plate money" and local National Currency banknotes. Many of the small banks around here don't have many surviving pieces.

So many other pieces I just don't have time to show. I've been trying to research everything too, so all these British Empire awards have some level of research to them. Too many coins to count, but this really isn't a numismatic forum.

Who knows what 2020 will bring?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back over 2012 it has been a busy year (aren't all modern industrialised, mass communication, informative years?).
The year began with the new leader in the DPRK and with the "changing of the guard" came a great fluctuation in the supplies of DPRK items. I took advantage of the wave of items hitting the market and bought up items by the bucket. So much so in fact, that storing them has become a concern. This took up quite a good bit of my attention as a buyer for the first part of the year. Many of the items acquired during this period can be found in the DPRK area Democratic People's Republic Of Korea - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.
Half way through the year my purchases were more focused towards Bulgaria, with the main focus on documented Badges. These items are common on the market, cheap and generally overlooked so I managed to harvest a great deal of them. Many of them can now be found here: Bulgarian Badges - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.
In the latter part of this year I have focused more towards the PMR, some of which have been posted in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum section.
Throughout the year I have also been very lucky in being able to acquire hundreds of items on the forum marketplace, most of which are yet to be presented to the forum but will be in due course (as will everything else not already presented).
There has also been the usual array of Russian Federation commemoratives (Ministerial and Organisational) that I have been snapping up as I've found them - Ministerial Awards - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.

For me the favourite item that has entered the collection in 2012 is Title Of Distinction "Honoured Worker Of Rail Transport".. Which was gifted to me for helping someone out of a very tight situation.
I can't complain about rising prices as not only have many prices levelled out but there are lots of bargains out there for those willing to look. Many of the items I have purchased this year have been so cheap as not to be believed so I won't bother going into details on prices of particular items. You can still get a lot of items for under $5 and as Tommy proves, you can start collecting even "this late in the game" and get a fine (almost "instant") collection.

2012 has seen a truly vast number of posts and many previously uncovered awards are now covered in great detail. It really has been a bumper year for the forum, even though it is still under "refurbishment". I have had dozens of complimentary messages about the new "Sleeker", "Tidy", "More Descriptive" subforums and threads. Work is far from over due to the fact that there are just so many posts, all user generated, to sort through. Threads should now look more "focused" and be easier to find and understand.
2012 saw the "Soviet Bloc" subforum really burst into life and the number of "hits" has soared even though the renovation is not yet complete.
The "Medals" and "Orders" sections have been arranged so now each award has only a single thread pertaining to it and not a sea of strangely titled threads that are confusing to navigate.
The "Researchers' Corner" has not only gained the heavily used "Researched Groups" section but the Researched Orders, Medals and Titles sections have all had their threads named uniformly as to ease navigation. The number of researched awards presented in 2012 is truly amazing. This is in no small part due to the gigantic efforts at Общедоступный электронный банк документов 'Подвиг народа' (Podvig Naroda). The Russian state site which is also far from complete in its own task. If you need help using the site - How to use
As well as Military awards being researchable new avenues were opened on the research of Labour awards in 2012.

That's just a few "bits" of 2012.

As for 2013, As a collector I hope to continue hoarding items and presenting them to the forum. I have absolutely no idea what items or deals will present themselves to me but it is going to be fun finding out. I know that I will be posting a great number of previously unseen items, researched awards and groups, lots of takes on items already seen and many other things - maybe some more "how to" guides.
The forum will continue to be renovated (and hopefully come to completion) in 2013. Resulting in easier access for all and hopefully focussed discussion of all the items and topics presented. The renovations take a considerable amount of man hours and are often done in fragments so continue to hold steady as work is ongoing. The results will be worth the transition.
2013 is also looking like the greatest year for research ever!

There will be new members, there will be old members, we will all be travelling in the same direction, forward.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Well my Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and anyone else out there,
Firstly I wish you all God Jul (or the Merriest Yuletide in English)

2013 certainly has been fruitful! It really was the greatest year for research. More research has been presented on the forum in the last year than in all ten preceding it. Soviet wartime and 1985 military awards due to the glorious Russian Federation's state website "Podvig Naroda". Soviet Labour awards due to the digitalisation of decree information. Although it is still very much in its infancy has really started to open up research possibilities.
Incredibly 2013 also opened up research into Bulgarian awards, both Military and Labour. So far this has only been seen in the posting of the research on the "star item" of 2012 but this is just the beginning.

The forum has been expanded as predicted. New sub-sections and thousands of posts. September 2013 was the busiest month in forum history. More people were enjoying more information than ever before. A very encouraging feat indeed. The active participants of the forum can be very proud of themselves.

Renovations continue to be ongoing. Most of which are to ease navigation. The Badges section went through a full renovation which is about 95% complete. The Uniforms/Insignia section has new sub-sections into which threads are slowly flowing. The Researchers' Corner has experienced not only a tidying but the addition of every single original citation possible, which is approximately 80% complete. Some extraordinary stories have been found or updated and added to. One of my personal favourite tales was one of a Hydrographer in the Baltic Fleet.

2013 has also seen the deaths of forum participants which is always a sad event but there have also been far more positive departures, which certainly hasn't discouraged new users joining and contributing in a positive fashion.

As a collector, in 2013 I have not been slowing down in the hoarding, with over 1000 more awards entering the collection. One of the greatest groups being presented here - Dvali, Vikentij Nikolaevich, Guards Senior Sergeant, Combat Sanitary Instructor.
I have been continuing to focus very heavily on Bulgarian awards but awards from almost everywhere have been trickling in. Many have been posted, many have yet to be posted and some are outside the sphere of this forum (A reunion of awards to a Medal Of Honor recipient for example).
A large portion of the year has been used to archive and catalogue the collection to make future reference easier. A physical task I do not see being completed until at least 2015 (even if there are no new arrivals). When that task is completed I will report the story of the "journey".

2013's not over yet so I don't know how final I can be, I'm always prepared for a surprise!

So what about 2014? I see 2014 in just a positive light as I saw 2013. There will be ever more research, new items, new forum subsections are to be added and I believe there will be a change to the opening of new forum memberships that should make joining easier and quicker than ever before. The renovations to the forum should hopefully complete and give way to expansions in many sections.
I also see lots of information and assistance for those seeking it.

Personally, I hope to present a mind-boggling amount of researched Bulgarian awards and award groups as well as various awards from areas covered here. I do have a bit of a secret project I'm working on very quietly that I hope to unleash onto the forum in 2014. Time will tell. Unfortunately there are so many things that are ongoing and to present that I doubt I will be able to get round to posting any uniforms or field gear until 2015 at the very earliest (If I'm still alive that is!).

Once again I would like to thank and offer encouragement to all positively participating forum members. The items, information and community you present here is thoroughly enjoyed by so many today and tomorrow that it makes it all so important.

For any "quiet" or "new" members or those reading this that have not yet become a member I say there is no wrong time to join the discussion and presentation of information here. Members who have been here for a decade or a day welcome new items and information from contributors old and new.

I wish for everyone a fruitful 2014.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Originally Posted by CtahhR View Post

As a collector, in 2013 I have not been slowing down in the hoarding, with over 1000 more awards entering the collection.
2013's not over yet so I don't know how final I can be, I'm always prepared for a surprise!
CtahhR, but you have the bank account in Fort Knox?

I, in 2013, I took some RS and OPW2, three ORB, and a great Nevsky.
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