Tonight, I beat an Oxford College on University Challenge. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was one of the proper old ones. They had a shocker tonight and managed to get down to zero after interrupting with wrong answers several times. I, on the other hand, hit a good run of questions and my one aging brain defeated the four fresh young brains. It was a moment to treasure. Pardon my glee, but some nights I watch it I don’t even understand the questions. I didn’t actually understand them all tonight, to be honest.
We had a good day in the shop and bought in a nice modern collection. It has some very rare coins in it. This is unusual, because despite what you may read in the papers or on the internet, there are not many rare modern coins. The seller walked out with slightly surprised expression. It’s always nice when you can surprise someone with more money than they were expecting.
I continued my research on the silver prize medallion we found in one of the trays. It had been there for years – a prize for the Mediterranean Fleet Water Polo Championships in 1934. IT is named on the edge and I have been able to put together an interesting, though sad, story. The officer in question was decorated with the DSC for his part in the Battle of Narvik, serving aboard HMS Havock. The battle took place in the middle of a snow storm and the leader, Captain Warburton-Lee, was awarded the first VC of the war. Lieutenant Bruce, the recipient of the water polo medal, would go on to gain three Mentions in Despatches, the final one being posthumous when HMS Somali broke up whilst under tow after a torpedo attack whilst escorting a convoy to Murmansk. According to a newspaper report he refused rescue until his men had been taken off the life raft he was on, and died when his raft capsized.
I love my job, and I do enjoy the research, but there are some terribly sad stories out there.