Tag Archives: research

An Interesting Day

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.

In a world where the word “hero” is often used rather loosely it is good to see it used properly

I love my job, and I do enjoy the research, but there are some terribly sad stories out there.

Travellers’ Tales and an Auction Result

Number Two son is in Toronto, has already arranged his national insurance number and is on the track of a job. This is all good to hear.

Number One son, meanwhile, is somewhere down south preparing to take a flight on Saturday. When he gets there he will be spending the first ten days travelling round in a camper van.

Ah, the carefree days of youth.

Julia had to wake me up the other day when she left me in the car whilst shopping, but it’s not the same thing as camping.

Most of the day was spent researching medals to go on eBay. I found a couple of interesting stories, which I’m writing up.

The Genghis Khan coin sold for £16. It’s cheap for 800 years of history and a link to one of the most famous names in history. But, on the other hand, it’s expensive for a piece of dust-gathering junk. It’s just a question of perspective.

When Things Go Wrong…

Have you ever noticed that when something goes wrong, more problems follow? Say, for instance, that you fall asleep in front of the TV and wake up with just thirty posting minutes before midnight, the computer seems to slow down and photos refuse to load.

Well, that’s the sort of night I’m currently having.

I’m posting now, then I’m going back to write the rest of the post and add photos, so if you’ve read so far and there is nothing more to read you may want to come back in twenty minutes.

I started off with a blood test, arriving at 7.20 to find a longer queue than usual and a notive on the wall telling me that the average wait last month was 12 minutes. This is three minutes (or 25%) longer than the nine minutes claimed last time. Or 33% depending which number you start with – I’ve never quite understood which is the right way round. It didn’t matter, because the actual wait was over twenty minutes.

It seemed longer because I’d forgotten my glasses. I’ve broken two sets recently and the situation regarding spares is getting tricky. As in, I have no spares. The current position is that I have misplaced two sets and broken two, which just leaves me with one set – the ones that make me look like Clark Kent.

OK, I look like Clark Kent in an alternative universe where he looks like a well-worn version of Santa Claus, but the glasses are similar.

I’m now waiting for the results.

We had a reasonably active day, with twelve parcels after which I visited friends and went home early to do a few jobs. These included drinking tea, watching Pointless and doing a little light snoozing.

I also started listing my collection of Peace and Tribute medals from the Great War as I’m doing a talk on them for the Numismatic Society next year. Yes, 2020, a year after the centenary of the Peace Celebrations in 2019. I have a gift for timing.


Huddersfield Peace Medal.

I’m gathering information at the moment, which is where I’ve been all night – head stuck in the internet looking for interesting anecdotes about Peace Medals. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for next year as I don’t want to use all my material in advance of the big day.

Did I mention that I don’t like public speaking? My aversion to public speaking is greater than my combined aversion to working, spending money or eating salad. Yes, I’d rather work as a buyer in a salad factory than give a talk. The only thing that outweighs this is my vanity.

There are basically two types of medal that come under the Peace Medal banner – the cheap white metal ones given out to children as part of the Peace Day Celebration and the better quality ones given to returning servicemen to thank them for their service.

I mentioned in a previous post that things did not go well at all Peace Day Celebrations. The ones in Luton, for instance, went spectacularly wrong.

Here are two examples of the different sorts of medal.. They are all larger than life size.

Plymouth Peace Medal for School children.


Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal

Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal in silver and enamel. Note that the town gave rise to a famous surname, and the coat of arms was used, according to informed conjecture, to have been used in the design of the Stars and Stripes.