A Tale of Two Medals


I live in Adelaide and detect mostly for lost coins (I like to call it recycling money) jewellery and relics. I’m hooked on uncovering history in whatever form it takes so that is as good a place as any to start my story.

Last year I was detecting with my Minelab X-terra70 on the perimeter of a suburban oval and had picked up a few modern coins and a couple of pre-decimals before locking on to a strong and solid signal underneath a large shade tree. The target turned out to be a World War II medal about eight inches down in the soft earth.The medal was cupro-nickel and extremely dirty and stained and took a lot of soaking and hand cleaning to bring it up to a half presentable condition.

It was a British War Medal 1939-1945, sometimes dubbed the World War II Victory Medal. To be awarded one you had to have served in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between September 3rd, 1939, and September 2nd, 1945. Merchant Navy personnel had to have served all that time at sea.The particular medal in my possession had the soldier’s name and serial number engraved on the rim and medals that identified the recipient were only awarded to South African and Australian Armed Forces along with the Canadian Merchant Marine and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The full article can be found in the November 2010 issue of Gold Gem and Treasure. Subscribe now.

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