Terminology Question

Discussion in 'Militaria' started by Silver, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Silver

    Silver Active Member

    Good Day

    When Queen Victoria issued an award, such as Distinguished Service Order, the recipient received a document signed by the Secretary of State at its foot and endorsed in the top margin with the Queen's signature. (A strange way of doing things, but that is how it was.) My question is - are these documents collectable; and what are they called?

    Informed information would be appreciated.
  2. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    The document will be collectable if it accompanies the medal or order.

    Likewise it will enhance the provenance of the medal.

    When I have seen medals advertised at auction it usually says with papers or paper work.
    I don't know if there is a specific word for the signed document.

    I collect medals, Crimea, Boer War, WWI, WWII, very few of them come with the original papers.

    I don't have a Victorian DSO but have the next best ones from a later period.


    I do have a few WWI & WWII medals with papers and boxes of issue, so I keep them together.
  3. Silver

    Silver Active Member

    Thank you for this information. I have the paperwork for a DSO which I discovered in a bundle of other papers I acquired years ago, no family connection. But it gives me a certain pleasure to have in my hand a document that Queen Victoria herself handled, albeit very briefly. Given her romantic nature perhaps she lingered a little longer thinking of the exploits of these daring young men. So I am surprised they are not more sought after in their own right.

    I see you have two Boer war medals there. I have one, from my Great Grandfather, that is similar to the one on the right, except the bars on the ribbon differ. I know it's a digression from my original question, but could you tell me something about it? Also, I like to keep silver polished but I gather it is a big no with medals - how does one clean them? image.jpeg image.jpeg
  4. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    They are a beautiful designed medal, I have quite a few. some with many bars.

    The bars are for each battle the recipient fought in, rather than issue a fresh medal a bar was added.

    Your grandfathers name rank and number along with his regiment should be engraved around the edge.

    Medals should not be polished with silver polish just like coins it scratches the surfaces

    What I use is household amonia on a Qtip and gently wipe the surface, it restores the shine and causes no abrasions.
    (only on silver, not brass or other metals).

    Here are some of mine, only one has been bought at auction.

    Quite a few battle bars.

    This guy fought in the Boer War and WWI medio-vert.jpg



    My only auction purchase because the recipient was a distant ancestor aboard HMS Trafalgar at the siege of Sevastopol.

    Pegasus52 likes this.
  5. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    Here is just a few more from my collection.

    WWI & WWII and general service and some of my own



    My Dads WWII set

    Pegasus52 likes this.
  6. Silver

    Silver Active Member

    Your family have seen a lot of active military service!

    The medal that includes a bar for the seige of Kimberley has an amazing number of bars. My paternal Grandmother was a small child in Kimberley during the seige and, with other children, was lowered down the Big Hole in a basket as a form of protection. (I think those cables that one sees criss-crossing the mine had gondolas hanging from them constructed like baskets).

    My father served in WW2 as a young man in his early twenties with the Kimberley/Imperial Light Horse regiment in North Africa and Italy.

    Thank you for all your information.
    daveydempsey likes this.
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