30 August 2011

The shape of things to come?



Currently up for grabs on eBay is this "box of 50 loose medals", all from the Leeds Rifles Museum and all now being disposed of as unclaimed and surplus to requirements, "by resolution of the Leeds Rifles trustees". The lot comprises:

two Volunteer Force LSGC medals, six King George V TEMs, one King George VI TEM, one King George VI Coronation Medal, one King George V Special Constabulary Medal, two King George VI 1939-1945 War Medals, ten 1914-15 Stars, fourteen 1914-18 BWMs, thirteen 1914-18 Victory Medals.

Some groups are included in the above and the majority, but not all of the items, were issued to men of the Leeds Rifles. If you want to bid on them, here's the link: Item number: 190569377638.

As Local Authority budgets continue to be squeezed, can we expect to see more museums and archives clearing out stock that is surplus to requirements? I know for a fact that some archives are awash with unwanted medals which will never see the light of day, the majority of these donated by well-meaning descendants of the recipients.

2 comments:

Brett Payne said...

I understand their predicament, but I find this very, very sad. Without wanting to get into the whole emotive issue of buying/selling/collecting medals, I would have thought there would be a more inventive way to display or deal with these "unwanted/surplus/ordinary" medals. How about something like a memorial wall in a safe location at the museum? Hundreds - perhaps thousands - of medals, side by side, packed tight, each perhaps with a tiny plaque denoting who it was awarded to. Now wouldn't that be impressive, and more in keeping with the wishes of the families of the original recipients?

Paul Nixon said...

I have mixed feelings to be honest, Brett. On the one hand it would be nice to think that the museum could display the medals that have been donated. On the other hand, one would hope that a collector (rather than an investor) would cherish the medals. I have to say that I think the trustees could have demonstrated a little more sensitivity and at least noted the men's names on the eBay sale page. It really does give the impression that they want rid of these asap.