OMRS News

15, August, 2018

Speaker: Major John Monn

Norway’s Royal Orders and Second World War Medals

John Monn will draw parallels from Norway’s history to the Royal orders. During and after WWII Norway introduced seven different medals for bravery and war service, many were awarded to British service personnel as well as civilians. All these medals will be presented and will be shown in groups as awarded to British subjects.

Speaker: Air Commodore Graham R Pitchfork MBE, BA, FRAeS, President OMRS

Evolution and Creation of the Royal Air Force

The talk will trace the early days of military air activities leading to the creation of an Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, which, in turn, led to the formation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps later amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force.

Speaker: Paul Evans, Army Museum’s Ogilby Trust (AMOT)

Curator for the Suffolk Regiment Museum and Historical Projects Officer, and late librarian of the Royal Artillery Library, Woolwich, will talk about his last twenty years in the MOD archives and the next twenty working for Army Museums Ogilby Trust.

The presentation will include:

Closing MOD Hayes – the dispersal of regimental collections

Opening MOD Glasgow – digital search aids

Orphaned collections – Army Medal Office Merchant Navy Cards, WFA pension cards

Regimental digitisation – FMP versus Ancestry or going it alone?

RA experience versus RLC

Outsourcing – Suffolk Regiment experience

AMOT curatorial scheme – protecting collections

AMOTs LIBOR-funded Great War Project: FANY

1, August, 2018

Members are reminded subscriptions are now due. Please make sure you renew your membership before the end of August to ensure continued benefits of membership including the receipt of the September Journal. Members who have queries about their membership should contact the Membership Secretary using the subject Membership.

19, January, 2018

Bookings for this year's Convention continue to build and have been especially strong for the Friday Evening Welcome reception, which in the last two years has really established itself as the kick-off event for the weekend. Once again, the Annual Dinner is proving to be the highlight of the weekend's social activities with numbers expected to be similar or greater than last year's.

The guaranteed preferential rate for accommodation has now expired but, subject to availability, the Crowne Plaza has agreed to maintain the preferential rate. Members should look at the Accommodation section of the website for how to obtain the preferential rate which can only be booked directly with the hotel. See the Convention web pages for the most up to date information on accommodation and other Convention news.

8, January, 2018
‘By Order Of Her Majesty’ The Crimea Medal - Cover Image

The Society is pleased to announce the continued avaliability of ‘By Order Of Her Majesty’ The Crimea Medal by Tony Martin, William Pickering and Arthur Satterley.

The Crimea Medal radically changed the entire process of both the manufacture and distribution of campaign medals forever. Awarding such medals in bulk was a relatively new concept anyway, but pressure from Queen Victoria to issue this one while the campaign in the Crimea was still being fought placed huge strains on those responsible for ensuring that soldiers and sailors received recognition. In the process this created problems for collectors which continue to this day because so many medals were issued unnamed. This fascinating study by a team of three authors looks at the institution of the medal and its clasps, the monarch’s influence, the manufacturing process and includes a detailed look at the naming – both official and unofficial – of the medal. It is the most comprehensive study of its kind ever undertaken and is a must for medal collectors and for anyone who is interested in the Crimean War. 

The hard back edition of this book has now sold out, so we have decided to make the book available as a paperback through the print-on-demand service Lulu.com, see here. Please note that the link will take you away from our website and you will need to order the book directly from Lulu.com.

20, September, 2017

The September edition of the OMRS Journal will be available soon. Members must ensure their email and/or postal address details are up to date in order to receive it.

To check your membership details log into the Members' Area, or if you have forgotten your details contact the Membership Secretary at Membership on the Contact page.

20, September, 2017

Convention exhibition breaks records in both quantity and quality - Head Judge Dr Richard Emsley said 'the judges knew they had their work cut out based on the increase in numbers, but when we saw the quality we knew we were going to have tough day. When you see a top class exhibit, doing justice to the effort put in weighs heavily on the whole judging team'.

The quality of the exhibis showed through with 13 out of 29 competitive exhibits being awarded gold medals.

The Best in Show award went to Mark Collins (pictured above receiving his trophy from OMRS President, Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork) – better known in the medal collecting fraternity as ‘Taff’ - for his superbly researched exhibit ‘Long Service & Good Conduct Medals to the 41st (The Welsh) Regiment 1830-1881’. For this he had compiled a nominal roll of recipients with biographies and medal entitlements.

The best first-time exhibitor was Meurig Jones with ‘British Empire Casualties of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902’.

Members attending the Convention selected Alan Seldon’s ‘Executed as British Spies in World War One’ for the members' Choice Award. This superb exhibition about Belgians executed by the Germans for working for the British between 1914 and 1918 exemplified the high standard of research on show this year.

But probably the biggest cheer of the day was for the announcement that Lionel Digby, who has exhibited at every Convention since the event was founded in 1978, had won his first-ever Gold Medal. ‘The Moonlight Charge’ featured medals and militaria from his magnificent Household Cavalry collection.

A full listing of exhibits and results will follow.

20, September, 2017
Exhibition Area 2017 Convention

“An excellent Convention which must rank as one of the very best yet” OMRS President, Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE sums up the 2017 OMRS annual Convention. 

The huge 30 per cent increase in attendance recorded last year when the Convention moved out of London for the first time to Stratford-upon-Avon was maintained this year. Despite 2016 being a tough act to follow, overall attendance went up from 415 to 427 with people coming from around the world. In 2015 – the final year in the capital – the number had dropped to 325.

The Convention began with a reception for members and guests – a new event – at the hotel on Friday evening. This proved extremely popular with 86 people attending and many of them continued their discussions in the hotel bar or nearby restaurants. It helped create a buzz that lasted throughout the weekend.

The increase in the number and quality of exhibitions on the Saturday was immediately apparent. The overall number of exhibits went up by 17.5 per cent to 40. The vast majority of these – 35 – were staged by Society members, an increase of 20.5 per cent. Only a few years ago the tradition of exhibiting at the OMRS Convention appeared to be in terminal decline, but has since recovered due to the introduction of the new format and standardised exhibiting criteria.

Speakers at this year’s Convention were David Langrish, Head of Public History at The National Archives, on ‘Commemorating Conscription: Papers of the Middlesex Military Service Appeal’, Gurinder Singh Mann, Director of the Sikh Museum Initiative, on ‘Anglo-Sikh Wars: A Journey into Sikh Relics and Artefacts in the UK’, and James Davies from the Ministry of Defence Medals Office, on ‘Honouring History and Inspiring the Future.’

The dinner on Saturday night proved popular with 111 attending.

At the Sunday Medal Fair the number of dealers increased slightly from 29 to 30 despite the withdrawal of three regulars who wanted to come but were unable to get to the event.

29, August, 2017

The Honours and Awards Sub-Committee is accepting proposals from members to honour members who have made a significant contribution to the Society and to realising its aims.

Following a major review in 2016 of the Society's honours system, the Society now has three honours: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Commendation Medal.  Nominations for all the awards may be made by any member in good standing.  Such nominations must be seconded by two other members and accompanied by a statement of the nominee’s service.  All nominations are considered by the Honours sub-committee, which meets annually in July.

The Distinguished Service Medal shall be awarded only to those who have been in membership for a period of not normally less than 15 years, and who have a record of distinguished and voluntary service to the Society.

The Meritorious Service Medal may be awarded to members and non-members for highly meritorious service to the Objects of the Society.

The Commendation Medal may be awarded to members and non-members for meritorious service to the Objects of the Society.

The Honours sub-committee:

The Honours sub-committee may recommend up to three Gold Medals and six Awards of Merit in anyone year. Award nominations may be submitted at any time, but the cut-off date for awards to be made at Convention is 31st May. Nominations should be sent direct to the President, who chairs the Honours sub-committee.  For further information see By-Law No. 2.

 

5, July, 2017

Speakers for Convention 2017 Announced. The speakers will be:

James Davies - The Ministry of Defence Medal Office – Honouring History and Inspiring the Future;

David Langrish - Commemorating Conscription: Papers of the Middlesex Military Service Appeal Tribunal.

Gurinder Singh Mann - Anglo-Sikh Wars; a Journey into Sikh Relics and Artefacts in the UK.

Full details of the speakers and their presentations available here.

4, June, 2017

OMRS 2017 Convention returned to Stratford upon Avon for another superb weekend of medal-related activities. The Convention began with a reception for members and guests – a new event – at the hotel on Friday evening. This proved extremely popular with 86 people attending and many of them continued their discussions in the hotel bar or nearby restaurants. It helped create a buzz that lasted throughout the weekend.

As well as the exhibition, Saturday saw three high quality presentations from David Langrish, Head of Public History at The National Archives, on ‘Commemorating Conscription: Papers of the Middlesex Military Service Appeal’, Gurinder Singh Mann, Director of the Sikh Museum Initiative, on ‘Anglo-Sikh Wars: A Journey into Sikh Relics and Artefacts in the UK’, and James Davies from the Ministry of Defence Medals Office, on ‘Honouring History and Inspiring the Future.’

The dinner on Saturday night proved popular with 111 attending and discussions continuing into the wee small hours.

At the Sunday Medal Fair the number of dealers increased slightly from 29 to 30 despite the withdrawal of three regulars who wanted to come but were unable to get to the event.

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