We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2019 Annual Convention.
Key information about the Convention programme is on this page and about how to get to Convention is on the Travel page.
The main hotel for the 2019 Convention will be the Crowne Plaza Nottingham. In a change to last years arrangements, the Friday evening Welcome Reception will be held at the Crowne Plaza and Saturday's Annual Dinner will be held at the Nottingham Conference Centre.
The OMRS registration desk will be located in The Arcade area of the hotel and will be open from 19:30-20:30 on Friday 13th September.
Registration will take place in the main entrance of the Nottingham Conference Centre from 08:00 on Saturday 14th and from 07:00 on Sunday 15th September.
Friday 13th September
Early Registration and Welcome Reception on Friday 13th September at 7.30pm.
All Members are cordially invited to collect their Convention Badges from the OMRS registration desk in the Arcade area of the hotel on Friday evening between 19:30-20:30. If you have booked to attend the Welcome Reception Members should collect their complimentary drinks vouchers when they register. Members who have not registered for the Welcome Reception are welcome to join everyone in the adjacent bar.
Name badges will be available for collection at either the Welcome Reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday, or at the Convention registration on Saturday and must be worn at all times. For your own security and that of other attendees, anyone without a name badge will not be allowed to enter the hall. Our usual security team will enforce this with their usual mixture tact and diplomacy.
Saturday 14th September
There are two key parts to Saturday’s programme: the Programme of Presentations and the Exhibition.
This year the venue will again be the Nottingham Conference Centre. The venue will be open to exhibitors from 07:30 to allow them to set up their displays and is open to members from 10:00. The formal opening of the 2019 Convention and the first presentation will take place at 10:30am.
The Society is pleased to announce this year's speakers:
10:30 am - Paul Handford MBE
Paul, an OMRS member and Convention regular will present 'Mr Herbert Mowle Kendall – a journey of research with a unique outcome'.
The talk will take the audience from when Paul purchased a group of medals to a British civilian volunteer ambulance driver working on the French Front during WW1 through the journey of research utilising French war diaries, International Red Cross Prisoner of War Records, on-line ancestor records etc., the research supported the documents that accompanied the medal group and suggested Mr Kendal had been killed in action in May 1918 but his death had not been recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Mr Kendal had been forgotten.
Paul served for 30 years in the West Midlands Police during which time he helped to establish and develop the National Neighbourhood Policing Programme and in 2006 his work was recognized in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list when he was made a Member of the British Empire, “for services to policing”. Since retiring in 2006, Paul was able to focus more on his passion, the research and medal collecting to British civilian volunteer ambulance drivers and units during WW1.
Paul also enjoys presenting talks on the subject to various history groups and organisations up and down the country and has supported two exhibitions in Ypres, Belgium, where medals from his personal collection and other related items were exhibited.
3:00 pm - Mark Reid CD
Mark Reid is well-known to OMRS members. He has had two books published by the Society: The Army of the Khedive and Ottoman Campaign Medals. He has spoken previously at Convention and was an exhibition judge for a number of years. His interest in medals started when we was given an ancestor’s medal on his 10th birthday and continued to be influenced by his time in the Naval Reserve and the local Militia regiment. Mark spent more than 22-years working at The Canadian War Museum, before retiring in 2006.
Mark will present: Soldier & Sailor; Researching Canadians of the Great War. In his presentation, he will share information on how to research Soldiers, Sailors, Nursing Sisters and Air Force personnel who served in the Canadian Forces during 1914-18. The talk will comprise of four case studies and will focus on what research can be found at the national archives as well as other Canadian and overseas sources.
Accompanying Partners Trip
Due to the increasing number of partners who now accompanying Members to Convention, they have become an increasingly important part of the Convention weekend. In recognition of this, this year the Society will, subject to minimum numbers being achieved, host the first Accompanying Partner's Trip on Saturday 14th September - which will be a visit to the magnificent Chatsworth House in the beautiful Derbyshire Dales. For more details see the main Annual Convention page.
The Exhibition of Members’ Displays is arguably the most important part of the Convention, as this is where members have the greatest opportunity to learn from each other and to discuss research in depth and in detail. During the course of the day there will be many animated discussions around the exhibition tables.
Displays by members can focus on many groups, family stories, a single medal or even just a ribbon, yet each manages to entertain and inform. If there is one single reason to go along to Convention, it is to see the exhibitor displays and share in their collection.
This year, exhibits will be shown in each of the following categories:
- Open Class
- Single Class (Group or single medal to one person)
- Research Project
- Non-Competitive exhibit
In the competitive classes, gold, silver and bronze awards will be made based on the Society’s judges’ assessment of the exhibit. Awards will also be made for Best in Show and for Best First Time Exhibitor.
In addition, to the formally judged classes, the Members’ Choice Award, for the exhibit considered by the membership to be the best exhibit will be awarded. The criteria for this much covetted award is simple: vote for the exhibit that you consider the best. Don’t forget to collect your voting slip on the day!
There will also be the opportunity to bring your queries and seek advice from organisations including:
- The Great War in Africa Association
- The Suffolk Regimental Museum & the Army Museum Ogilby Trust
- The Household Cavalry Museum
- The Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum
- The Military Heraldry Society
Speak with leading experts: A number of respected Society Members have offered their services to be available for consultation on a variety of wide-ranging subjects.
There is a dedicated tea and coffee station set up in the Atrium area where you will be able to purchase tea and coffee. Soup and sandwiches will also be available to purchase during the lunch break.
Presentation of Society Awards
At 4pm Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE, the Society’s President, will make the awards for the Members’ Exhibits and this will be followed by the announcement of the annual Society’s Honours.
The informal Annual Dinner will once again be held on Saturday, 7 pm for 7.30 pm, in the Old Library, Nottingham Conference Centre. The Dinner is always a truly international affair as every table is an eclectic mix of British and overseas members so in addition to having a good meal with fine wines, provided by one of our generous sponsors, you will have the opportunity to make some great introductions and interesting conversations. Jacket and tie is the minimum requirement, however for those who wish to wear black tie or mess dress, please feel free to do so. Last year a number of people brought medals to the dinner and these provided lively discussion points between courses. Please feel free to bring interesting medals or materials with you to share with the rest of your table.
Sunday 15th September
For pre-registered members doors open 9.30 am . Members paying on the day and the general public will be admitted from 10:30 am. The medal fair will close at 3:00pm.
The Society’s prestigious Medal Fair will be held at the Nottingham Conference Centre and is open to the public. Invited medal dealers, publishers and auctioneers will be trading and full refreshment facilities will be available.
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