11, October, 2019

OMRS Australia Conference


25, 26 and 27 October 2019


Mercure Canberra Hotel

Corner Limestone Ave and Ainslie Ave, Canberra



We will be holding our annual conference in October. This conference is open to all medal collectors, you do not need to be an OMRS member. You will hear from many great speakers, meet international guests, meet the representatives of international auction houses, and have a great time talking to and re-acquainting yourself with collectors from all over.


Friday is a great kick off day, starting with a tour and then a meet and greet.

The tour will be at the National Library of Australia

for a behind the scenes tour, and to view a selection of their medallic material.

Meet at the National Library of Australia in Parkes Place at 2pm.




Behind the Scenes Tour of the National Library.


We will be shown how it all works, and they will bring out a select set of artefacts of medallic relevance such as the medals they hold for us to view.


National Library, Parkes Place, Canberra

2pm at the National Library.

Speakers test and setup


If you want to test your presentation to make sure it works I will have the laptop and projector ready and we can load it all up.


Conference Room, Mercure Canberra


Meet and Greet, where we say hello, have a drink, and collect our name badges.


There will be a cash bar.


Conference Room, Mercure Canberra





Saturday kicks off with a day of presentations, and then winds down with a good and relaxing dinner.




Open and welcome


Mike Downey

10:00 – 10:15

The NSW Sudan Contingent and it’s Medals – Fact & Fiction

Trevor Turner

10:15 – 11:00

Phillip Schuler – the war correspondent turned soldier who challenged the myth of Gallipoli

Mark Baker

11:00 – 11:45




11:45 – 13:00

The Intelligence Corp in WW1 – medals and research challenges

Mark Wilson

13:00 – 13:45

Some Gems from my QSA Collection

Barry Carr

13:45 – 14:30

Afternoon Tea



14:30 - 15:00

The Waterloo Medals

Rob Courtney

15:00 – 15:45

A Medal Collector’s Nightmare – The Story of a Medallic Disaster

Christopher Mellor-Hill


Dinner and after dinner talk



19:00 – 22:00


Saturday Night Dinner

As usual we will meet for dinner and a good chat. We have a very interesting guest speaker.

Captain John Land, who is one of the Australian Army History Unit’s founding members, and qualified conservator and curator, will join us for dinner and be our guest speaker. In his role as curator, John is the Curator (and formerly manager) of the Australian Army Infantry Museum at Singleton. In his role Conservator role, Captain Land provides specialists advice across all of Army’s 17 museums, as well as supporting the Australian War memorial and RAAF and RAN museums.

John will provide an overview of the History Unit, and will also be able to talk about some of the more unusual medals in Army’s collection.

Your conference cost includes the cost of the dinner.

Dress is jacket and tie.

Miniatures are traditionally worn at this dinner.


Sunday will continue with presentations, and include some less formal shorter presentations and an opportunity to show and tell or share anything you have recently got or are working on.

Note since we are all in the same hotel we are starting at 8:30am to get time for all the great speakers.




A Victory of Sorts – Admiral Moore and The Battle of Dogger Bank

Rob Tainton

08:30 – 09:15

A Moment in Time

John Williams

09:15 – 10:00

Morning Tea


10:00 – 10:30

The NGS and the Honeywell Collection

David Bondi

10:30 – 11:00

To be announced

Marcus Budgen

11:00 – 11:30

Show and tell or unscheduled talks.

Anyone who wants to present, or show something interesting, feel free to do so.


11:30 – 13:00

Close and lunch






The cost of the conference is similar to last year:

$185 for the full conference and dinner.

$115 if you are not coming to the dinner.

$245 if you are attending the conference and want to bring one guest to the dinner.


To secure your spot please pay into the conference account:


BSB 062268

AC 10485566


Or send a cheque made out to OMRS AUST,

At the following address:

Barrett J Carr

PO Box 263




If you are coming from overseas let me know you are coming and pay when you are here if that is simpler for you.


The location of the conference is Mercure Canberra. This is the same hotel we have always used, on the corner of Ainslie and Limestone Avenues in Braddon. You can call them on (02) 6243 0000.

9, October, 2019

Dr Robin Thomas has been elected as the new President of the Orders & Medals Research Society in the biggest poll in the history of the OMRS which saw more than 300 members cast their votes. Graham Grist was elected as General Secretary when the results of both contests were announced at the Society’s Annual General Meeting at The National Archives in Kew.

Although the AGM was very well attended, 90% of the votes were cast by e-mail. The two candidates for President were Robin Thomas and Simon Ovens while those standing for the role of General Secretary were Graham Grist and Nicholas Higton.

“It is an enormous honour to follow many of the luminaries of our hobby as President of the Orders & Medals Research Society and a personal challenge to live up to all that has been achieved in the past,” said Robin, who replaced Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE.

“One of the issues facing many societies such as ours is recruiting younger members and retaining existing ones. There are several ways to approach this, but underlying many of them is to improve communications, both within the Society and between the OMRS and the outside world. We already have a website and a Facebook page, but we also need to investigate the newer forms of social media now available, since these represent the methods of choice used by many for communicating and sharing information. We will also need to enhance the flow of information about what we are doing at various levels both within the Society and outside.

“Retaining existing members is also critical for the Society, and I suspect that individuals decide to join, renew or relinquish their membership according to its perceived benefits. The OMRS website had a lengthy development process, but now it is operational we need to use it as a platform for medal rolls or other research materials that would enhance the benefits of membership. As with anything to do with IT, this could be a lengthy process, but please bear with us.

“We have all witnessed how the internet has changed many aspects of the medals world. The marketplace and the research archive have increasingly been transferred to the computer screen. The OMRS needs to embrace these changes as well as retaining our superb branch network and annual convention.”

Robin is married with two daughters and lives in Dorset. He works for an international firm of ship brokers, specialising in freight contracts for electricity utilities and steel mills, mainly in Asia. He joined the OMRS in 1991 and has been a member of its Executive Committee since 2012.

Graham Grist, who replaced Dahlia Harrison,  is married, lives in Walton on Thames, Surrey and retired as a civil servant in 2017.  Graham joined the OMRS in November 1978 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 1981.  He has held the posts of Librarian, Treasurer and Advertising Manager.

Those elected unopposed to the Society’s Executive Committee at the AGM were Jim Lees as Membership Secretary and committee members Robert Barltrop, Richard Emsley, Jonathan Holl, Simon Ovens and Norman Gooding.

27, September, 2019

The book details the design process, manufacture and awarding of three very rare awards; between them, fewer than four hundred awards were made. The book contains the complete roll and all citations for the Burma Police Medal and the roll for all known awards of the Burma Gallantry Medal, together with the majority of the citations, the stories they tell deserve to be told and cover the period of the WWII Burma Campaign and its aftermath. “The Three Burma Awards” represents a double first as it is Steve’s first book and the first book dedicated to Burma gallantry awards and in researching it Steve has extended significantly the number of known Burma awards.

The book is softback and has numerous colour illustrations, 134 pages, A4-format.

The book is not published by the OMRS but is available directly from the author. The price is £20 plus postage & packing. Copies can be reserved by emailing Steve at

2, September, 2019

The complete UK Volunteer Long Service Medal Roll  is now available in the on-line research library, please feel free to have a browse.

The Volunteer Long Service Medal was authorised by Special Army Order 85 on 26 May 1894. It was superseded in the UK on the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908.
In 1896 the award was extended overseas to the Volunteer Forces of the Empire. This roll is includes all UK recipients and those from Bermuda.
The names of those awarded the medal were published in lists issued with Army Orders. Corrections were made in Army Orders. Upwards of 45,000 medals were issued, initially un-named until late in Queen Victoria’s reign.
All lists issued with Army Orders during the period 1895 to 1930 are included.
19, August, 2019

This is a detailed account of a medal and its clasps awarded mainly to Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers but also to many British soldiers, airmen and civilians. Descriptions of the actions that lead to the award of the clasps are included together with lists of the recipients. Comprehensive biographies of the British officer recipients are also included. The design and naming of the medal is fully covered and illustrated. This book is an important reference for a previously neglected medal and provides a fascinating insight of the Sudan during that time. Published September 2019, 155x234mm, case bound with colour jacket, 464 pages, numerous black and white illustrations, ISBN 978-1-9161191- 0-9.

This limited edition is priced at £15.00 to members (restricted to one copy each) and £20.00 to non-members, plus post and packing

The book will be launched at the OMRS Convention in Nottingham on 14th September

7, March, 2019
Cover image of 'FOR FAITHFUL SERVICE’ A History of the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal by T.P. Brewster

The Society is delighted to announce the publication of Paul Brewster's new book 'For Faithful Service' - A History of the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal.

Paul's new book describes in detail the origins of the medal including the struggle to get official recognition for the service given by the Special Constabulary. The unofficial medals and certificates issued by local and county authorities during and after the First World War are also listed. The history leading to the various issues of the long service medal awarded to the Ulster Special Constabulary is comprehensively covered as is the unique case for the award of this medal to the Rhodesian Special Constabulary. Other chapters deal with the history of the Specials, the numbers of medals issued and associated ephemera.

Published March 2019, 155x234mm, case bound with colour jacket, 208 pages, numerous colour and black and white illustrations, ISBN 978-0-9957505-8-6. This limited edition is priced at £17.00 to members (restricted to one copy each) and £22.00 to non-members, plus post and packing.

The buy the book click HERE.


Latest News -  For Faithful Service - Back in Stock
The initial print run of the above book sold out in record time, but I am pleased to announce that it is available again to order from our website shop. Please login to the Members’ Area first to ensure you receive your Members’ discount.
5, February, 2019
Paul Brewster and his new book For Faithful Service

The March Britannia Medal Fair saw a busy Society table with the launch of 'For Faithful Service', Paul Brewster's new book on the Special Constabulary Long Service medal.

'For Faithful Service' was officially launched at Britannia and sold well, so well that a re-print has already been ordered.

As well as the book launch, the Membership Secretary was busy recruiting and in his haul for the day was someone who had never heard of the Society!

4, February, 2019

A huge amount of knowledge is held by members as a result of their research into their medals and collections. The aim of the Convention Exhibition is to encourage as many members as possible to exhibit in order to present their knowledge and share the results of their research with other members. We hope that as many members as possible will take part and hope they find the exhibition to be an enjoyable, but challenging, experience.

Exhibition Classes

To enable members to present their exhibits in the way most appropriate to the subject there are four exhibition classes available:

  • Open Class
  • Single Subject Class
  • Research Class
  • Non-Competitive Class

 Exhibitor Guidelines give clear guidance on exhibiting in each class.

Exhibitors should register to exhibit using the online booking system as all details of their exhibit will form part of their booking confirmation.

In addition to the formal exhibition classes, there is the coveted Members’ Choice award where members vote for the best exhibit.

4, February, 2019

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.


4, February, 2019
After a glitchy start to the new parking system at The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, the system now appears to be running smoothly.
At up to £7 for a day (over four hours) it is worth looking for alternative free parking in the immediate area.