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British Military Medals: A Guide for the Collector and Family Historian [Paperback]

Peter Duckers
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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British Military Medals: A Guide for the Collector and Family Historian British Military Medals: A Guide for the Collector and Family Historian 4.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

19 Nov 2009
British Military Medals traces the history of medals and gallantry awards from Elizabethan times to the modern day and it features an expert account of their design and production. Campaign and gallantry medals are a key to understanding - and exploring - British and Imperial military history, and to uncovering the careers and exploits of individual soldiers. For over 200 years these awards have marked the wars, campaigns and battles fought by British and Imperial forces across the world. In this accessible and wide-ranging account, Peter Duckers provides a fascinating insight into the origins and long tradition of these awards. His work is a guide for collectors and for local and family historians who want to learn how to use medals to discover the history of military units and the experiences of individuals who served in them. Medals are a link with the men and women who were actually present in some of the famous - and not so famous - actions in British military history. They convey the excitement of a direct connection with the past. In a series of succinct and well-organized chapters the author explains how medals originated, to whom they were awarded and how the practice of giving medals has developed over the centuries. From the earliest medals of Elizabethan times up to those awarded in the present day, medals have much to tell us about the life histories of their recipients and the armed forces in which they served.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (19 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844159604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844159604
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as complete as I would have liked. 22 Feb 2010
I am no stranger to the subject of British medals. Not only do I have several of my own from a former career in uniform, I have studied the subject and I also occasionally write for television on military matters. Consequently, I am continually, frustrated by the basic errors seen on both the small and large screens. How many films depicting events "during" WW2, for example, show British personnel wearing medals struck to commemorate victory over Axis forces when the medals were struck after the war was over. Similarly, on British television, in the very first episode of the final series of the popular "Soldier Soldier" the Commanding Officer was talking of his men "fighting and dying in the Falklands" and yet he was not even wearing the medal for that particular campaign!

My other pet hate is the increased use of the word "military" to encompass all armed forces - including Naval and Air Forces, when the word actually refers to ground troops - i.e. soldiers. Within British awards, there is the Navy Cross, Air Force Cross and Military Cross available separately to each our different services although members of the Royal Marines, which are part of the Royal Navy, will be considered for the MC simply because their fighting role is similar to that of the army.

Whilst I am, therefore, disappointed with the title of this book, I am also confused by a significant amount of the content - such as the inclusion of certain civilian awards - WRVS (Women's Royal Voluntary Service), civil service, colonial police, prison service and others which are certainly not armed fighting units.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little Detail 10 Nov 2009
This new work has used information from a number of published sources. Many of the sources used can be found in the bibliography and yet they are not the most recent editions. I know books take time to be produced but some of the works the author has used, have been revised and available for over 12 months!

It is a pity the author did not check the references from the works he consulted as he has reproduced a number of errors and cited information that is now known to be out of date.

There are other works available that are cheaper and better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars British Military Medals 16 Nov 2010
A comprehensive, easy to read guide to a complex subject.
Purchased to help with identifying the medals issued to family ancestors and the history as to when and why they were won.
My only complaint is the small number of colour pictures; somehow a black and white image does not make the medal so easily recognisable. Official descriptions are precise but do not lend themselves to accurate images in the mind's eye - the language of colours moves with the times.
I would happily have paid more for colour pictures throughout ...even artist's colour impressions would have improved this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New guide for medal and family researchers 29 Dec 2009
A very detailed introduction to the history and development of Briish campaign and other medals and awards. The work also offers advice on how to research medals people might have "in the family" and the men/wmoen who won them. There is a great deal squeezed into one volume and the publisher's price is possibly rather high, but this is a very useful introductory book with information/sources linked together in ways which other books do not do.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 6 Feb 2013
By Sandy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Goes into maybe too much depth for what I need it for, but will not fault book in any way
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