What's your Holy Grail?

Orders & Medals Society of America Forums General Chat What's your Holy Grail?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  gjmcleod 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • #31213

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    I don’t know if I have seen this topic discussed here, so I thought I would ask.

    In my other hobbies collectors have let people know about items for which they have the strongest desire to obtain.  In other words, items that are their Holy Grail.  Having the discussion puts the information out to the general community and, who knows?, maybe in your travels you come across an item that doesn’t fit your collecting interests, but you know that someone else is seeking it.  You might be standing in someone else’s Right Place at the Right Time.

    So, what’s your Holy Grail?

    Kevin Beyer
    OMSA #7096

    #31215

    jb floyd
    Moderator

    A British Army medal group to an American who was in command of a British unit at some level during World War II.  I have similar groups to the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, so an Army group would fill that empty square.

    #31319

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    I am not well educated on the command structure of Allied forces working in conjunction with one another.  Are there circumstances were this occurred?

    #31325

    jb floyd
    Moderator

    Kevin,

    I’m looking for a group to an American who joined the British Army and rose to command at any level. I have a group to an American who commanded an RAF squadron, one who commanded a Fleet Arm Arm squadron and one who commanded a corvette.  The Americans who joined the RAF and RNVR are fairly well documented, but Americans who joined the British Army are not.

    I have a group to an American (USAAF officer) who was assigned to an RAF squadron and flew a full tour as a bomber pilot, but I don’t know if there were similar circumstances of American officer being assigned to the British Army.  The Neutrality Act problems of the time made it most convenient if Americans trying to join up classified themselves as Canadians or some other nationality. As a result, they are hard to find now.

    #31334

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    Hi Kevin,

    Finding the Waterloo Medal to Sergeant Graham of the Coldstream Guards would be my Holy Grail. Sergeant Graham, along with Colonel Macdonnell of the same regiment, closed the gates of Hougomont at Waterloo and saved the right side of Wellington’s line from collapse. Graham for his exploits was recognized by both Wellington and Macdonnell as the most valorous NCO at the Battle of Waterloo. What a find that would be!

    – Chris

    #31356

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    Chris, surely a medal of that importance would be in the possession of the family, contained within a museum, or privately owned.  Let’s hope that it hasn’t been lost to the ages.

    I can see how that would be a Holy Grail in someone’s collection.

    #31358

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    Jeff, I can see how finding a grouping such as you describe as being a challenge.  If an American posed as a Canadian to serve in Britain’s Army, how would someone be able to trace that lineage 70+ years later?

    I can appreciate the uniqueness of the circumstances and can see how that would be a Holy Grail for your cross-national collecting interests.

    #31359

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    My Holy Grail would be a well-documented Military Order of the Dragon medal, complete, and in excellent condition.  I find this medal, designed and executed by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, to be the pinnacle of medal artistry.  Its pendant’s contrasting gold and black color, the beautifully rendered dragon, its bright yellow ribbon with embroidered characters, and topped with a pagoda suspension bar are stunning in their execution.

    Following that, I would love to own the Military Order of the Serpent membership badges for either LTC Frederick Mason Fanning, or Maj. Walter Scott MacAaron who were founding members of that organization.  Fanning was the first National President of the M.O.S., wheras MacAaron was the third.

    -Kevin

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by  KevinBeyer.
    #31379

    gjmcleod
    Participant

    Mine’s a lot simpler and, hopefully, cheaper……..A World War One British trio to a New Zealander, Maurice George LUXFORD….last seen in California……

    G.

    #31397

    KevinBeyer
    Participant

    Ok, I’ll bite.  Last seen in what context?  At a show?  Private collection?  A dealer’s website?  As part of a grouping?

    Secondly, if I may ask, what makes this group important to you?

    -Kevin

    #31427

    gjmcleod
    Participant

    Hello Kevin

    Luxford was a New  Zealander, moved to California approx 1919. His trio was mailed to him in CA in the 1920s. He was awarded the Military Cross, sold at auction in CA after his death – no other medals included. His family have no knowledge of the whereabouts of his medals – they didn’t know he had any ! He was broke in the ’20s, ’30s – struggling actor in Max Sennet  movies etc.

    He didn’t return (to live) in New Zealand. He became known as “Mr Golf California” organising the Bing Crosby golf classic etc. His wife Lola (ex), also a film star, ran a club at  Rockefeller Center, NY, in WW II for Commonwealth personnel in transit.

    Who wouldn’t want them ??????  Guess where his MC is!!!!   lol

    Graeme

     

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