Unofficial commemorative medals.
It would be interesting to hear the comments of some of you keyboard warriors out there about buying these medals.
There is a stigma in some people's minds about them and I believe the RBL frowns on their use by ex servicemen on Remembrance Day. I used to parade with them in my home town of Oldham after chatting to a man one year who explained about them in a way I felt justified their use. He had served throughout WW2 but complained that he had not spent long enough in the Middle East to qualify for a Suez medal and medals for National Service were not being handed out as he thought they should have been.
He asked me where I had served and then, hearing that I'd been in Egypt and Libya as a National Serviceman and the problems we had, especially in Egypt he suggested I get them and told me where to write to. He had been stationed just about five miles from where I'd been in Egypt and we compared notes about the drive by shootings and the sniping we'd had to put up with.
His own response had been to buy them and put them on his blazer with the ones he had been awarded. It seemed a valid point so when he pointed out which they were I too ordered them. The first year I wore them I fell in with the Ex servicemen in a blank file and asked the man on either side of me if they thought I was wrong by wearing them. The answers came straight out - 'You've earned 'em lad - so wear the bloody things.'
I still do wear them and have often seen other men with loads of other medals and the two in question up on their chests with no one ever pointing the finger. All medals are in their own way commemorative so the RBL can say they frown on them but no one bothers about their displeasure. I feel justified under the circumstances which I have mentioned above.
I hope this helps you to understand why they are so often bought and displayed. The view of any other man on parade has always been the same. 'You've earned 'em lad - so wear the bloody things!'
I have no time for those who have never served but plaster their chests with WW1, WW2, Falklands, Army, Navy and RAF medals etc and feel they deserve to be hounded until they stop abusing the feelings of those who have earned them.
I read your post with interest, thanks for taking the time and trouble to express your point of view regarding unofficial medals at such length. I feel your comments are more than justified. There are so many men and women who deserve to have some form of recognition for their service.
Like yourself, I've got no time for these "Walts" who parade wearing a chestful of medals which they probably obtained on Ebay, "Stolen honour" is I believe the correct expression.
I'm sorry you're leaving the site, I'm a relative newcomer and have always liked reading your posts.Cheers.