Roger Bennett, a police diver from the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Marine Unit, was searching for a murder weapon at the bottom of the River Loxley just to the North of Sheffield. During his dive he found what he first thought was an old coin, but when Mr Bennett resurfaced, realised he had actually found a medal. And with help from Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham determined that the medal belonged to Lance Corporal Stephen Smith the York and Lancaster Regiment. The young soldier fought in Gallipoli in Turkey on 2 July 1915 and died from wounds he received at Suvla bay on 9 August 2015. “I initially thought it was a coin, but as soon as I realised that it was medal I was amazed. We quickly made the decision to attempt to reunite the medal with Stephen’s family. Our research started within hours of us finding it. We put a couple of photos on social media and the rest is history…” The family of Lance Corporal Smith got in touch after seeing pictures of the newly polished medal on Twitter and Roger added that: “We were thrilled to track down Stephen’s family and it was fantastic to learn more about his story, despite it being such a sad ending. I’m so pleased that we have been able to reunite them with such a precious and important part of their family history” Lance Corporal Smith’s family agreed to donate the medal to the Clifton Park after a genealogical search traced 22 living family members with some living as far away as Canada.Reverend Julian Cliff, who was Lance Corporal Smith’s great nephew, never knew his grandmother had any other family and the 22 family members met for the first time at the museum more than a century after Lance Corporal Smith’s death. Julian told the South Yorkshire Police “At first I thought it was a hoax, but once things started to fall in to place I was so grateful that Roger and the team had decided to find us. They went beyond the call of duty and they have brought a family together - most of us have never met before today.”
The British Armed Forces recognise outstanding personal achievements by giving individuals from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army various awards and decorations. Medals, ribbons and emblems awarded by HM The Queen are only permitted to be worn by the recipient. Whether friend or family, wearing someone else’s awards is classed as fraud. Ribbons can be worn without the medals themselves, apart from The Orders of the Garter and Thistle. Ribbons are to be worn over the left breast pocket button in the centre of the pocket. The ribbons are worn in rows with the most senior medal worn nearest the jacket lapel or front buttons, and in the top row if multiple rows are worn. The number of ribbons worn in a row depends on the width of the breast pocket, however, if the uniform has no breast pocket then the number of ribbons worn must be no more than five. If there is an incomplete row of ribbons, and there are already two or more rows worn, then the top row must be left incomplete and must be worn centrally. Each row of ribbons should be approximately 3 mm apart. Ribbons worn are to be stitched to the garment instead of mounted. Orders, decorations and medals are to be worn using an unseen brooch and on the left breast. If wearing a Full Dress tunic then they are usually placed in the middle, between the first and second buttons from the collar. Medals should be worn to show the Sovereign’s head. Orders, Decorations and Medals are to be worn at the following occasions: - State Occasions - Royal Occasions - Guards in London - Military Funerals - Guards on Royal residences - Guards of honour - Guards in Edinburgh - Ceremonial and Sovereign’s parades - Parades incorporating a religious service Orders, Decorations and Medals are worn on Full Dress, Frockcoat and No 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11 Dress. They are not to be worn on greatcoats and No 8 Combat Dress. Orders, Decorations and Medals are also not to be worn on operational or protective clothing. To view our range of medals and medal ribbons click here.
The Invictus games are an international multi-sport event for Paralympic athletes. The first Invictus Games took place in 2014 in London. The event was created by Prince Harry so that wounded or injured armed service personnel or veterans can take part in sports. Sports at the event include sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and indoor rowing. The event was inspired by the Warrior Games in the US and was given its name ‘Invictus’ from the Latin word meaning undefeated. The second games opened on 8th May 2016 in Orlando while year’s games are set to be held in Toronto in September. Unlike previous years which were held at a single site, this year’s venue is set to be at multiple locations around the city. The Air Canada Centre will hold the opening and closing ceremonies. Other locations include Nathan Phillips Square, Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and York Lions Stadium. There are 17 countries invited to take part in the Games. Afghanistan Australia Canada Denmark Estonia France Georgia Germany Iraq Italy Jordan Netherlands New Zealand Romania Ukraine UK US Wyedean manufactures the medal ribbon for the Invictus Games. The sunshine yellow medal ribbon is produced in bulk in our textile mill. The ribbon is 25mm wide and is a nylon/cotton composition. A total of 900 metres of the medal ribbon is being produced. We stock a variety of medal ribbons on our webstore. To view our range click here. Wyedean are specialists in manufacturing narrow fabrics. To view our full range click here.
Medals, Military Orders and Decorations are given to members of the armed forces to recognise and celebrate their personal accomplishments. Medal bars or clasps can be attached to the ribbon to indicate the operation for which the recipient received the award. Multiple bars on the same medal are used to recognise multiple achievements. All military services use a common order of wear which basically dictates the order in which the recognised military decorations must be worn, and is shown below: 1. The Victoria Cross and the George Cross 2. United Kingdom Orders 3. United Kingdom Decorations 4. Order of St John (all classes) 5. United Kingdom Medals for Gallantry and for Distinguished Service 6. United Kingdom Operational Service Medals (including authorised United Nations Medals and Medals of other recognised International Organisations). Worn in order of date of award 7. United Kingdom Polar Medals 8. United Kingdom Police Medals for Valuable Service 9. United Kingdom Jubilee, Coronation and Durbar Medals 10. Long Service and Efficiency Awards 11. Commonwealth Orders, Decorations and Medals instituted by the Sovereign. Worn in order of date of award. 12. Commonwealth Orders, Decorations and Medals instituted since 1949 otherwise than by the Sovereign (including those of the States of Malaysia and the State of Brunei). Worn in order of date of award. 13. Foreign Orders. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. 14. Foreign Decorations. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. 15. Foreign Medals. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. The most prestigious award in the United Kingdom honours system is the Victoria Cross (VC). The VC was introduced on 29th January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded to 1355 recipients who were awarded for gallantry ‘in the face of the enemy’. Only 11 medals have been awarded since the Second World War to members of the British Army. As the Victoria Cross is rare and so highly prized, the medal has sold for over £400,000 at auction. Lord Ashcroft had a collection containing over one-tenth of all Victoria Cross medals and now stands on public display in the Imperial War Museum. “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon” -Napoleon Bonaparte To View our range of medal ribbons click here.
The Military Medal (MM), created by King George V in March 1916, was a way to acknowledge the acts of bravery in war which were not considered worthy enough to receive a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men on the recommendation of a Commander in Chief in the field were awarded this medal. During WWI, 108 members of the Royal Newfound Regiment received the Military Medal. A silver bar was also given out to eight of these recipients which signified subsequent acts of bravery. The Military Medal is shown below feturing a picture of the sovereign. In the First World War this medal depicted a bare-headed King George V in a Field Marshall’s uniform. The reverse of the medal reads “For Bravery in the Field”, circled by a laurel wreath with the Royal Cypher and Imperial Crown on top. The medal is displayed on a dark blue ribbon with red and white stripes. It is this medal ribbon which was made by Wyedean, formally known as Dalton Barton. Notes for this order are shown in the bottom right image. Quotations and sample production took place in 1916. The top middle image with the ribbon design features King George V initials – G.R.I which stands for “George Rex Imperator”. Ribbon delivery to the War Office, now known as the Ministry of Defence (MoD), would commence 10 to 14 days after 2nd March 1916. The Dalton Barton factory was bombed during the WWII Coventry blitz on the 15th November 1940. The factory was destroyed along with all its archives, hence we have no records whatsoever dating prior to the air raid – except these. It is noted in the letters from Buckingham Palace that the medals, produced by The Royal Mint, would take much longer to make. The King instructs that recipients of the award should receive the ribbon ahead of the medal – most likely because he knew that many were badly wounded and were unlikely to survive long enough to receive the medal itself. “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon” – Napoleon Bonaparte, July 1815.