The Alan Cathery Collection of British Campaign Medals
Seringapatam to Borneo CSM
My medal collecting and military history interests were the result of my fascination, when aged 12, with the weapons and German medal collection of Steve Boxall, my godmother’s husband I knew as ‘Uncle Steve’. His study’s centrepiece was a Vickers Machine gun, and he gave me a deactivated Mills grenade.So often when I visited him he gave me a book about military history, from the Sikh Wars, to Afghanistan and the Egyptian campaigns 1882-98. Steve of Hove, and Major Dodkins his great friend from Purley had huge collections of German medals. Steve flew in single engined Wellesleys in Eritrea & Abyssinia in 1941 and North Africa in Blenheim IV’s, ending up as a Sqdn.Ldr.with an MID.
He gave me an Iron Cross, which I swapped when 13,for a pair to the 9th Lancers, the Punniar Star & Punjab 2 bar, which remain in my possession .With 45 years in business mostly in India, S.E.Asia & Japan, that must be one of my very best business deals! . He proposed me for the OMRS (648)
I continue collecting, to my old regiment The Buffs (NS Pl.Cmdr Aden 1957-58) now PWRR, and have a fine collection to The British North Borneo Charter Company, inspired by my living for 13 years with The Borneo Company in Sarawak & Sabah (formerly British North Borneo.)
With an extensive library of books about medals and military history, and some 8000 articles on kardex cards, I sometimes wish I could find someone to teach how to appreciate a fascinating hobby, and learn more about our glorious history as a Nation who brought so much to many parts of the world, albeit with self interest part of the picture of the times, as it was elsewhere. We were the best!