The Collection of Medals Formed By Dr A W Stott
I first met Alan at a parents evening where I was advising on his son Andrew's progress. Alan was pursuing this with the fervour that I came to realise that he had for most things that interested him - and there were many. He himself retired early due to ill health, having gained his PhD part-time whilst working and been head of the Biochemistry Department at Scarborough Hospital.
During his retirement Alan particularly enjoyed shooting on the North York Moors, fishing on Speyside and helping Chris Dixon in Bridlington, where he had further opportunity to research medals.
Alan's interest probably began from a collectors interest, a fascination with military history and his family's medals. He had gained the General Service Medal with a clasp for Malaya during his National Service in the Royal Air Force. But one has only to look at the information given with many of the lots to realise that Alan's real passion was in the search involved in the 'digging out' of the stories behind the men.
I well remember the delight he took unravelling the events that led to the wounding of Lt. Col. Swainson (D.C.L.I., late L.F's), his rescue by Lt. Coury, who gained the Victoria Cross for this action, and his subsequent sad death due to his wounds (Lot 61).
Alan was born in Bury, hence his medal interest became focused on Lancashire and specifically on the Lancashire Fusiliers. At this point he set about creating a collection with typical vigour and it is obvious from the following pages that he virtually assembled a definitive collection to this regiment. ot only does he have a fully representative series for the campaigns in which the Lancashire Fusiliers were present regimentally, but also some very interesting 'odd men'. He was excited to acquire the unique East and West Africa Medal for Sierra Leone to Sgt. Maj. Cross from a recent dealers list (Lot 18); but particularly pleasing for him were the acquisition of the Field Officer's Gold Medal for Orthes to Major James Bent (sold before his death) and Lt. Gen. Crokat's Military General Service Medal (Lot 7) being the officer who brought the despatches regarding apoleon's death back to England. The collection also covers, extremely comprehensively, the many actions for which decorations were awarded to the regiment, virtually the only item missing being the Victoria Cross; perhaps Alan felt that the Swainson action was enough? A friend well remembers Alan's finding of Fusilier Lees' Military Medal group (the only one for Normandy to the Lancashire Fusiliers) at the Wakefield Fair-if the car had been big enough Alan would have danced in it all the way home!
Periodically Alan felt that he needed variety and so he built and dispersed two collections, one involving the Egypt and Sudan 1882-89 series and another covering the Falkland campaign. Recently he became interested in World War II casualties and this collection takes up the second half of this catalogue. Again, Alan's particular interest in the man came through here. He was very much in awe of Donkeyman Fred Edwards' story (Lot 207) and that of Lieut. Lowe's action against the Tirpitz in the Alten Fjord in Norway (Lot 204).
Once Alan got to know you, he became a very good friend, always pleased to communicate information and help with research references. If a first refusal on an item was asked for and granted, it was always honoured. He was an excellent companion, congratulating and commiserating on ones triumphs and disasters. His friendship, interest and help will be sorely missed and our thoughts go out to his wife Barbara and his sons Richard and Andrew.