The Ron Penhall Collection

The Ron Penhall Collection

Ron Penhall

My interest in military history began on the prairies of Canada, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in my sixth grade of elementary school, where we had a delightful Scottish teacher who filled my head with Kipling, the North-West Frontier, the Scottish soldier in India, the Great Game. I was hooked.

Thirty-seven years ago I was passing a pawn shop and spotted a medal in the window. Closer examination revealed a name around the edge-a L. Nk, 1 R. Mtn. Battery. In my mind I was the only person to know this! Fortunately our local library had copies of Collecting Medals and Decorations by the late Alec Purves and Gordon's British Battles and Medals.

From the list of dealers in Purves' book I wrote to Spink and was very pleased to hear in return from Edward Joslin (always Eddie to me). Eddie told me that just south of us in the state of Washington was an internationally-known specialist in orders, decorations and medals, Gale Hawkes. After my first phone call we travelled down to visit Gale and his charming wife Joy. I will always be grateful for Gale's guidance, dear friendship and his strong admonition for me to just "collect British and Canadian gallantry!!"

Fortunately, many trips to the UK allowed me to enlarge my collection. My interest has always been to identify the real people behind the bits of silver and ribbon. Thanks to persistent research, my wife Lorna and I have been privileged to meet and become friends with a number of recipients, or their relatives.

The time has now come in my life to pass my collection on and to know that they will be appreciated by today's present band of collectors. From the comfort of your armchair you could defuse a UXB with David Law, spend over 1,000 days on submarine patrol with Alistair Mars, drop by parachute with Dickin Medal winner "Brian" early on D-Day and over the Rhine, kick-ass Rommel all over the Western Desert with Reg Seekings, bag a couple of kills with 'Monty' Ellis during the Battle of Britain and a couple more over the Western Desert, or tear down the Turkish barbed wire with William Cosgrove at V Beach, Gallipoli.

I am especially grateful to my long-time friend David Erskine-Hill for thoughtfully compiling this catalogue with the stories of these wonderful people-and "Brian."

Ron Penhall, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Ron Panhall

My interest in military history began on the prairies of Canada, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in my sixth grade of elementary school, where we had a delightful Scottish teacher who filled my head with Kipling, the North-West Frontier, the Scottish soldier in India, the Great Game. I was hooked.

Thirty-seven years ago I was passing a pawn shop and spotted a medal in the window. Closer examination revealed a name around the edge-a L. Nk, 1 R. Mtn. Battery. In my mind I was the only person to know this! Fortunately our local library had copies of Collecting Medals and Decorations by the late Alec Purves and Gordon's British Battles and Medals.

From the list of dealers in Purves' book I wrote to Spink and was very pleased to hear in return from Edward Joslin (always Eddie to me). Eddie told me that just south of us in the state of Washington was an internationally-known specialist in orders, decorations and medals, Gale Hawkes. After my first phone call we travelled down to visit Gale and his charming wife Joy. I will always be grateful for Gale's guidance, dear friendship and his strong admonition for me to just "collect British and Canadian gallantry!!"

Fortunately, many trips to the UK allowed me to enlarge my collection. My interest has always been to identify the real people behind the bits of silver and ribbon. Thanks to persistent research, my wife Lorna and I have been privileged to meet and become friends with a number of recipients, or their relatives.

The time has now come in my life to pass my collection on and to know that they will be appreciated by today's present band of collectors. From the comfort of your armchair you could defuse a UXB with David Law, spend over 1,000 days on submarine patrol with Alistair Mars, drop by parachute with Dickin Medal winner "Brian" early on D-Day and over the Rhine, kick-ass Rommel all over the Western Desert with Reg Seekings, bag a couple of kills with 'Monty' Ellis during the Battle of Britain and a couple more over the Western Desert, or tear down the Turkish barbed wire with William Cosgrove at V Beach, Gallipoli.

I am especially grateful to my long-time friend David Erskine-Hill for thoughtfully compiling this catalogue with the stories of these wonderful people-and "Brian."
Ron Penhall, North Vancouver, British Columbia