Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Richard Schweder

Richard Schweder
In 1951, whilst still at school, I purchased my first medal. A week later, my collection trebled, thanks to the kindness of my Father purchasing a pair of medals for me. Thus began, for me, a lifelong interest in medals and medal collecting.

Soon after these initial purchases, collecting had to cease for some four years while I was doing my military service in Malaya, but I began again when I started work in the city of London. Apart from my own service in Malaya, it was during my three years spent in the City that two events occurred which were to have an influence on the future direction my collecting would take, moving from a general collection to my forming a more specialised holding.

The first event was meeting G.W. Harris, then a doyen of the O.M.R.S. He introduced me to the Society, which I very soon joined and, over the past 50 or so years, I have regularly received and enjoyed their informative journal. One article in particular stood out in my memory -that describing a Society display, which included Philip Burman and his fine collection of Malaya G.S.M.s. The second event was the purchase of a group of medals, which included a G.S.M. with clasp Malaya, named to a member of the S.A.S.

In 1959 I moved to New Zealand and then began to concentrate on medals awarded during the emergency. As I became more and more interested in the history of Malaya and Singapore, my collecting interests broadened to include the I.G.S. 1854 medals with clasp Perak, along with medals awarded for the Second World War with Malaya and Singapore connections.

I was fortunate to have begun collecting when there were fewer collectors than there are today and when there were medals to be found in a variety of shops, which of course enhanced the pleasure of the hunt. But, living so far from the centre of the medal collecting world, I could not have built up my collection without help. I was very fortunate to receive considerable assistance and advice, over many years, from both Norman and David Collett, and it was largely due to their kindness and interest that my Malaya collection was able to flourish.

Richard Schweder, August 2008