Orders, Decorations and Medals (8 December 1994)
Mike Francis Minton
Mike Minton, who died suddenly at his home on Monday 20 December 1993, was born in the Selly Park district of Birmingham on 25 January 1937, the son of Francis and Violet Minton. He attended schools in Selly Park and Bourn brook and completed his education at Bournville College.
In 1954 he began his arional Service with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, with which he felt some family connection since his grandfather has been RSM during the First World War period. This factor was to have considerable influence on his medal collecting. For most of his National Service he served on the Headquarters Staff of Northern Command at York, and during this rime he developed a keen interest in pot-holing, a pastime which he continued for some time after leaving the army.
Mike Minton's career was spent largely on the staff of Messrs. Dun & Bradstreet Ltd. in Birmingham, a firm engaged in credit information investigations. It may be that this style of work was consistent with his unceasing research work into medal-related personalities. These medal interests began around the rime of his national service and persisted throughout his life. His membership of the Orders & Medals Research Society starred in 1964 with a membership number of 540.
Michael was one of the founder members of the Birmingham Medal Society which was inaugurated in 1964 at a meeting held in the premises of Forman's Medals, then in Summer Rovv, Birmingham. He became secretary of the society and irs President from 1970 to 1979. His service on the committee of the Birmingham Society had been continuous from 1964 until his death.
Apart from his obvious commitment to the 6th Foot/Royal Warwickshire Regr., and the Warwickshire Yeomanry, Michael had several other specialist themes. These included, for example, medals related to animals; gallantry; life saving; and the RSPCA. He had always shown a great fondness for animals and had been a dog owner for many years. During his last few years he had formed a considerable liking for ferrets, an interest shared by several other members of the Birmingham Society.
Mike Minton had extensively researched the Birmingham and Coventry blitz, and had a great knowledge of Birmingham Home Guard and bomb disposal work within the area. He became an authority on the George Medal and other gallantry awards to Midlanders for this period. He also had close contacts with the Birmingham Police Museum as well as with the Birmingham Fire Brigade, both organisations having played a important role in the Second World War. His spare time during lunch hours was often spent in the local studies department of the Central Reference Library to whose staff he had become well known and liked.
Apart from this keenness for local history, he had undertaken considerable work on his own family history and for many years had been a member of the Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, with which several other members of the Birmingham Medal Society were also associated. The work of this society closely relates to medal research and was of great value to him.
Because of the very considerable volume of research work undertaken by Mike Minton, it has been proposed that a Minton Memorial Award be created by the Birmingham Medal Society to be presented annually to one of its members in recognition of their research efforts. This is to take the form of a bronze statuette of a soldier of the 6th Foot in the uniform of the Waterloo period.
Earlier in 1993, Michael had suffered some months of severe illness but appeared to be making a good recovery and had returned to work several weeks before his unexpected death. A memorial service was held on 31 December at the Robin Hood Crematorium in Hall Green, Birmingham.
Michael Minton was well known for his integrity as well as for his sense of humour and will be greatly missed by members of both societies.