Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (13 January 2021)

David Lloyd

David Lloyd
David Lloyd was born in London, of Welsh ancestry. The first collectable that caught his interest was shrapnel from the bombed-out sites around his home in East London. His father worked on the docks and also served with the Auxiliary Fire Service so his son had pretty much all the time in the world to explore. David’s first vivid memory of the war itself, though, was when a German fighter aircraft passed so low overhead that he could see the pilot looking straight down at him.

After completing his National Service with the Royal Air Force in Aden, as part of the R.A.F. detachment to the Aden Protectorate Levies, he was employed at the Australian High Commission as an immigration officer. It was there, on the Aldwych, that he found himself with time on his hands in the lunch hour and was able to meander through the likes of John Hayward’s business off Piccadilly, and Norman Collett’s shop in Queen Victoria Street. Joining the Orders and Medals Research Society he made friends, found potential clients, and (the best way of all as a collector) was able to talk and buy, swap, and sell. As well as collecting medals he enjoy the satisfaction of researching the recipient as best one could in those early days. He especially liked the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal because it completed the recipient’s service history and that is what he held in his hand.

My own friendship with David came by pure chance nearly thirty years ago. I was at an antiques centre, looking for a lead on some missing family medals. He overheard, and being a cavalry collector at that point, asked if he could help me. Generous as always! He encouraged me to understand the value of research in the world of medals - his work for me in this was invaluable and his trips to the National Archives would result in some amazing disclosures over a pint at the end of the week. In this I was certainly not the only recipient of his tenacity - many collectors will attest to the immensity of his help, especially in his ability to find those little pieces of the puzzle that seemed to elude the rest of us, particularly his ability in interpreting the sometimes apparent gobbledygook of Victorian written ledgers.

David was Treasurer of the Aldershot Militaria Society for over 35 years, and attending the medal and militaria fairs was also an enjoyment for him, usually just to meet up with friends, but also to sometimes come away with the odd purchase (‘we must get there before all the bargains go,’ he would say as we set off). As he did not drive I would very often chauffeur him. With regards to his non-driving skills his answer used to be, ‘didn’t get on with it really.’

David married Jennifer, his beloved Jen, in 1964, with whom he had two daughters, Rachele and Justine. Jen sadly died sixteen years ago. Aside from medals his other great interest was Arsenal Football Club.

David was a quiet, gentle person who had accepted his illness of the last two years with courage and fortitude and had continued to live his life as normally as he could. As Clive Elderton wrote in his Medal News tribute, David was ’probably best known as the medal researcher’s best friend at the National Archives at Kew, always ready to help novice, inexperienced researchers.’ He was certainly generous of his time. He also led a full and interesting life with the comfort of his church wrapped around him and the knowledge that his was a life of meaning.
Tony Coleman

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