My contributions to a conversation in Amfortas’ Tavern.
You asked so I will tell…
A number of years ago a colleague and I showed a couple of visitors from another department around the Weapons collection that was held at MoD Donnington. One of the exhibits was a replica of the Victoria Cross metal.
After we had finished our visit we called in on the senior military officer who was OIC of the building where the museum was housed, in order to say thank you for allowing us to arrange the visit. We got chatting with him and he asked if we would like to see the Victoria Cross metal. Well there was only ONE answer to that question! He then produced a locked box from within a locked cabinet in his office. He showed us the fragment of metal and pointed out the smooth side where the metal had been sliced to send for casting. He explained that a portion is always kept ready the jewelers, so they can start work on a medal when it is needed.
The security of the metal seems to have stepped up a bit since those good old days 😉
The weapons collection has now been moved from Donnington and is available for public viewing:
In my early days at work the piece of VC gun metal had a Nato Stock Number (NSN) and was part of the weapons inventory in the storehouse. The VC gun metal was stored and locked in a secure cage along with other attractive items…
The following link refers to a stock record card, that is how the stores were accounted for before the advent of computers (the army were well behind the curve introducing computers into regular use).
I think the picture in the link is showing the replica as it was displayed in the museum at Donnington. The cut portion of the metal is to the rear.
Then later as I mentioned below the gun metal was moved from the stores inventory (and stores location) and kept under lock and two keys by an Army officer.
Somehow you (often) seem to have the knack of getting me reminiscing 😉
The full conversation can be viewed here.