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Newsletter February 2011
FEBRUARY 2011 - VOLUME 3, EDITION 1
Kingly medal comes to Canada
Vimy Pilgrimage Medal to be permanently
displayed at the Canadian War Museum
A fascinating piece of Canada’s military history now resides at the War Museum in perpetuity thanks to the generosity of two Canadians who wanted to preserve a unique Vimy medal.
The Royal Canadian Legion Pilgrimage Medal was worn by King Edward VIII in unveiling the Vimy Memorial on July 26, 1936. It stayed in various private collections since that time but was put up for auction at Sotheby’s last year along with 20 other items given by the former King to Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he abdicated the throne only a few months after the Vimy unveiling.
Andrew Powell, Founder and President Emeritus of The Vimy Foundation, partnered with fellow Canadian John McBain in co-purchasing this medal for £12,500 ($20,000 CDN). Working closely with the Canadian War Museum, Mr. Powell and Mr. McBain arranged to have the newly purchased medal sent to Canada where it will remain in Museum’s permanent collection.
“The King’s medal represents the loss of thousands of people from three countries – Canada, France and Great Britain – who fought side by side, trench-by-trench, in the First World War”, said Mr. Powell. “It’s a medal forged in sacrifice, worn by majesty and purchased through passion.”
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