‘Death Penny’ a symbol of freedom and honor
I am long time collector of mourning memorabilia and I have a special place in my heart for those items that commemorate those who died serving us in the military. One of my favorite items is not from the U.S. but is from Great Britain – the World War One Death Penny.
This large disk (5 inches in circumference) is made of bronze gunmetal. The British Government wanted an official token to be given to the families of the fallen service men and women of WWI. The resulting “penny” features an image of Britannia and a Lion, two Dolphins (representing the British sea power) and the emblem of Germany’s eagle being ravaged by another lion. Britannia holds an oak wreath with leaves and acorns. Under this is a rectangular plaque where the deceased’s name was cast. No rank is ever given to show that all are equal in their sacrifice for their country. Around the edge of the “penny” are the words “He died for freedom and honor.”
The “penny” was issued from Aug. 4, 1914, to April 30, 1920. The one that I have in my collection has been beautifully framed and is in honor of Roy Hill. Thanks to him and all those great men and women that died for our freedom and honor.
— Sudi Freeland
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Human Statue of Liberty reminds us of service
My name is Carol Raithel, and I am from Strawberry Point, Iowa. I was really surprised when I opened the Nov. 12 issue of Antique Trader and saw the picture of the soldiers posing as the Statue of Liberty. My husband Tom is a member of the Legion Post here in town and there is a framed picture there at the Legion Hall of the same thing! Only that photo (because it probably IS from that era) is all taped and not in good shape. I was really excited to hear the history of the picture!
I work at the library here in Strawberry Point and will be making a Veteran’s Day display and I will include this picture. It is so wonderful. Really sad that it was never used as a promotion.
We can never thank our soldiers enough for what they do for us!