101019 | GREAT BRITAIN & GERMANY. Destruction of a Zeppelin gold Award Medal.

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    101019 | GREAT BRITAIN & GERMANY. Destruction of the Zeppelin gold Award Medal. Issued 1916. Engraved and awarded to Gunner Trigwell for successfully downing a German Zeppelin (30mm, 13.42 g, 12h). By Mappin & Webb in Birmingham.

     

    GUNNER TRIGWELL, anti-aircraft gun left, being manned by a gunner, with barrel pointed toward "L15" representing the Zeppelin airships; below, banner reading WELL HIT MARCH 31st–APRIL 1st 1916 / PRESENTED BY THE LORD MAYOR / COLONEL SIR CHARLES WAKEFIELD, familial coat-of-arms of Wakefield.

     

    BHM –; Eimer –; Jones, Dance of Death, –; The Art of Devastation –; Barac –. Gem Mint State. Charming bronze-gold glazed surfaces, with some underlying brilliance and some light deposits from being in the original lunettes; clasp at top. Very rare and interesting type.

     

    Zeppelin was a German general and aircraft manufacturer, who later founded the airship company Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. During World War I, many of his airships were utilized in scouting missions and bombing campaigns, most notably in Britain where their bombings killed over 500 citizens. Following some of these raids, Colonel Sir Charles Cheers Wakefield—founder of the Castrol motor oil and lubricants company and also the Lord Mayor of London—offered a £500 prize to whoever shot down the first of these enemy airships. On the night of 31 March and into the following morning, a zeppelin raid ensued, and a Royal Artillery battery at Purfleet successfully hit and brought down an airship. As the War Office ruled that soldiers could not receive such compensation in the form of a monetary prize, Wakefield instead commissioned some 353 of these medals—struck in 9 carat gold—to be produced, engraved, and presented to gunners at the battery in honor of addressing the zeppelin threat.

     

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