One Battle. One million casualties.
Nothing represents the suffering of World War I more than the Battle of the Somme, which sees its 100th anniversary on 1st July.
It’s appropriate, therefore, that the new Guernsey £5 coin, officially distributed by The Westminster Collection has been issued in support of The Royal British Legion.
The Legion was founded in 1921 to bring together the four national ex-servicemen’s charities established after the Great War. Today the charity still works tirelessly to provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.
Over £500,000 of donations
And, over the last 6 years commemorative coins have helped to support The Legion’s work, with donations arising from their sales, totally over £500,000.
By owning the Battle of the Somme £5 Coin in support of The Royal British Legion, not only are you ensuring that future generation never forget the sacrifices of the Somme and the other World War One battle, but you are also helping support today’s current and ex-servicemen and their families.
Louise Ajdukiewicz, Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Royal British Legion, says: “These funds make a real difference to the charity and help us continue our vital services supporting the whole Armed Forces community.”
Of course, owning the Battle of the Somme £5 Coin is just a small way that you can help support The Royal British Legion. For more information on how you can support The Legion, please click here.
As the distributor of the annual Poppy Coin we are proud to continue supporting The Royal British Legion each year.
The coins, which have often included colour or gold-plated elements, are some of the most innovative pieces struck for collectors over the last 6 years.
Yet owning a Poppy Coin means much more than simply collecting the latest interesting or historic commemorative coin.
Each coin owned by you has resulted in a donation to the work of The Royal British Legion providing financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.
Last year we were delighted to raise a record amount of over £130,000 with the special First World War Centenary “100 Poppies” coin. And with over £450,000 raised for the RBL to date, we hope to break the £500,000 mark this year for total donations.
Louise Ajdukiewicz, Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Royal British Legion, says “These funds make a real difference to the charity and help us to continue our vital services supporting the whole Armed Forces community.”
But does owning a Poppy Coin provide an alternative to wearing a Poppy or donating directly to The Royal British Legion? Of course not.
I’ll be making my annual donation to The Royal British Legion and wearing my Poppy with pride this year. But I have also bought a silver Poppy Coin for each of my children in the knowledge that they will have a valuable reminder of the sacrifices of the First World War.
Own the new Remembrance Day £5 Poppy Coin for just £5 today
New Poppy coins are made available during the Remembrance period from October each year and this year’s design will be a ‘numismatic ‘first’. The 2015 coin features a poppy wreath encircling the famous quote, ‘Lest we forget’ – the first time that a wreath design has been used on a poppy coin.
Click here to secure your coin for just £5 (postfree) – with a donation going directly to the Legion’s work.
Care Homes – The Legion has six care homes to provide short and long term care for serving and ex-Service people and their dependants. Situated around the country, they offer a wide range of services including four with specialist dementia care. Care home communities include men and women of varied ages and abilities, and because these homes are exclusive to ex-Service people and their dependants, there is a unique camaraderie.
Break Centres – they offer much-needed breaks to ex-Service and serving personnel and their families, who may be recovering from an illness, bereavement or other life-affecting event. The Legion have four Break Centres located in prime locations around the country.
Handy Van Service – they provide essential and critical support to ex-service people who are unable to carry out household repairs or small jobs, helping them to remain independent in their own homes. The team of trusted handy people are also fully trained caseworkers enabling them to look out for other issues and people at risk in order to flag to the wider welfare team.
Benefits and Money Advice – they offer a confidential, face-to-face Benefits and Money Advice Service to help people manage their finances, including assisting them with making claims for state benefits and also dealing with money problems including debt.
Civvy Street – This service provides a range of information and advice on resettlement, learning and work. Civvy Street is designed to assist in-Service families, armed forces leavers and the veterans’ community adjust to civilian life and kick-start a new career.
This year a brand new £5 coin has been issued to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, and it features a never-seen-before effigy of the great man.
Designed by renowned sculptor and artist David Cornell FRSA, the new portrait shows a defiant Churchill in military uniform.
I’ve been given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the portrait, and had a quick chat with the artist himself.
David Cornell is perhaps more famous for sculpting members of the Royal family, (he was even commissioned to paint a birthday portrait of the Queen) so I thought I’d ask him about his inspiration behind the new design:
“Winston Churchill was a major part of my childhood growing up in London during the War, hearing his speeches and seeing photos on posters, which left an indelible impression on me.
“I realised later what a great man he was and his contribution to the War effort, inspiring the people of Great Britain.
“As a portrait artist, it has been a great honour for me to be able to portray him in this tribute to honour his legacy.”
First of all Cornell worked on a plaster engraving of the portrait, making sure it fits the very particular dimensions of a coin. You can see the fine detail in the picture above, and also the large size of the plaster, which has to be reduced when the die is created to strike the coin.
The finished £5 coin also features an inscription of one of Churchill’s famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ Although spoken in reference to the heroes of the Battle of Britain, the quotation was chosen as it represents Churchill’s indomitable spirit during the war.
The coin has been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and is available now in a range of metals – from an impressive 5oz 22 carat gold version measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, to a highly collectable cupro-nickel version available to all. I’m sure you’ll agree, it will make a fitting tribute in any collection to our greatest ever Prime Minister.
If you are interested…
The new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version. Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.