World’s first gold sovereign coins ever to pay tribute to the everyday ranks that fought in The Second World War
On Remembrance Day each year we pay respect to those who have fought to defend this country. Each passing year becomes more significant as the number of men and women who saw service in the Second World War on land, at sea and in the air and who are still with us become ever fewer. Sadly, most are no longer with us.
Now, however, an important series of gold sovereign coins has been struck, the first of its kind ever to pay tribute to the everyday ranks of our armed forces that fought in the Second World War.
Each of the new sovereigns in the series features a different design, representing service men and women from across the British armed forces including infantry, navy, air force and auxiliary. The one-eighth sovereign carries a motif from the 1939-45 War Medal, awarded to everyone in the British forces who fought in the Second World War.
We often hear tales of individual heroism, maybe those that resulted in the award of a Victoria Cross or similar, but the contribution made by regular members of the armed forces to the Allied victory in 1945 cannot be overstated. Coming from all walks of life and from across the nation, every single one of them played their part in resisting the enemy and in, eventually, bringing about his downfall.
The true British spirit is perhaps best represented not by the heroism of unique individuals but by the effort of millions of everyday people to ‘do their bit’ for their country. Just about every family included some of these ‘everyday people’, whose accounts of the war years we will soon lose to the passage of time. Those who began the Second World War in their twenties are now in their hundreds, and for most of us, the precious time we’ve spent with this remarkable generation telling their stories is consigned to memory. How best do we ensure these experiences are anchored for the younger generations, for whom the Second World War is now in distant history? A permanent reminder of the courage and endurance of this wartime generation has now been made in solid 22 carat gold.
A tribute not just to celebrated individuals, but to all who served in our armed forces
The media often focuses on the heroic deeds of a specific individual, typically a Victoria Cross winner or other high profile individual. However, the defence of this nation was made possible by millions of service men and women, many of them of ordinary rank, but each of whom played their part with courage and resolve. The coins in this new series celebrate no-one specific, and in that way are a tribute to all who served. The designs feature profile images of some of the objects of war that symbolise the different armed divisions involved: for example, the quarter sovereign features a Sherman tank to represent the armoured units, the half sovereign depicts Howitzer Mk II field gun, the sovereign features the Vickers Mk I machine gun and the one-eighth sovereign is inspired by the 1939-45 War Medal awarded to all who fought in the Second World War.
Authorised by Tristan Da Cunha and approved by both the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Buckingham Palace, it is a wonderful tribute – and a world first one at that – first sovereign coins ever to pay tribute to the everyday ranks that fought in The Second World War.