September 2, 2014

“We Will Remember Them” Coin Series Marks First World War Centenary

The Pobjoy Mint have announced on behalf of the Governments & Treasuries of Ascension, the British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, and the Isle of Man, a new set of crown coins entitled “We Will Remember Them” which mark the centennial of the commencement of the Great war – otherwise known as World War I.

The catalyst or incident which ignited this war which had been described as the “war to end all wars” – was the untimely assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand – heir to the vast Austrian-Hungarian throne. On the 28th June 1914, while on a visit to the city of Sarajevo, with its substantial population of Serbians, an anarchist and Serbian nationalist by the name of Gavril Princep plotted along with five other accomplices to shoot and kill the Archduke. On the day of the Archduke’s arrival, he had a grenade thrown at the automobile which was carrying him and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. Incensed by this incident and as the grenade had detonated behind the car the royal couple were traveling in, the Archduke chose to continue with the visit and arrived at the official residence of the Governor. After the visit, the royal couple had asked to visit with those affected or injured by the grenade blast. On their way to the hospital, the car they were traveling in had stalled and Princep who had spotted them – walked up to the stalled auto and shot both the Archduke and the Duchess at point blank range. The Archduke had died within minutes of being shot and the Duchess herself died on the way to the hospital.

This incident, which enacted long-standing treaties of alliance, saw the empires of Germany & Austria-Hungary along with that of the Ottoman Empire against the Entente’ powers of Great Britain, France and the Russian Empire. The United States later entered the war against the Axis powers. For almost four and a half years, much of Europe along with many of their colonies around the world were embroiled in deadly fighting which at the end of this conflict, saw the deaths of more than nine million soldiers with countless civilians wounded and displaced. The conflict saw Europe a very different place in terms of geo-political borders and governments as three empires collapsed in Europe including the Ottoman Empire in Asia-minor. Several countries were born out of the fighting as well as other states being incorporated into other countries and confederations. The conflict solved some problems and created others which weren’t to be solved until the Second World War just 21 years later.

The coins, produced by the Pobjoy Mint, UK and comprising a total of eight issues are divided by four different issuing authorities. They are Ascension, the British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, and the Isle of Man who each have issued two coins in the series.

Ascension Island

Ascension: The first coin features the Signing of the Armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. The second design shows a cemetery at the Somme dedicated to those who fell in World War I.

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: The first of the two designs features the Edith Cavell Memorial in Norwich, England with a nurse in the foreground.  Edith Cavell was a British nurse who is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without distinction. The second design features T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) on a camel against a background of Aqaba (present-day Jordan)

falkland-islands

Falkland Islands: The first of the Falkland Islands coins features members of the Armed Forces (one in a wheelchair) in front of the Cross of Sacrifice with aircraft overhead. The second coin features the famed Royal Chelsea Hospital with a Chelsea Pensioner in the foreground.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: The first design depicts an image of British and German soldiers playing football on Christmas Day 1914 with their helmets and stacked rifles in the foreground.  The final coin in the series depicts an image of a horse in the middle of No Man’s Land amidst barbed wire.

Denomination Metal Weight Dimensions Quality Mintage
1 Crown, £2, $10 .925 silver 28 grams 38.6 mm. Proof 10,000 pieces
1 Crown, £2, $10 Cupro-nickel 28 grams 38.6 mm BU unlimited

The coins, all crown-sized and issued in both cupro-nickel (BU) and in sterling silver (proof) The silver strikes also incorporate as part of their design, a colorised poppy in vivid red, green and black. For more information on this series and other coins offered by the respective issuing authorities included in the set, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint at: http://www.pobjoy.com/ukworld/section.php/815/0 Information offered in English – international orders dispatched.

A series of four colorful stamps also accompanies the coins from Ascension, these can be found at: www.pobjoystamps.com

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Comments

  1. Michael, thanks for promoting this. This series looks like a must-buy. I wish our own US Mint would do a World War I commemorative.

  2. M Alexander says:

    My pleasure, I must admit some of the reverse designs are especially touching, most notably the two coins from the Isle of Man. The coin also honouring Edith Cavell will I think also be one of the coins which becomes popular with some collectors.

    On this day which we remember those fallen heroes who served their country after the Great war – on D-Day, I take a moment to offer my gratitude to all of them, we who continue to enjoy the freedoms and peace you fought & died for, are in your eternal debt.

    M Alexander

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