Originally formed as far back as 1794, the Oxfordshire Yeomanry (later the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars) have a particularly distinguished history and enjoy the distinction of having Winston Churchill as an officer from 1902 to shortly before the outbreak of the Great War. The future PM retained a special fondness for his old regiment and made sure they were the first territorial unit to see action in 1914. Later after D-day, they were again the first territorials sent to France on the personal instructions from the Prime Minister. In the plans for Churchill’s funeral (codenamend ‘Operation Hope Not’) members of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry were given the unprecedented distinction of having prominent position immediately ahead of his coffin at the state funeral, in preference to many senior and more prestigious regiments.
The badge seen here is large (6.8 x 11cm) so it is most likely from a vehicle or gun carriage. This may well be from one of the Regiment’s anti-tank units during the Second World War. Two were stationed at Banbury (551st and 552nd)and two others at Oxford (249th and 250th). The 249th Battery served in NW Europe and were the first British unit to arrive in Belsen on 15 April 1945. The 251st saw action at Singapore where, after being left with no option but to surrender to the Japanese, they were force marched 400 miles to brutal POW camps and years of forced labour.
Following the recent government announcement outlining the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, we’ve been reviewing our approach to opening up the market again and are pleased to announce that – unless Government rules are changed – the planned opening date for the Collectors’ market is 17th APRIL! This is obviously great news for both collectors and dealers who will be able to interact face to face when negotiating the best deals. As always though, our priority remains keeping the public and stall holders safe so this is uppermost in our minds when making the decision to re-open. Naturally, government guidelines must still be adhered to with the wearing of face masks, social distancing and keeping gatherings to the appropriate number.
We look forward to welcoming our regular and new visitors to the market!
On a more sad note, Bridget and Jim would like to offer their condolences to the family of Neil, a long standing member of the Charing Cross Market community who recently passed away after suffering serious ill health over the past few years. He has been unable to attend the market for the past couple of years but we were in contact with him to obtain an update on his health. Despite having much to contend with health-wise, Neil retained that same wonderful sense of humour and met life’s trials with dignity and acceptance. He really was one of a kind and we know that he will be missed by many at the market.
To a child, it’s an obvious answer: if you don’t have enough money, just print some more! Although the perils of such a simplistic solution – hyperinflation and economic implosion – were long known in theory, it hasn’t stopped some governments from doing it, most famously Weimar Germany. The consequences for ordinary people were catastrophic: life savings wiped out in a week, wages collected in suitcases, the price of a coffee going up between the time it was ordered and the arrival of the bill, stoves being lit with banknotes…the examples are startling.
Naturally, the banknotes of the period tell their own story. Previously inconceivable denominations were printed (and in some cases overprinted!). The highest amount from the Weimar period is the 100 trillion mark note (pictured) but much more recently, Zimbabwe printed its own 100 trillion dollar version. Most sobering of all is just how much these notes are worth to collectors today. The Zimbabwean note can be had for around £40 while Weimar-era currency often change hands for as little as a few pounds.