Tags

Add your own tags:
Separate multiple tags using a comma

Plaque - Next of Kin Memorial Plaque, World War I, Great Britain, Private Frank Fregon, 1919 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 36191

Summary:
Alternative Name(s): Death Plaque, The King's Penny, Dead Man's Penny

Next of Kin Memorial Plaque - World War I. In memory of Private Frank Fregon, service number 2409, 57th Battalion, A.I.F.

Private Fregon was born in Omeo, Victoria in 1883. He was a farmer when he joined on 29 April 1916 aged 33 years old. Listed as his next of kin was his mother Mrs. Elizabeth Fregon. Both Fregon and his mother's address on the Nominal roll at the time of his joining was Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne. He embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT Shropshire on 25 September 1916.
Private Fregon died from his wounds, aged 33 in France on 25 March 1917. His memorial is located at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Dernancourt, Corbie Albert Area, France.
Description:
A circular bronze plaque. It features Britannia, classically robed and helmeted, standing facing right, holding a modest laurel wreath crown in her extended left hand and supporting a trident by her right side with her right arm and hand. In the foreground a male lion stands facing right; the animal was originally described as 'striding forward in a menacing attitude' which may explain its unusually low profile. Above the lion's head is a rectangular panel containing the name of the deceased, FRANK FREGON. To the right of Britannia's head and by the side of her right arm are small dolphins, a reference to British sea-power. At the lower right edge is a branch of oak leaves and acorns. Around the edge, HE+DIED+FOR+FREEDOM+ +AND+HONOUR. In exergue, in symbolic confrontation, a lion pounces on an eagle: a reference to the desired destruction of the Central Powers. The artist, E Carter Preston's initials were embossed above the lion's right forepaw. The number 12 is impressed by the animal's right rear paw (a manufacturer's number).
Statement Of Significance:
Memorial plaques of this sort were devised by the British government during World War I to commemorate the fallen and boost lagging morale. In 1916 a committee was established by Secretary of State for War, David Lloyd George, to consider what form the memorial should take for those who died 'on active service'. The Committee included two peers, six Members of Parliament, and representatives for the Dominions, the India Office, the Colonial Office and the Admiralty. A specialist sub-committee assisted with artistic and technical detail, and included the directors of the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

In August 1917 a public design competition was advertised, with a £500 prize pool. Entrants were advised that 'The design should comprehend a subject and a brief inscription. It is suggested that some symbolical figure subject should be chosen but the following inscription has been decided upon: 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' and this must form part of the design.' A space for the deceased's name was to be included. It was later decided that a scroll would also be presented. Over 800 entries were received from Britain and beyond. The first prize, of £250, for two model designs, was awarded on 24 January 1918 to Edward Carter Preston, Sandon Studios Society, Liverpool. The lion in his depiction was originally 'striding forward in a menacing attitude' but was later given a more benign posture.

Production of the plaques began in December 1918, but had a troubled history. The plaques were first made in London's 'Memorial Plaque Factory' managed by American engineer and entrepreneur Manning Pike, then his monopoly was terminated and the plaques began to be made Woolwich Arsenal and other former munitions factories. Production was finally was placed back in the hands of Pike, by which time standards had declined. It is estimated that about 1,150,000 specimens were made.

The plaques commemorated those men and women who died between 4 August 1914 and 10 January 1920, for Home Establishments, Western Europe and the Dominions. Deaths in other theatres of war (including Russia) or for those who died subsequently was 30 April 1920.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 120 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: 120 mm diameter.

More information

Tagged with: wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, fregon
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: military history
DateEra: 1919 AD
Obverse Description: Britannia, classically robed and helmeted, standing facing right, holding a modest laurel wreath crown in her extended left hand and supporting a trident by her right side with her right arm and hand. In the foreground a male lion stands facing right; the animal was originally described as 'striding forward in a menacing attitude' which may explain its unusually low profile. Above the lion's head is a rectangular panel containing the name of the deceased, FRANK FREGON (The original naming has been removed and the panel polished and engraved with this name). To the right of Britannia's head and by the side of her right arm are small dolphins, a reference to British sea-power. At the lower right edge is a branch of oak leaves and acorns. Around the edge, HE+DIED+FOR+FREEDOM+ +AND+HONOUR. In exergue, in symbolic confrontation, a lion pounces on an eagle: a reference to the desired destruction of the Central Powers. The artist, E. Carter Preston's initials were embossed above the lion's right forepaw. The number 12 is impressed by the animal's right rear paw (a manufacturer's number).
Reverse Description: Plain
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: FRANK FREGON
HE + DIED + FOR + FREEDOM + + AND + HONOUR
Shape: Round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: England, Great Britain
Artist: Edward Preston - Sandon Studios Society, England, Great Britain
Person Named: Frank Fregon, Australia
References: References:
From National Archives of Australia; B2455 World War One service records: http://www.naa.gov.au/The_Collection/Defence/Conflicts/ww1/ww1.html
'The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque', Imperial War Museum website: http://www.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.992/viewPage/1, accessed March 2009.
Australian War Memorial website: http://www.awm.gov.au accessed May 2014.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.

Themes

This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No