Autumn - Issue 40

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Many of the medals most sought after by collectors are awards for bravery. Not only are these intrinsically scarcer, they invariably provide a direct link to an act of valour which we can respect, as well as a story to research and share. Those of us whose education is based on British military history and the British military system will be very familiar with a particular way to reward bravery.

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Venice. Simply the word conjures up a wealth of enchanting images – an island city of marble palaces built on a lagoon. Still a major seaport, it was once the centre of a maritime republic, the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe, and the continent’s commercial and cultural link to Asia. One of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres, it has held an unrivalled place in the Western imagination since the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, and has been described endlessly in both prose and verse.

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On 15th February 1971, ‘D-Day’, the UK went decimal. The pound stayed the same, but the number of pennies in the £ was now 100, from 240 previously, a ratio that had been fixed for more than a millennium. Decimalisation remains the biggest single adjustment to sterling in its history.

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