Coronation chicken


An interesting find. Anyone know more about this?

This is an interesting bit of ephemera I was first made aware of last year by the wonderful Sir Gerald of Reece who has one of these, and I’d really like (as would he) to know more about it.

This is a medallion awarded by the Brownhills Coronation Committee in honour of the coronation of King George V in 1911.


I think the hole was made with a knife and fork! Not even deburred. Curious.

The medallion is 38mm (1½ inches) diameter, and one side shows the King and Queen, with ‘His Majesty King George V & her Majesty Queen Mary’ around the edge; the other side says ‘Presented by the Brownhills Coronation Committee to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary June 22nd 1911’ surrounded by laurels. It feels like it’s made from pewter or a similar cheap metal.

Interestingly, the hole on the rim for hanging is very roughly punched. My version came without the ribbon, which on Gerald’s is red, white and blue.


Gerald’s medallion in a very cranky photo. I don’t think it was taken in a nightclub, but it looks like it was. Oh dear.

I do owe an apology to Gerald, who kindly brought his example to the talk he gave last autumn in Brownhills, and the photographer (who shall remain nameless) had a camera malfunction, so I was at a bit of a loss to do the article.

Since then, I’ve found another one in an antique shop in Lichfield, which I purchased and feature here. What we’re after is what were the medallions given for and to whom, were they a national thing, or just local? Who were the Committee? What was their function?

There were celebrations in Brownhills (as of course here were all over the UK) for the coronation; thankfully, we have a couple of photos, and it looked like a real party…

Please, if you know anything about these medallions, or the Coronation Committee, please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


Two images seemingly minutes apart of the 1911 Coronation parade as it passed the Warreners Arms headed towards Anchor Bridge. Image from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

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13 Responses to Coronation chicken

  1. wyrleyblog says:

    Hi Bob,

    It was very common for Local Authorities to form one central and several local committees (with representatives from local business, church etc) in order to celebrate (eg end of war/coronations) or commemorate (eg establishing war memorials). .

    Quite often, these committees will organise competitions (sports days), tree plantings etc. Usually, it seemed that every school child would receive a gift – from spoons, mugs and coins to pens. The medal doesn’t mention it as an ‘Education Committee’, so I am wondering it is more the former.

    I will take a look through the BUDC records to see if anything comes to light – as you know, I am very busy… but it will be checked out!

  2. wyrleyblog says:

    The mintues for this Committee do not survive in the WLHC collections – those for Gt Barr’s Committee do – it seems that every woman got a cup and saucer with some tea, while the men got a mug and baccie!

    The BUDC would not use ratepayer’s money to fund anything, so it seemed that the Brownhills Coronation Committee was formed to do something locally. All that is in the BUDC minutes is to do with the surplus – what was left after the celebrations (raised from public conscription) was used to fund the clock on the public buildings? Assuming this did happed, does it mean anything to you?

    I will, when I get chance, look at the Walsall Observer to see what it says. ATB.

  3. Pedro says:

    17 March 1911…THE CORONATION

    Mr. Bradbury proposed that the members the Council for several wards form a committee and call a public meeting to make arrangements for the Coronation. He thought that something ought to bo given to the children and old people. He thought that the Norton people and the Walsall Wood people could arrange their own celebrations. He spoke as a member of the Central Ward. He did not believe in taking any money from the rates for the purpose. It ought to be done by subscription.— Mr. Emery said That the arrangements had been commenced at Norton. They had got a good committee and commencing with the money that was left over from the Empire Day celebrations. They were feed the children and the old people. He was against spending any money from the
    rates.—The Chairman concurred. It was decided to defer the matter to the next meeting.

  4. Pedro says:

    5 Aug 1911….Brownhills Coronation Memorial

    The question of the Coronation Memorial came forward, a letter being received from the Central Ward Committee saying that subscriptions were needed towards the fund and asking the Council if they would accept the clock, and also keep it in repair.

    It seemed that the sum of £19 had at present been raised and that altogether about £65 would be required, It was proposed to place the clock over the Council Building.

    It was agreed to accept the clock and to inform the Committee that the Council would keep it in repair.

  5. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    Walsall Wood? The article “Looking after the girls” has this headteacher’s logbook note
    June 16th, 1911
    school closed for one week in celebration of the coronation of King George

    kind regards

  6. Pedro says:

    Meanwhile over in Hednesford, June 1911…

    Mr Smithurst was pleased to provide every schoolboy and girl in the Hednesford Ward with a Coronation Medal.

  7. jimbob says:

    I have found a couple of these metal detecting although virtually identical they were embossed as presented by the Walsall mayor. These type of medallions were issued in the millions for royal events I’ve found a few from the reign of Victoria, Edward 7th, and George 5th

  8. aerreg says:

    IF it may be of any interest brownhills clock ore to quote my arkives brownhills public clock was started NOVEMBER 21 1912 THHURSDAY AT 2 30 PM now you would not have slept tonight if I had not told you that god bless

  9. aerreg says:

    Hi bob thanks for your coments but I aint that brainy I have a wonnderful old hand written diary by my uncle george 1911 TO 1912 full of facts figures of who came who whent what happend in brownhills and the world marriages pit accidents you name it he wrote it bless him and its better than my one finger bad spelling and to quote today he was there wor the tea shirt it is very frail but to me its a treasure like your fellowship thanks

    • Reg shhh! Don’t let light in on the magic!

      Hey, I have extracts from the diary to go up here. Very intensive post to make, but I shall try to get it out soon.

      Cheers old tater

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