Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Friday, January 25, 2013
A Norfolk museum is appealing for the public’s help to buy a rare medal awarded to a 19th century soldier.
Basil Abbott, manager of Diss Museum, is hoping for donations to help the museum bid for the Diss Volunteer Infantry medal awarded to Diss man Jabez Waller in 1811 for his services to the army.
The medal, valued at between £500 and £800, is set to be auctioned by James and Sons auctioneers in Fakenham along with other military artefacts and medals at the town’s racecourse on January 30, starting at noon.
However, little detail is known about the service and life of Mr Waller, who would have been serving aroung the time the French emperor Napoleon was planning to invade the United Kingdom.
Mr Abbott said the museum, in Diss Market Place, already had displays of military and campaign medals dating back to the first and second world wars, but nothing older than these two wars so the infantry medal would be an interesting addition to the museum’s collection.
He heard about the auction from museum member Brian Jones, who attends many auctions and recommended the medal to Mr Abbott, but he said money would need to be raised to enable the museum to buy it.
He added: “Jabez would have been serving around the time Napoleon was planning to invade Britain and the Diss Volunteer Infantry were almost the Dads Army of their day. It is just a very interesting little artefact and it is quite rare. It would be a really great acquisition for the museum.”
Anyone who would like to donate towards the medal appeal can do so by phoning Mr Abbott on 01379 650618.