Cashing in on First World War anniversary

A new �20 silver coin to commemorate one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War has been produced by the Royal Mint. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A new �20 silver coin to commemorate one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War has been produced by the Royal Mint. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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With the centenary of the start of the First World War, I have been utterly appalled by the promotion of “commemorative” memorabilia that, quite frankly, is insulting to the memory of those that gave their lives for a better world.

Two examples illustrate my point.

Last week Royal Mail delivered to our house an unsolicited leaflet for a £5 commemorative coin, available for £5. One was then invited to psychologically dedicate the coin to a war relative from 1914-18.

A well-known coin dealer in Blackpool tells stories of people arriving at his shop on a weekly basis with collections of “commemorative” coins for which they have paid many hundreds of pounds to find they are almost worthless.

Unable to confront their gullibility, they then start blaming him for not offering a fair price!

Further research revealed a well-known commemorative coin company to be selling a 1914 Gold Sovereign for £490, yet I believe an identical coin can be purchased from a numismatic company of long-standing for around £360.

Clearly, commemorative coin companies are “coining it in”.

If one wishes to commemorate the war, may I suggest standing quietly for 10 minutes at the war memorial in Colne and reading every name in turn.

I’ve never got to the end of the list without crying.

Kevin Hey

Colne