An unusual combination of the Death Plaque for ABLE SEAMAN ALFRED GEORGE WARD together with a German U-BOAT Light Bulb that according to his family he souvenir 'ed from a captured German Submarine. Able Seaman Ward served on the S.S. POWHATAN (Mercantile Marine)....the ship was attacked by U -66 and sunk with the loss of 16 lives on April 6 1917. ...rather ironic really. I assume that U-BOAT LIGHT BULBS are rather rare items on their own let alone with the Death Plaque associated with the former owner of the Light Bulb and the history attached to it.
The Memorial Plaque was issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire service personnel who were killed as a result of the war.
The plaques (more strictly described as plaquettes) were made of bronze, and hence popularly known as the "Dead Man’s Penny", because of the similarity in appearance to the somewhat smaller penny coin. 1,355,000 plaques were issued, which used a total of 450 tonnes of bronze, and continued to be issued into the 1930s to commemorate people who died as a consequence of the war.
It was decided that the design of the plaque, about 5 inches (120 mm) in diameter and cast in bronze, was to be picked from submissions made in a public competition. Over 800 designs were submitted and the competition was won by the sculptor and medalist Edward Carter Preston with his design called Pyramus, receiving a first place prize of £250.
This token includes an image of Britannia holding a trident and standing with a lion. The designer's initials, E.CR.P., appear above the front paw. In her left outstretched left hand Britannia holds an oak wreath above the rectangular tablet bearing the deceased 's name cast in raised letters. The name does not include the rank since there was to be no distinction between sacrifices made by different individuals. Two dolphins swim around Britannia, symbolizing Britain's sea power, and at the bottom a second lion is tearing apart the German eagle.
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