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Ring help please!
Old 06-13-2018, 07:36 PM   #1
Byzanti
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Default Ring help please!

Best as I can figure, I would guess Canadian with the maple leaf. It’s 10k over sterling, possibly a semi precious stone there too, but unsure. 1939-1945 seem pretty obvious, but the “pagoda” with a cross on top and the “VG” have me
stumped. Could be initials of course or “victory” something or “Victoria” something, but outside of a guess relating to Hong Kong, I just can’t ID it. Can anyone help? Thanks.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:20 AM   #2
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My completely unsupported theory would be that somebody had it made after the war and that his name was 'Victor' or 'Vincent G....' and the pagoda memorializes his service in Asia - more likely Burma than Hong Kong.

I can't think of any Canadian unit with a VG, nor doe any show up in the CMHS list of Cdn military abbreviations for War Two.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:21 AM   #3
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hmm have a close look at it. There is a Cross on top of the 'Pagoda' so mostl likely not a 'Pagoda' at all. A Cenotaph perhaps??
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:24 PM   #4
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1939-1945 indicates European war theatre IMO
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:19 AM   #5
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"There is a Cross on top of the 'Pagoda' so mostl likely not a 'Pagoda' at all." Well spotted! And I think you may be right.

[Note to self: start brain before putting mouth/typing fingers in gear! ]
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:35 AM   #6
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Thank you all so much for your thoughts (I’m not closing the comments, more please!) I agree, that’s what I thought so I put “pagoda” in quotations just to kind of describe it... the cross, cenotaph- could be!! Still kind of “Asian” in its look though- could it be in Hong Kong? I’ve heard there are Canadian memorials there. But I’ve never been there myself... is this true?
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:06 AM   #7
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Yes, Canada had a number of troops killed and captured during the fall of Hong Kong and there is a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery there for Canadians at a place called Sai Wan. It has a memorial, though not like the one on the ring. Could be artistic licence.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter monahan View Post
Yes, Canada had a number of troops killed and captured during the fall of Hong Kong and there is a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery there for Canadians at a place called Sai Wan. It has a memorial, though not like the one on the ring. Could be artistic licence.
I was hoping to post on Canada day.. but waf was down! Anyhow after further research, much aided by peters hints here- the cenotaph is in fact a commonwealth memorial “cross of sacrifice” (more a broadsword than a cross, but it has a dual symbolism) - there is one at the Sai Wan cemetery representing the troops who died there from commonwealth nations, specifically - Canada. The tombstones of Canadian soldiers bear the identical maple leafs as seen on the rings sides- and at the entrance, the broadsword upon the wall bears the dates “1939” and “1945”- there is an inscription to the fallen of the battle of Hong Kong upon the memorial. There is only one “V.G.” In the cemetery- a soldier of the Winnipeg Grenadiers (tough guys!) named Victor Geekie. He died on the 19th of December 1941 during the defense of Hong Kong. The Japanese had massacred POWs, soldiers in the hospital; and at least 20 grenadiers who were attempting to surrender on the 18th. Dying along with Pvt Geekie on the 19th were two other famous Grenadiers, their commander General Lawson and the only Victoria cross recipient there, sergeant major Osborn, who sacrificed himself to save others. Pvt Geekie has a lake named after him today in Western Manitoba (Geekie lake), and I’m hoping that this (albeit late) post in honor of him on this day (minus 1, darn WAF!)
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #9
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More...
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:21 PM   #10
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Sgt Osborne
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:36 AM   #11
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Well done, Byzanti. It's always nice to solve a puzzle and doubly so, in this case, when the answer is of some significance. Happy belated Canada Day!
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:18 PM   #12
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Question: Are you saying this ring belonged to Geekie or that it was a memorial to him?
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregK View Post
Question: Are you saying this ring belonged to Geekie or that it was a memorial to him?
I would imagine it would have to be a memorial as it contains the war dates, and that he died in the battle of Hong Kong on December 19th, 1941. The rings construction is early, it’s wear is old.. not later than later 40s. It was found in an estate in Canada, so it could have been a relative or a member of his unit. Based on what I know about jewelry though tells me this ring could have been originally Pvt Geekies, sent home with his effects, that then had a relative or comrade take to a jeweler to add real gold overlays and a topaz added to enhance ornamentation, add respect in commentating the man. The engraving is typical of UK/Canada/USA silver workers who used a similar engraving style on bracelets of the period. I definitely think the engraving on the shanks and the initials were added, along with the topaz- note how it cuts into the word “Nson” on the reverse, and somewhat obscures the cenotaph/memorial. Only other thought I had on the cenotaph is that it was a memorial of Jamaica, as Pvt Geekie served in the Grenadiers there as he enlisted in 1939... the question as to whether it was his original ring that was enhanced (I’m leaning that way) or whether it was done immediately after the war by a fellow Grenadier or family member will remain a mystery.... unless someone knows the family?
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:11 PM   #14
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Here are the cenotaphs at Falmouth and Kingston Jamaica (WW1 memorials); also an interesting study on the commonwealth’s various styles of the cross of sacrifice.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:29 PM   #15
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... or- “VG” is a Grenadier who survived!!
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