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Harry Lauder Million Pound Fund Medal

Started by bruce61813, August 22, 2009, 05:21:33 AM

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I have to put in my latest acquisition for my work on World War I  medals. It is for the Hary Lauder Million pound fund that was started for " maimed men, Scottish soldiers and sailors " of World War I.

Sir Harry Lauder 1870 - 1950, "The 'Laird of the Music Hall".  Harry Lauder was born in Portobello near Edinburgh in 1870. He was probably the most famous entertainer of his period, he toured the world for forty years including 22 times to the U.S.A., Sir Winston Churchill referred to Harry as "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador". Harry was the first British entertainer to sell a million records and was a favorite of King Edward VII and an intimate friend of the famous tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton, amongst others. In 1917 he established the Harry Lauder Million Pound Fund for maimed men, Scottish soldiers and sailors, as a result of his war work Lauder was made a knight of the British Empire in 1919. Harry Lauder entered Freemasonry in 1897, joining Lodge Dramatic No.571 in Glasgow. He was also a member of the Bohemian Lodge No. 3294, EC, which met in Birkenhead. He suffered personal tragedy during the war, when his only son, John (1891–1916), a Captain in the 8th Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on 28 December 1916 at Poiziers. Harry wrote the song "Keep Right on to the End of the Road" in the wake of John's death, and would memorialize his son, who was buried in France, in the little Lauder cemetery in Glenbranter. For his services during the war, Lauder was knighted in January 1919.

size [mm]: 25, weight [gms]: 7.7

obv: Ornate Flower Decoration around, large "L" with "AUDER" inside it, Lark perched on it, Scottish Thistle At Bottom.

rev: main inscription around in wide border, "Won by" inside, at bottom crossed golf clubs of ball in side rectangle.



No Scottish ancestry, all Norwegian as far back as the 14th century, or anyones's best guess.

One thing i forgot to mention, Harry was working with Charlie Chaplain on a movie, it was partly completed, but never finished, there is a small part, about 8 minutes long that has survived.



There is a welsh writer, Jasper Fforde, who writes a series "Thursday Next", it is a funny satire and an alternate time-line. there is a character in one of the books that could well be Harry Lauder, but he is treated with respect. the reason this came to mind is that the character in the book had been a music hall performer, turned politician during WW II or whatever happened in their time-line, but he is a very old man at the time of the book. So Harry Lauder will carry one for many more generations.



Poignant is a particularly appropriate word here. Rudyard Kipling's only son was also killed in te first world war. As a gifted writer, Kipling copes with his loss in a different way. If you are a parent, this will choke you up.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


There were a lot of great people who died in the Great War. While working on my 'never ending essay', I found that one of the deaths was the poet Joyce Kilmer. Almost every every American has read the poem while in school:

I THINK that I shall never see   
A poem lovely as a tree.   
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest   
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;   
A tree that looks at God all day,            5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   
A tree that may in summer wear   
A nest of robins in her hair;   
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;   
Who intimately lives with rain.                   10
Poems are made by fools like me,   
But only God can make a tree.   

It truly a waste of lives and resources, and did change the world .