Churchill Collectables: Churchill Coalition Government Medallion
By BRIAN KRAPF
It is always a rare and exciting opportunity to discover a piece that has a direct, personal connection to the Great Man. The bronze medallion pictured here is such an item, and I am honored to include it in my Churchilliana collection. Few examples of this extremely rare item will ever reach the market.
Following V-E Day in May 1945, the Conservative-led, coalition government that Churchill had formed in 1940 was dissolved. A general election was called, and Churchill formed a purely Conservative “caretaker” government to manage the nation’s affairs until the results of the election could be known. At this critical time, and as a way of saying thank-you for dedication and service, Churchill personally commissioned these bronze medallions—a good four inches in width—and presented one to each member of the coalition.
The medallion seen here is the one Churchill presented to Henry Page Croft (1st Baron Croft), a Conservative who served as Under-Secretary of State for War throughout the coalition’s existence. Typically, such items are closely held by families and seldom enter the marketplace. Research indicates, however, that Lord Croft has no living heirs. Nevertheless, Croft’s medallion is now properly preserved, and the history of his service to his King and country are cherished and not forgotten.
Brian Krapf formerly served as President of the American Political Items Collectors, which is devoted to the preservation and study of America’s political heritage. He has been honored with APIC’s highest award: induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Items from the Krapf collection have been featured in History Channel documentaries and also in major print media publications. He has also served as a national advisor to eBay in the areas of security and fraud detection, and he designed eBay’s current political memorabilia listing categories.