These two Memorial Death Plaques or ‘Death Coins’ from WW1 were given to the families of George Sloan Brown and Alexander Cumming for their sacrifices during the First World War.
It was in October 1916 that the British Government set up a committee for the idea of a commemorative plaque that could be given to the next of kin for those men and women whose deaths were caused by the First World War from 1914-1918. The first a family would know of the death of a family member was the arrival of a telegram from the War Office. This would then be followed by the First World War Death Plaque and any medals the serviceman would have earned serving his country.
Production of the plaques, which was supposed to be financed by German reparation money, began in 1919 with approximately 1,150,000 issued. They commemorated those who fell between 4th August, 1914 and 10th January, 1920 for home, Western Europe and the Dominions whilst the final date for the other theatres of war or those who died of attributable causes was April 30th 1920.
The next of kin of the 306 British and Commonwealth military personnel who were executed following a Court Martial did not receive a memorial plaque.