World Coins

Royal Mint remembers World War I with coin sets

The Royal Mint continues remembering the fighters, battles and technology of World War I with a six-coin set in 2016. Topics include Jack Cornwell, the “Boy hero of Jutland,” the Battle of Jutland and the dreadnought class of warships, among others.

Coin images courtesy of the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint continues to commemorate World War I and the journey from outbreak to armistice with its third six-coin set of £5 coins, which is available in silver and gold versions.

Each year from 2014 to 2018, the Royal Mint is issuing a set of six coins that cover a range of themes. Topics of the 2016 coins are The Boy Hero of Jutland (Jack Cornwell ), The Battle of Jutland (where Cornwell gained fame), Dreadnought, The Somme, The Army, and Poetry and Language.

John Cornwell, commonly known as Jack Cornwell or simply Boy Jack, is shown on the Boy Hero of Jutland coin in a portrait-style design, at his post as the last surviving gunner aboard the stricken HMS Chester. The coin’s edge lettering reads MOTHER, DON’T WATCH FOR POSTIE a quotation from “The Ballad of Jack Cornwell” by Charles Causley.

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The Boy Hero of Jutland design was created by sculptor David Cornell.

The Battle of Jutland coin was designed by John Bergdahl and depicts the full fury of the battle, the only major naval confrontation of World War I. The coin’s edge lettering, OUR CHILDREN SHALL MEASURE THEIR WORTH, is taken from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Verdicts.”

A coin honoring the Somme depicts the debut of a new piece of military hardware — the tank — with infantrymen advancing behind it. The coin’s edge lettering, DEAD MEN CAN ADVANCE NO FURTHER, is a quotation taken from Maj. Gen. Sir Beauvoir de Lisle, commander of the British 29th Division.

Bergdahl also created the Somme design.

David Rowlands’ design for the coin with The Army theme depicts a group of soldiers in a state of readiness, holed up in their trench. The edge lettering MEN WHO MARCH AWAY is taken from the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy.

For the Poetry and Language theme, David Lawrence embodies poetry in a simple and familiar image: a line of marching men, below words from the Rupert Brooke poem "The Soldier." The coin’s edge lettering, THE TRUTH UNTOLD, THE PITY OF WAR, is taken from Wilfred Owen’s poem "Strange Meeting," one of his most famous works.

The Dreadnought coin in the 2016 set honors a class of British battleship from the early 20th century. Several warships of that class participated in the Battle of Jutland.

The design, created by Edwina Ellis, is testament to the technology and firepower of the dreadnought. The edge lettering WATCH DOGS OF THE NATION is taken from Augustus H. Cook’s poem “For England’s Sons in Danger.”

The Proof six-coin set is available in either .925 fine silver or .9167 fine gold.

All of the coins feature the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

The silver set has a product limit of 1,916 sets, each set retailing for £450. 

The gold set has a product limit of 25 sets, each retailing for £10,500.

To order, visit the Royal Mint website

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