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John Lennon's MBE
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25 November 2010
10.28am
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Joe
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

Or this article. It was 41 years ago today.

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1 February 2015
7.48pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Joe said

They rediscovered John's MBE a few years ago. It was in some vault somewhere in a British government building in London, together with the letter he wrote. It had been there since 1969, put away for safe keeping then forgotten about.

I'm not sure where it went next - hopefully to a museum.

@Joe, according to this article, it is still at St James's Palace.

14 February 2015
4.40pm
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Hildy
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A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has apparently confirmed that John Lennon's MBE has been located and that it remains the property of his estate.

“It has been retained since the day Mr Lennon returned it but a decision over whether the medal could go on display in a museum is not up to us. It would be up to Yoko Ono as she is the custodian of John Lennon’s estate.”

I would have thought that this medal was the property of Buckingham Palace after it was returned by John Lennon - and I suspect that John would have seen it that way too - but apparently it belongs to his estate, so should it remain there away from the public gaze or should it be on permanent display where we can all see it?

If it did go on display, where is the best place for it? His old house in Liverpool, Buckingham Palace itself or perhaps somewhere more secure in his home city?

As Beatles fans, should we be making a case to Yoko Ono about this?

14 February 2015
4.52pm
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Starr Shine?
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If he returned it it shouldn't be displayed at his place.

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14 February 2015
5.04pm
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Hildy
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Annadog40 said
If he returned it it shouldn't be displayed at his place.

I agree. I think John would agree too.

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14 February 2015
6.16pm
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Ahhh Girl
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It's crazy. They keep putting the "discovery" story out as something new. I got fooled earlier in the month with a news story, and then I found out here in this thread that it was discovered years ago. I wonder what is up with that???

14 February 2015
7.43pm
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Hildy
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Should we as Beatles fans be making a case for it to be on public display or are we happy for it to be tucked away indefinitely in a drawer?

I'd like to see it displayed prominently, probably somewhere in Liverpool, but if a good suggestion was made for a location in London, I'd certainly listen to it.

The point here is that it is of more use where we can see it than in a place where we cannot.

14 February 2015
8.12pm
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Ron Nasty
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Ultimately it is Yoko's decision (at this time) whether to bring the MBE back into the Lennon family's hands. I doubt any fan pressure would change that.

I think it would be interesting if Yoko and the Royal Family came to an agreement to loan both parts of the incident (the medal and the original letter) to the British Library in London's permanent exhibition, which includes many original lyrics and letters (Hunter Davis donated his collection to them). What is on display there revolves, as they can't display all they have all the time, but it would seem a good place as the document (the letter of return sent to the Queen) is as important as the medal itself.

Maybe some of the official government documentation around the award in 1965 could also join them, telling the story of the award and its return.

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14 February 2015
8.15pm
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Ahhh Girl
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The article I read gave this idea

Beatles history experts regard it as one of the most important pieces of Beatles history and are calling for the medal to be put on permanent display at "Mendips", the childhood home John shared with his Aunt Mimi in Woolton, now operated by The National Trust.

Lennon had originally sent the medal to his Auntie Mimi and she kept it in pride of place on her mantelpiece, until John collected it and returned it to The Queen.

That would seem fitting. The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool would be an option.

Would John want it seen?

14 February 2015
8.33pm
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Zig
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A nice idea to put it on display in Mendips, but I don't believe the medal was ever there as Mimi was living in Dorset when John gave her the medal.

If John wanted it seen, he would not have returned it. I say honor the man's wishes and leave it where it is - returned.

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Ahhh Girl
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14 February 2015
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Ahhh Girl
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^Good history lesson, Zig! Thank you. Either the writer of the article didn't know that important fact, or he was meaning that she kept it on the mantle where she lived when John sent it to her. Either way, he didn't make it clear in his story.

14 February 2015
8.54pm
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I'm happy for it to be locked away. I'm not one for campaigning for things such as this.

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14 February 2015
9.47pm
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Ron Nasty
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I find the medal an interesting one, as legally it still belongs to the Lennon family.

It's not really like it's something he gave away, or that its ownership is disputed. John became John Winston Lennon MBE in 1965, and at the time of his death he was John Winston Ono Lennon MBE. The return of the piece of metal and ribbon in its box did nothing to change that, no more than those medals returned in 1965 in protest at the award to The Beatles changed their positions.

A display of documents surrounding the 1965 award, the 1965 returns by war heroes in protest at "mere pop stars" being honoured in such a way, John's return letter in protest at war, and his medal, I think tell an interesting story.

Which is why I suggested the British Library, as it's a free exhibition.

I wouldn't campaign for it, but I do see that - done in the right way - it could also re-emphasise John's original point in the return about war and peace (though not Cold Turkey, as that has long since left the charts!).

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14 February 2015
10.36pm
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Hildy
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Ron Nasty said
I find the medal an interesting one, as legally it still belongs to the Lennon family.

It's not really like it's something he gave away, or that its ownership is disputed. John became John Winston Lennon MBE in 1965, and at the time of his death he was John Winston Ono Lennon MBE. The return of the piece of metal and ribbon in its box did nothing to change that, no more than those medals returned in 1965 in protest at the award to The Beatles changed their positions.

A display of documents surrounding the 1965 award, the 1965 returns by war heroes in protest at "mere pop stars" being honoured in such a way, John's return letter in protest at war, and his medal, I think tell an interesting story.

Which is why I suggested the British Library, as it's a free exhibition.

I wouldn't campaign for it, but I do see that - done in the right way - it could also re-emphasise John's original point in the return about war and peace (though not Cold Turkey, as that has long since left the charts!).

The British Library is a sensible suggestion. It keeps John's point live and allows the medal to be on public display. Would John want it displayed in his home? I think not. Would he went it locked away? Probably, because after sending it back he would have expected this to be the case, but all these years later, would he rather his gesture was publicly visible on a daily basis in the British Library?

I think he'd be tempted.

Very tempted.

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14 February 2015
11.18pm
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Ahhh Girl
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If Yoko does decide to display it in London or Liverpool, and it isn't on display by April, it will give me another excuse to head back across the Atlantic.

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