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1st Life Guards - rare clasp combination 6 years 3 months ago #45794

  • SWB
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After agreeing to purchase one QSA from Chris Dixon, read here , he then pulls this out from under the table (literally):



Only two officers, six men and a civilian groom (bronze QSA) qualified for the Relief of Ladysmith clasp from the 1st Life Guards. From this group just Lt Lord JS Cavendish, Pte 1122 R Pearce (this man) and the groom qualified for the Tugela Heights clasp. The medal came with a fistful of paperwork, which included an incomplete set of service papers and a death certificate for the wrong man (same name, same age, right part of the country, wrong man though).

I am writing an article for Chris Dixon's gazette on what these chaps were doing in Natal when their regiment was on the Western Front. Cavendish was a division and brigade signalling officer, for, I think, Clery's division. On Pearce's service paper's his qualification for employment in civilian life was "valet", so I believe he was Cavendish's servant. After the relief of Ladysmith the trio of Cavendish, Pearce and the groom went to the Western Front but Pearce was struck down with enteric and put into hospital in Bloemfontein where they parted compamy. Pearce was invalided home. In 1911 he was running a pub, The Crown Hotel , Cookham, Berkshire. He had enlisted in 1881 age 19 so was 38 when he went to war. He qualified for an LSGC in 1901.
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