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Medals to the Royal Engineers 3 months 3 weeks ago #76681

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QSA (5) Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 (20740 Corpl: C. E. Shaw. RE);
1914-15 Star (52243. Sjt. C. E. Shaw. RE);
BWM and VM (52243 Sjt. C. E. Shaw. RE);
Army LS&GC GV 1st issue (52243 Sjt: C. E. Shaw. RE);
ISM GV (Charles Edward Shaw)

Together with Queen Victoria’s Boer War Chocolate tin 1900 and Silver War Badge in its numbered box of issue (336046).

Charles Edward Shaw enlisted into the Royal Engineers in February 1886 as a Boy recruit, serving at Home for the next 12 years and twice being promoted, to Lance-Corporal in 1896 and to Corporal in 1897. He was discharged to the Reserve in 1898 on termination of his first period of engagement, and took employment as a telegraphist at the General Post Office in Liverpool.

Rejoining on the outbreak of the Boer War, he served in South Africa from November 1899 to July 1901 with 1st Field Company, attached to the 1st Telegraph Division (Queens Medal with 5 clasps).

He afterwards returned to his position with the Telegraph Office in Liverpool, where he remained until the outbreak of war in August 1915. Shaw rejoined the Royal Engineers in September 1914, being promoted to Sergeant within one day of joining. He served at Home attached to various Signals Depots until November 1915 when he joined the Expeditionary Force in France. In August 1917 he was found in the Sergeant’s Billet with self-inflicted wounds to his wrist and leg and with his bedding alight having attempted to set the Billet on fire. A Shell Shock Specialist with the RAMC concluded that he was in a condition of temporary mental derangement and was not responsible for his actions but suffering from severe Neurasthenia. He was consequently discharged in March 1918 and awarded the Silver War Badge due to his sickness.

Returning to his profession as a telegraphist with the General Post Office, he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal sometime in the period 1930-35.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Royal Engineers 2 months 4 weeks ago #77085

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QSA (4) Belmont, Modder River, Orange Free State, Transvaal clasp carriage re-assembled, with unofficial top retaining bar (2214 Sapr. J. Rowley. R.E.);
KSA (2) (2214 Sapr. J. Rowley. R.E.);
Volunteer Force Long Service Medal GV (Corpl. J. F. Rowley 2nd Bn. B.B. & C.I. Ry. Vol. Rifles) officially engraved naming;
Territorial Force Efficiency Medal Ed VII (2214 Sapr. J. Rowley. Cheshire (R.B.) R.E.);
Efficiency Medal GV (Sjt. J. F. Rowley. 2 B.B. & C.I. Ry. R., A.F.I.)

J F Rowley served with the 8th (Railway Company) Royal Engineers in South Africa during the Boer War.

He was awarded his Volunteer Force Long Service Medal per Indian Army Order No. 54 of 1917, and his Efficiency Medal per Indian Army Order No. 531 of 1934.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Royal Engineers 1 week 2 days ago #78516

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Pictures courtesy of eBay

Described as:

Medals named with officially engraved and impressed naming as follows:

Queen's South Africa Medal (1st issue Ghost Dates) with CC, OFS & Trans clasps: 27672 CPL. W. HAYWARD. R.E.
British War Medal and Victory Medal (MiD emblem missing): Q.M. & LIEUT. W. HAYWARD

Medals, clasps and Mention in Despatches confirmed on QSA and WWI medal rolls, medal index card and service papers. William was also issued an Army Long service and Good Conduct Medal (GvR 1st issue) in January 1912 as a Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor. This medal is missing along with his MiD emblem.

William Hayward was born at Marylebone in London in 1871, and on joining the army on 4 October 1893 he gave his age as 22 years and 7 months and with his occupation given as a Fitter. He initially signed-on with the colours for a 12 (3+9) year engagement, with him electing to serve with the Royal Engineers, service number 27672.

He service papers tell us that William initially served in the UK at various units until 9 February 1900, when he first enters the Theatre of War in South Africa as a Corporal for service in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, being attached to a Search Light Section R with the Royal Engineers. He was returned to the UK four months later in June 1900, then was returned again to South Africa on 15 February 1901. This is where it gets interesting.

On the evening of 16 February 1902, he was driving a motor car with his Quartermaster Sergeant and were returning from a search light patrol, when as they approached camp they took friendly fire from the Blockhouse by the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. After the initial volleys they shouted for them to cease fire, as they were the search light party telling them they should have been warned of their approach, it was at this point William informed Captain Walker he had been hit, receiving a gunshot injury to both legs - see photo of one page of the evidence.

There is a huge amount of information on the incident in his service papers, including the full accounts of the official court of inquiry into the incident, which included statements from witnesses etc and amount to over fifteen pages that are very detailed. His medical documents initially suggest his injuries may well affect his fitness to serve, although they later change and say they expect a full recovery, which is indeed what happened and he was returned to the UK on 14 July 1902 to recover. He was later promoted to Sergeant Instructor, then Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor, re-engaging on several occasions and finally for 21 years service in 1902.

On his initial return from South Africa he married Minnie Hayward at Chatham in Kent, and in the later 1911 Census William and Minnie are now living in Gillingham along with their two sons, William Junior and Ernest, with William's occupation noted as an Army Quartermaster Sergeant.

During the Great War William initially served in the UK as Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor at Chatham, then on 17 December 1915 he was discharged from the army and awarded a temporary commission into the Royal Engineers as a Quartermaster and Lieutenant. His Medal Index Card states he first entered the Theatre of War in France on 28 May 1916, and it also notes his 'emblems' being issued for his Mention in Despatches. However, despite this being quite clear on his Medal Index Card and also on the reverse of the card, doing a search of the London Gazette we have been unable to find his entry for this mention, so this needs some further work.

William was promoted to Quartermaster and Captain shortly after hostilities ended on 18 December 1918 (London Gazette 15 March 1919) and he continued serving in the army until 1 October 1920, when he relinquished his commission and retained his rank of Quartermaster and Captain.

The medals are in near EF condition with the Ghost dates on the QSA being very visible, see photo, and they will be sent in medal wallets for protection.

Documents include 41 (Forty-one) pages of his service papers, the most I think we've ever seen and as mentioned earlier these papers contain a mass of information about his friendly fire gun shot injury in South Africa, as well as a great deal more on his service. These also come with copies of the South Africa and the British War Medal and Victory medal rolls, as well as the Long Service medal roll. Also included is his Medal Index Card and copies of his London Gazette entry for his promotion to Captain, and another with him relinquishing his commission in 1920. These documents will all come supplied on a CD for the buyer.

That is all we have on William, so more research certainly possible and required as we've only very briefly scanned over his service papers etc, and we've not even checked for any other documents for William at Ancestry or Find My Past.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Royal Engineers 1 week 2 days ago #78520

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David,
Thank you for posting the eBay listing for Hayward.
After a fruitless session at today's DNW sale, I decided to buy the broken group to Haywards. I just liked the story!
As a searchlight man it's a pity he didn't have clasps D of K or D of L on the QSA, but that would have pushed the price markedly!
I think I've got a fair deal there.
Now to try and find the missing medals!
Cheers Steve

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Medals to the Royal Engineers 1 week 1 day ago #78523

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Am I correct in assuming that the RE searchlight section was formed quite a way into the conflict to patrol railway lines etc. It was interesting to note that Hayward was driving a motor car during duties aswell!
In looking at the SAFF casualty lists, men to the searchlight section listed as casualties number just six as follows:
Died of disease - 4
Killed-1 (train accident)
Severely wounded-1 (accidentally, W. Hayward).
So quite a scarce casualty!

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