QSA (0) (Carpr. E. J. Polyblank, R.N., H.M.S. Philomel.) one letter double-struck;
Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, no clasp, unnamed as issued,
Edwin John Polyblank was born in Devonport on 16 October 1862, and joined the Royal Navy on 26 April 1887. He was advanced Carpenter’s Mate on 31 May 1895, and joined H.M.S. Melita on 26 June of that year. For his services off the Sudan coast between 30 March and 23 September 1896 he was awarded the Khedive’s Sudan Medal.
Polyblank next joined H.M.S. Philomel, in the rate of Carpenter, on 1 March 1898, and served in her in South Africa during the Boer War. He was discharged to pension as unfit for further service (defective vision) on 28 April 1910.
Amongst Royal Naval personnel the Khedive’s Sudan Medal was only awarded to the crews of H.M. Ships Melita (139) and Scout (149). Those medals awarded to the crew of Scout were named up on the initiative of the ship’s Captain, whilst those medals awarded to the crew of Melita were issued unnamed. Neither crew were entitled to the Queen’s Sudan Medal.
DSM GV (166132 T. Sargent, C.P.O. HMS Marvel. 31.May, - 1.June, 1916);
QSA (5) Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (166132 Ldg: Smn. T. Sargent. HMS Philomel.);
BWM and VM (166132 T. Sargent. C.P.O. R.N.)
DSM LG 19 September 1916.
Thomas Sargent was born at Stoke Damerel, Devon, on 10 September 1876. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aboard HMS Impregnable on 9 March 1892. He was advanced to Boy 1st Class on 9 February 1893; Ordinary Seaman, 10 September 1894; and Able Seaman, 22 July 1895. He joined Philomel on 1 December 1898, being advanced to Leading Seaman on 11 February 1899, to Petty Officer 2nd Class on 1 June 1900, and to Petty Officer 1st Class on 1 January 1901. During this period he served with the Naval Brigade in South Africa, being one of two officers and thirty-three men of the Philomel entrained to Chieveley. These men went forward to the relief of Ladysmith and had to face many hardships and many a hard fight. Sargent was specially mentioned in despatches in Captain J. E. Bearcroft’s mentions: ‘T. Sargent, P.O. 2nd Class, SGT, No. 2 of gun during entire campaign.’ He was one of twenty-three officers and men from Philomel to received the QSA with these five clasps.
Sargent served during the Great War aboard the destroyer Marvel (Lt.-Cdr. R. W. Grubb) from 27 December 1915 to 12 September 1916, during which period he took part in the battle of Jutland on 31 May - 1 June 1916, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his services on that occasion. He was invalided out on 18 October 1916.
QSA (0) (R. Platt. E.R.A., HMS Philomel) small impressed naming;
1914-15 Star (269232 R. Platt. E.R.A.1, R.N.);
BWM and VM (269232 R. Platt. E.R.A.1, R.N.);
Royal Navy LS&GC GV, 1st issue (269232 Robert Platt, E.R.A. 1Cl., HMS Fantome)
Provenance: Ron Tuppen Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, March 2013.
Approximately 152 (0) Queen’s South Africa Medals awarded to HMS Philomel.
Robert Platt was born in Tring, Hertfordshire on 23 April 1876 and joined the Royal Navy as an Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class on 7 January 1898. He served in HMS Philomel from December 1898 to July 1902 during the Boer War, and was advanced to Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class in January 1901. He was advanced to Engine Room Artificer 1st Class on 1 January 1910, and was awarded Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 17 June 1913, when serving in the sloop HMS Fantome. He served throughout the Great War in the destroyer HMS Manly from January 1915 to June 1918.
Egypt undated reverse (1) Tamaai (W. R. Griffiths, A.B.);
QSA (1) Natal (Gunr. W. R. Griffiths, R.N., HMS Philomel) naming officially re-impressed;
BWM 1914-20 (Lieut. W. R. Griffiths. R.N.);
Special Constabulary Long Service Medal, GV (William R. Griffiths), 1st issue;
Khedive’s Star 1884;
Board of Trade Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea, VR, large, bronze (William Robert Griffiths. Wreck of the S.S. “Ettrickdale” on the 12th March 1886)
QSA medal presented by the KIng.
The British cargo ship Ettrickdale (of 1,324 tons) was wrecked on the Spanish coast, three miles from Gibraltar on 11 March 1886. In a dark and stormy night the crew were forced to take to the rigging. The following day two unsuccessful attempts were made by a Spanish fishing boat to reach the wreck. An attempt to rescue the crew was then made by a boat from HMS Monarch. However, the boat, manned by Lieutenant John Rushworth Jellicoe (of ‘Jutland’ fame, later Admiral of the Fleet) and seven ratings, capsized in the breakers. Finally another Spanish fishing boat managed to get alongside the wreck and rescue all but one of the stranded crew.
For the rescue Lieutenant Jellicoe was awarded the Board of Trade Gallantry Medal in Silver, and the ratings, including Seaman William Robert Griffiths, were each awarded the medal in Bronze. In addition, a total of 16 ‘Foreign Service’ Sea gallantry Medals in Silver were awarded to the Spanish fishermen involved.
Dr David Biggins
The following user(s) said Thank You: Moranthorse1