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Medals to the Grenadier Guards 1 year 5 months ago #76992

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QSA (1) Cape Colony (9180 Pte C. Pugh. Gren. Guards.)

QSA roll (WO100/163p2) titled 2nd Co Guards MI, 1st Grenadier Guards confirms CC. SA02 on WO100/163p4.

Spink say he is 'Further entitled to the Kings South Africa Medal 1902' which I read to mean KSA (2) but this is probably SA02 from the King's Clasps Roll.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Grenadier Guards 1 year 5 months ago #77038

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Queen’s Sudan (3728 Pte C.H.E. Neville 1/Gren: Gds:);
QSA (5) Belmont, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast (3728 Pte H.E.C. Neville, Gren: Gds:);
KSA (2) (3728 Corpl: C. Neville. Grenadier Guards.);
BWM (6 Sjt. C.H.E. Neville. Rif. Brig.);
Khedive’s Sudan (1) Khartoum (Pte. C.H.E. Neville, Gren. Gds.) regimentally impressed.

Group swing-mounted upon a fairly crude brass bar with pin for wear, medal obverses proudly polished and worn, reverses
better, about fine / very fine
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Grenadier Guards 7 months 2 weeks ago #82728

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QSA (6) Belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast (6806 Pte. J. Martin, Gren: Gds:);
[ KSA (2) ]

James Martin was born at Darleston, near Walsall, Staffordshire, and attested for the Grenadier Guards at Derby on 26 August 1897. He served in South Africa from 26 October 1899 to 21 July 1902.

He was discharged on 25 August 1909.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Grenadier Guards 5 months 3 weeks ago #83661

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[ Queen's Sudan ]
QSA (2) Belmont, Modder River (6291 Pte. W. Leefe, Gren: Gds:) minor abrasion to Queen’s cheek
[ Khedive's Sudan (1) Khartoum ]

William Leefe was born in Malton, Yorkshire, in 1878 and attested for the Grenadier Guards at Richmond, Yorkshire, on 21 January 1897. He served with the 1st Battalion in Egypt from 19 July to 7 October 1898, taking part in the Nile Expedition, and then in South Africa during the Boer War from 21 October 1899 to 14 March 1900, where he was wounded by gun shot to his left forearm and left and right buttocks at Modder River on 28 November 1899. He was discharged medically unfit for further service on 11 February 1901, after 4 years and 22 days’ service.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Grenadier Guards 1 week 3 hours ago #87251

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QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State (Capt. G. L. Bonham. Gren: Gds.), clasps tailor’s copies, with unofficial rivets;
KSA (2) (Capt. G. L. Bonham. Gren. Gds.), top lugs neatly removed;
Coronation 1902, silver issue;
Turkey Ottoman Empire, Order of the Medjidieh, 2nd Class set of Insignia, comprising neck Badge, silver-gilt, gold and enamel; breast Star, silver, gold and enamel;
Ottoman Empire, Liyakat Medal, gold, solder repair to suspension, loose

Provenance: Christie's, July 1990 (when sold without the Turkish Order).

George Lionel Bonham was born in August 1873, the eldest son of Sir George Francis Bonham of Knowle Park, Cranleigh, Surrey. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards, in March 1892, and advanced to Lieutenant in August 1896. Two years later he married Amy Bonham (nee Gaskell) who was the subject of a portrait by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The artist having a very close relationship with her mother May Gaskell (a successful society hostess - known as the “Lady of Marble Arch”), which along with the life of Amy and her tragic death is featured at length in Josceline Dimbleby’s A Profound Secret:

Lionel had fresh faced good looks and the perfect figure for a guardsman: tall, slim and erect. He looked immaculate in his uniform. When I showed a photograph of Lionel in his casual clothes - a straw boater and flannel trousers - to the oldest living member of his family, Sir Anthony Bonham, he said, ‘How debonair,’ which was exactly the right description. His wavy fair hair, blue eyes and rosy skin were unmistakably English... There is hardly a photograph of Lionel without a cigar between his rather full lips. But he was not a Philistine; he was a sensitive man who loved reading, and May was later to remark that he wrote some of the best letters of anyone she knew, which, considering her other correspondents, and her own talent for writing, was high praise indeed.’

The couple were married at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, 11 June 1898, The Times described it as ‘...a pretty military wedding’. Dimbleby continues:

'Standing at attention down the entire nave of the large church was a Company of the Second Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, making a brilliant border in their scarlet uniforms. Lionel’s father Sir George Bonham, tall and handsome with aquiline features, had come from Rome where he was at that time First Secretary at the British Embassy.... Sir Edward Burne-Jones played his part in the family event by being a witness at the signing of the register.’

Bonham was advanced to Captain in October 1899 and went with the 2nd Battalion for service in South Africa:

‘Lionel had been active in the Orange Free State for the past few weeks. On 29 May [1900] he was wounded by a Boer bullet during the Battle of Biddulphsberg, which was near Senekal, a small town of about twenty-five houses and a church. As the Grenadier Guards advanced on the morning of the battle, they could see no sign of the Boers, but they soon came under a hail of bullets. They lay down on the ground but, still visible on the open veldt, were an easy target for the enemy. With many men already wounded, the long dry grass suddenly caught fire behind them, probably the result of a dropped match, though to this day no one knows for certain. The wind quickly fanned the flames and produced a high wall of fire and smoke. Faced with a hail of gunfire from the unseen Boers in front of them, the Grenadier Guards were forced to retreat through the flames carrying their wounded, with the result that many of the men were badly burned. Any wounded men who could not be carried were horribly burnt to death where they lay.

The Grenadiers lost over forty per cent of their men that day, more than in any other battle during the entire war. In the circumstances, Lionel was lucky not to have suffered any burns, and to have been shot only in the arm. At the end of this horrific day the Boers came out of their trenches and helped the British surgeons and orderlies to carry their wounded off the battlefield..... Lionel spent a month in the Dutch Reformed Church in Senekal, which the British had turned into a hospital.’

Bonham was invalided home, and after a period of leave and recuperation returned to South Africa in August 1901. His wife Amy followed him out to South Africa, travelling with Rudyard Kipling and his family, and briefly staying with them at their residence in Cape Town. With the conclusion of hostilities his wife returned home in the summer of 1902, followed by Bonham in Autumn of the same year. He was appointed Second-in-Command of the School of Instruction for the Macedonian Gendarmerie, Salonika in April 1904. He held this position for two years before being employed as Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, Grenadier Guards attached Chief Staff Officer, British Section, Ottoman Gendarmerie in August 1907 (Awarded the Liyakat Medal for services during the revolutionary period of 1908). Promoted Major the following year and was employed as a Colonel in the Ottoman Gendarmerie, he was also Reorganiser of the Force in Smyrna, from March 1909.

In January 1910, Bonham contracted Typhoid and was moved from Smyrna to the British Seaman’s Hospital in Constantinople. He died 23 January 1910 under what were considered 'suspicious or even "sensitive" circumstances':

‘Sir Gerrard Lowther held a memorial service at the British Embassy Chapel in Constantinople. Several other ambassadors, attachés and prominent members of the British colony were there. Lionel’s body, sealed in a lead coffin, was taken to the docks and put on a steamer bound for England, as his parents wished for him to be buried amongst the other Bonham family graves, in the churchyard of St. Nicholas’s at Cranleigh, near their estate.’

Whilst Bonham was ill, his wife had been travelling in Ceylon, and she arrived back in England on 15 February, some 3 weeks after his death. Three days later she was found dead in the house that she had shared with her husband. The death was recorded as ‘heart failure’, and it is possible that she died of a broken heart, ‘like her mother, Amy was to marry an army officer. Like her mother, too, she soon began travelling on her own - first to the continent, and then to Ceylon, Japan, Peking. In 1910 she returned to England to bury her husband, whom she had not seen for two years. He had died of typhoid fever while serving in Turkey. Two days later, she herself was dead. Of a broken heart? Or an overdose of laudanum?’ (The Telegraph 27 March 2004, refers).

It would appear that Bonham’s wife had acquired some exotic habits in his absence, but whatever the cause of her death the two of them were buried together side by side in St. Nicholas’s Churchyard.

The Liakat Medal translated as "Medal of Merit," was a decoration of the Ottoman Empire established in 1890. It could be awarded in two classes, Gold or Silver and could also be awarded to civilians for general merit to society. In 1905, women were allowed to receive the medal for charitable work, and other civilian merit.
Dr David Biggins
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