Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 2 clasps, Cape Colony, Paardeberg (151569 A-B: T. Mullane, H.M.S. Doris)
Timothy Mullane was born in Killeagh, co. Cork, on 18 March 1878, and joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 1 September 1894, serving in H.M.S. Impregnable. He transferred to H.M.S. Dreadnought on 25 February 1896, and was advanced Ordinary Seaman on 18 March of that year. He joined H.M.S. Doris on 18 November 1897, was advanced Able Seaman on 28 March 1898, and served in her during the Boer War, where Doris provided men to the first Naval Brigade to be landed. Mullane landed at Simonstown on 28 November 1899, and it appears that he formed part of the crew serving ‘Little Bobs’, one of the Brigade’s two 4.7in Naval Guns. He was admitted to Hospital at Simonstown ‘seriously ill’ on 27 March 1900, most likely suffering from either Typhus or Dysentery, and for his services in South Africa was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps for Cape Colony and Paardeberg, one of only 10 medals with this clasp combination awarded to the Naval Brigade.
Mullane was advanced Leading Seaman on 1 April 1904, whilst borne on the books of H.M.S. Tenidos, and transferred to H.M.S. Caesar on 6 March 1905. He was serving in the latter ship when she was involved in a collision in the English Channel, when Caesar collided with and sank the barque Afghanistan off Dungerness on 3 June 1905. He was shore pensioned on 9 April 1908, and joined the Royal Fleet Reserve the following day.
Mullane was recalled for service following the outbreak of the Great War, and was posted to H.M.S. Ocean. He served in her during the early part of the Dardanelles campaign, and was on board when Ocean struck a mine and sank in Morto Bay, Cape Helles, on 18 March 1915. After subsequent service in H.M.S. Albion, Vivid, and Defiance, he joined the armed merchant cruiser H.M.S. Laurentic on 1 November 1916, and was killed in action when she struck two mines off Lough Swilly, Ireland, on 25 January 1917. She sank within the hour, with the loss of 354 lives. Mullane is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Civil Division, silver-gilt, with gold suspension bar and buckle;
Albert Medal, for Saving Life at Sea, 2nd Class, bronze and enamel;
Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Natal;
British War Medal 1914-20, 2 clasps, Narrow Seas 1914, Mediterranean 1918;
Victory Medal 1914-19, with M.I.D. oak leaf;
Lloyd’s Medal for Saving Life at Sea, silver;
Greece, Kingdom, Royal Order of the Redeemer, Fourth Class, silver and enamel, rosette on ribbon, slight enamel damage;
France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Fifth Class, silver and enamel, these mounted court style as worn, with the last three on detachable bars;
Royal Humane Society Medal, silver (successful), with integral silver buckle bar
Halton Stirling Lecky was born in Portrush, Ireland on 15 December 1878, the only son of Commander Squire T. S. Lecky, R.N.R. and Elizabeth Susan Henderson. Educated at Eastman’s Royal Naval Academy, Stubbington, he joined H.M.S. Britannia in 1892. Appointed a Midshipman in 1895, he was commissioned a Sub-Lieutenant in 1898, and served during the Boer War as a Sub-Lieutenant in H.M.S. Doris and in H.M.S. Widgeon, taking part in the Delagoa Bay blockade. Whilst serving on the latter vessel his bravery in saving life at sea earned him the Albert Medal 2nd Class (London Gazette 28 June 1901), the Lloyd’s Medal for Saving Life at Sea and the Royal Humane Society Silver Medal.
The citation states: ‘On the 25th August 1900, H.M.S. Widgeon anchored in Kosi Bay, 50 miles south of Delagoa Bay, in order to land stores and troops. The work of disembarkation was carried out, through heavy breakers, by surf-boats manned by Malays under the superintendence of Sub-Lt. Lecky, who had been sent on shore for the purpose. One boat, loaded with stores and with Second Lt. Arnold Gray, Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, Trooper Frederick Trethowen, Steinacker’s Horse, and Private J. H. Forbes, Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, on board, capsized about 300 yards from the shore. The five Malays forming the boat’s crew, and Pte. Forbes, by dint of hard swimming, with the assistance of the boat’s oars, managed to reach the land after severe buffeting from the heavy seas. Lt. Gray was unable to swim, but with Trooper Trethowen, clung to the boat, which drifted slowly keel upwards in a northerly direction almost parallel with the shore, carried by the set of a strong current. Huge breakers continually swept over the boat, and the men had great difficulty in retaining their hold. Sharks were observed near the boat both before and after the accident. Lecky plunged into the surf, and endeavoured to swim to their assistance. He was twice thrown back on the beach by the heavy seas but succeeded in bringing first Gray and then the other, safe but unconscious, to the shore. Sub-Lt. Lecky and his servant, Pte. Botting, Royal Marine Light Infantry, then applied the usual methods for restoring animation, and both men eventually recovered.’
Promoted to Lieutenant in 1900, Lecky commanded H.M.S. Peterel in 1902 and qualified as a Gunnery Lieutenant in 1903. In 1913 he was promoted to Commander and served as an Acting-Captain during 1916-20. He was responsible for the organisation of the Shetland Islands for war, 1913-14, and served on minesweeping operations on the East Coast during 1914. He was responsible for creating the Auxiliary Patrol Service of 3,000 vessels and necessary personnel for service against enemy submarines. Lecky then served as Naval Assistant to the Fourth Sea Lord, 1915-16, before commanding the light cruisers Southampton and Birmingham in the North Sea, 1916-17. He served as Assistant to the Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, 1917-18 and in the latter part of the war was on service in the Aegean and the blockade of the Dardanelles. For his wartime services he was Mentioned in Despatches, awarded the C.B. (1919), the Greek Order of the Redeemer, and the French Legion of Honour. In 1919 he organised the Mine Clearance Service - earning the appreciation of the Board of Admiralty; and commanded the R.N. Detention Barracks at Chatham, 1920-24, before retiring in 1925.
In later life Lecky was a Vice-President of the National Rose Society and ex-Councillor of the Society for Nautical Research and Councillor of the Sailors’ Home, London East, and Beresford Rest for Distressed Sailors. He was an author of several books, including a Memoir of his father in 1925. Captain Lecky latterly lived at 7 Tudor Road, Upper Norwood, London, and died on 2 June 1940.
His full size medals sold at DNW in June 1994:
CB (c), Albert Medal For Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea (2nd class), bronze and enamel, the reverse inscribed (Awarded by His Majesty to Lieutenant Halton Stirling Lecky, RN, in recognition of his gallantry in rescuing two soldiers from drowning at Kosi Bay on the 25th of August 1900), QSA (1) Natal (Sub-Lieut. RN, HMS Doris), 1914-15 Star (Commr, RN), BWM, VM with MID (Capt RN), Greece Order of the Redeemer 5th class breast badge, France Legion d'Honneur 5th class breast badge, Italy, Order of the Crown 4th class breast badge, Messina Earthquake 1908, Royal Humane Society silver medal (successful), (Sub Lieut RN, Aug. 25. 1900), Lloyds Medal for Saving Life at Sea (Lieut, RN. 25th August 1900), Mine Clearance Service badge and silver medal 'For Zeal' named (Comdr, RN, 2 9 16, CE, Granton Naval Base). £3,800.
Thank you for the post of Timothy MULLANE’s two Clasp QSA. It has been a treasure of my collection now sadly placed to auction. I would have liked to have continued with research and chased his trio and plaque. But it was not to be.
I always enjoy seeing “my children” going out in the world for other collectors to enjoy.