QSA (4) Belmont, Modder River, Paardeberg, Driefontein (143807. A.B. T. Fido. HMS “Monarch”) engraved naming
Thomas Fido was born at Langport, Somerset, on 4 July 1872, and joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 20 December 1887. Advanced Able Seaman on 1 August 1892, he joined HMS Monarch on 26 January 1897, and served in her during the Boer War. He died from enteric fever at Bloemfontein on 17 May 1900.
QSA (0) (J. Guy, Arm. Mte. HMS Monarch.);
BWM 1914-20 (173289 J. Guy. Armr. R.N.);
Royal Navy LS&GC EdVII. (173289 James Guy, Armr., HMS Pembroke.)
James Guy was born on 5 May 1870 in Brotton, Yorkshire, and entered naval service on 24 February 1893, serving in HMS Monarch from 10 November 1901 to 1 April 1904. He spent most of the Great War in HMS Mars and Newcastle.
Distinguished Service Medal, GV (188644. Mc.R. Duncan P.O. HMS Liberty. Straits of Dover. 8. Feb. 1917.);
QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, unofficial retaining rod between clasps (H. Mc.R. Duncan. A.B. HMS Monarch.) small impressed naming;
1914-15 Star (188644, H. M. Duncan. P.O. R.N.) in named card box of issue;
BWM and VM (188644 H. Mc R. Duncan. P.O. R.N.) in named card box of issue;
Royal Navy LS&GC GV, 1st issue (188644. H. Mc.R. Duncan, P.O. HMS Blake.);
Italy, Kingdom, Messina Earthquake Medal 1908, silver, unnamed.
Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, March 2009 (when sold without the Messina Earthquake Medal).
Although over 1,250 Queen’s South Africa Medals awarded to HMS Monarch, only 1 officer and 5 ratings received this clasp combination.
DSM LG 23 March 1917.
Harry McRae Duncan was born in Brighton, Sussex, on 9 August 1880 and joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 5 May 1896. He joined HMS Monarch on 9 January 1898 and, being advanced to Able Seaman on 21 September 1899, served in her during the Boer War, qualifying for the above described Medal & clasps for services in South Africa.
Advanced Petty Officer Class II on 18 April 1907, he served in HMS Duncan from 15 August 1908, and served in her during the relief operations following the Messina Earthquake on 28 December 1908.
By the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Duncan was serving as a Petty Officer (T.) in destroyers, and he remained similarly employed in the Dover Patrol for the remainder of the War, initially with an appointment in HMS Flying Fish, but later in HMS Liberty, and it was in the latter ship that he won his DSM when, serving as Torpedo Coxswain, he was at the wheel at the time. Keble Chatterton’s Beating the U-Boats takes up the story:
‘In the early hours of 8 February 1917, H.M. destroyer Liberty happened to be patrolling on a W.S.W. course towards No. 7A buoy of the Dover Barrage. She had altered course from E.N.E. only at 2.50 a.m. when half a mile from No. 7A. It was now 3.09 a.m. when a large submarine was seen to break surface and lying almost at right angles to the Liberty, slightly off the destroyer’s starboard bow but right in the centre of the moon’s rays. The enemy had evidently just come through this obstacle at a favourite jumping spot, but the “policeman” on duty was there waiting. Straight for the conning tower under the full moon the Liberty steered at full speed, firing one round. Unfortunately this shot fell wide, and the flash from the gun blinded those on the bridge.
The captain, Lieutenant-Commander P. W. S. King, R.N., therefore determined not to waste time but to ram the German. Travelling at a speed of 24 knots, the destroyer hit the enemy a magnificent blow only two feet forward of the conning-tower. You can imagine what effect such speed and weight of steel were like, meeting 420 German tons: in fact the latter’s dull weight momentarily stopped the destroyer dead. Not put off by that, Lieutenant-Commander King began dropping depth-charges, which of course exploded to some purpose and the fate of the UC-46 was rapidly settled. It was discovered that the destroyer was beginning to leak quickly, but presently, when she was taken round to Chatham and docked, it was established beyond all doubt that she must have cut through the submarine to a depth of at least four feet. Lieutenant-Commander King was awarded a DSO for his neat performance.’
The UC-46 was lost with all hands, 23 officers and men under the command of Friedrich Moecke.
In April 1917, while repairs were carried out on the Liberty, Duncan removed to another destroyer, the Undine, and remained similarly employed until the War’s end. Awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in June 1919, he was finally pensioned ashore as a Chief Petty Officer on 4 September 1920.
Queen’s South Africa Medal with Cape Colony clasp and Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Royal Navy GV 1st type officially named to Gunner James Todd, Royal Marine Artillery. Todd was a former Porter born in Hardingston, Northampton in 1865. Attesting for the Royal Marines in London 13th January 1886, he saw extensive service ashore and afloat, landed in South Africa from HMS Monarch 28th November 1899 to 24th April 1900. Discharged to pension 12th January 1907, he joined Portsmouth Royal Fleet Reserve. Mobilized 2nd August 1914, he served with the Royal Marine Brigade at Ostend 27th to 31st August 1914. Serving the rest of the war at home, he was demobilized 5th June 1919 when 54 years old.
QSA & CC to 2770 Gnr J Todd RMA HMS Monarch
LSGC RN GV 1st type to RMA 2770 James Todd Gunner RMA
James Todd was born in Hardingston, Northampton on 14 May 1865. He was a Porter and attested for the Royal Marines in London on 13 January 1886 joining the Recruit Depot at Walter on the same day. He was posted to the Royal Marine Artillery Depot on 23 September 1886. He was ranked as Gunner on 9 December 1886. Joined HMS Warspite 20 June 1888, HMS Benbow 6 September 1888, HMS Colossus 19 October 1888, HMS Camperdown 29 April 1890, HMS Cyclops 20 July 1890, HMS Nile 30 June 1891, HMS Achilles 27 October 1894. He came ashore on 21 November 1894. Joinied HMS Devastation 1 October 1895, HMS Nile 13 January 1898, HMS Argonaut 11 July 1899, and HMS Monarch 4 November 1899. Todd landed in South Africa and served with the Naval Brigade 28th November 1899 to 24th April 1900 and appears on the Medal roll as receiving the single clasp Cape Colony. Returning home 28 December 1902, he was discharged shore to pension on 10 January 1907. He was not awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal at this stage; the result of four breaks in “Very Good” Conduct.
He joinied the Royal Fleet Reserve, he was mobilized 2 August 1914 and served at Ostend from the 27th to 31st August 1914 with the Royal Marine Brigade ( He is entitled to a 1914 Star Trio). Returning home, he served the rest of the war in the UK. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 21 July 1918, and was demobilized 5 June 1919. His home address was 54 Tokar Street, Eastney, Portsmouth.
Todd J Gunner QSA (1) CC. Ref: RMA2.770.
Source: QSA medal rolls
• 3rd Class armored screw battle ship of 8,845 tons and 6500-8000 HP.
• Served between October 1899 and June 1902. Commanded by Captain R D B Bruce, Captain C H Bayly and Captain W L Grant.