Not wanting the 21st October to pass without an Elandslaagte clasp, here is the group to Pte H Ginn, 1st Devons, courtesy of the London Medal Co.
IGS 1895 (2) Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98; (1730 PTE H. GINN 1ST: BN. DEVON REGT);
QSA (3) Eland DoL Belf (1730 PTE H. GINN. DEVON: REGT);
KSA (2) (1730 PTE H. GINN. DEVON REGT)
Henry Ginn was born in Greenwich, London, and having worked as a tailor, then enlisted into the British Army on 14th June 1887, joining as a Private (No.1730) the Devonshire Regiment. Posted to the 1st Battalion, he saw service as a Bandsman, his brother, Benjamin Ginn, being similarly employed with the battalion as a musician, and their services matched. His medals were previously sold by the London Medal Company.
On service in Egypt from 28th January 1891, and in India from 29th December 1892, his brother played the clarinet in the 1st Battalion band. Both brothers were present during the Punjab Frontier and Tirah operations of 1897 to 1898, before being posted with his Battalion to South Africa for service during the Boer War from 21st September 1899, where Henry Ginn was present at the battle of Elaandslaagte on 21st October 1899, during the defence of Ladysmith from 3rd November 1899 to 28th February 1900, and then in the action at Belfast from 26th to 27th August 1900.
Henry Ginn died whilst still in service circa 1910 to 1911.
Together with a Royal Artillery officer’s cap badge, Queen Victoria crown, and a Scissor’s Cigarettes Military Portraits Cigarette Card No.12 depicting an photograph of Major General W.E. Blewitt, C.B., C.M.G. Detailing some of his service in the biographical section on the back.
William Edward Blewitt was born on 24th September 1854 in Pinner, Middlesex, and was educated at Harrow School followed by the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, before being commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Royal Artillery on 12th February 1874. Second for service on the Staff from 11th August 1883 and promoted to Captain, he was still with the Seconded List on the Staff when he was promoted to Major on 14th March 1891. Appointed to Secretary with the Ordnance Committee on 1st April 1894, he was granted the Freedom of the City of London through the Company of Fishmongers on 12th April 1894, and relinquished his position with the Ordnance Committee on 1st April 1898.
Blewitt then saw service during the Boer War in South Africa with the 21st Field Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Serving as the battery commander, he was present at the Battle of Elandslaagte on 21st October 1899, one of 126 men of his battery to earn the clasp for this action. Subsequently present during the siege of Ladysmith from 3rd November 1899, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel during the siege on 13th February 1900. The siege of Ladysmith was lifted on 28th February 1900. Blewitt had fought with distinction in command of his battery during the defence of Ladysmith, and was Mentioned in Despatches by Lieutenant General Sir George White in his Ladysmith Despatch of 2nd December 1900, as published in the London Gazette for 8th February 1901, being then appointed a Companion of The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the London Gazette for 19th April 1901, and also Mentioned in Despatches for a second time. The 21st Field Battery particularly distinguished themselves in the silencing of enemy guns on Lancer’s Hill on 3rd November 1899 right at the beginning of the siege. It was also further noted for its part in an action at Range Post, and Mounted Infantry Hill.
Appointed to the Staff on 10th July 1900, returned home from South Africa that year. Having been appointed a Member of the Ordnance Committee in 1901, and held this position till 14th July 1908, having in the meantime been promoted to Brevet Colonel. Appointed as the Director of Artillery at the Headquarters of the British Army with the rank of Colonel and local Brigadier General when hew was appointed a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the London Gazette for 26th June 1908, this being for his services on the Ordnance Committee between 1901 and 1908. Blewitt was appointed Director of Artillery on 15th March 1907. Having represented the Headquarters Staff at the funeral procession for King Edward VII on 17th May 1910, in 1911 Blewitt was appointed to the command of the Southern Coast Defences with the rank of Major General, a position he held till the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.
With the outbreak of the Great War, Blewitt was then appointed to the command of the Portsmouth Garrison from 1914 through to 1916, but was then placed on Retired Pay on 24th September 1916. For his war services during the Great War, Blewitt was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the London Gazette for 12th December 1919, this being ‘in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war.’ Blewitt was removed from the Regular Army Reserve of Officers on 23rd November 1921, and died in June 1939 in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.
Extremely Scarce Group of Five Medals Boer War and WW1 to WO Cl 2 F H Tilke, Devon Regt
Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Elandslaagte (4753 Cpl. F. H. Tilke, Devon: Regt.) clear ghosted dates
King’s South Africa 1901-02, 1 clasp, South Africa 1902 (4753 Pte. F. H. Tilke. Devon: Regt.)
1914-15 Star (7490 Sjt. F. H. Tilke, Devon. R.)
British War and Victory Medals (7490 W.O. Cl.2. F. H. Tilke. Devon. R.)
Also served as 78250 WO Cl 2, 7/Tank Corps
Died of wounds 12/11/1918 - one day after the Armistice! Commemorated on the Bideford War Memorial
Originally 4753 Private Francis Henry Tilke of the 1st Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment. Son of William and Ann Tilke. Born in Bideford in the September Quarter of 1878. He was severely wounded at Elandslaagte 21 Oct 1899 at the age of 21, where the Devons were heavily engaged alongside the Gordons and Manchesters in the second battle following the Boer invasion of Natal and just before the Siege of Ladysmith. At Elandslaagte the charge of the 5th Lancers and Imperial Light Horse was perhaps more properly the last British Cavalry charge (being a couple of years after Omdurman). He must have made some sort of a recovery because the 1901 census shows him in the Town Barracks, Exeter, training new recruits to the Regiment.
Awarded the Queen's South Africa medal 1899 - 1902 with a single clasp for Elandslaagte - one of only twelve men of the Devonshire regiment to receive a single clasp. Apparently, he recovered sufficiently to be able to return to South Africa in 1902 where he went on to earn a South Africa 1902 clasp on his King's Medal - this time, one of only four awarded to the regiment. The combination of these two single clasps is extremely rare - you are unlikely to find another such group.
In the Great War he served in the Devonshire Regiment earning the right to wear a wound stripe as a result of wounds received on 25th August 1916 most likely in connection with the Devons attack on Fricourt on The Somme. Whilst I have been unable to discover which battalion of the Devons he was with at this time, it was most likely to have been 9th Devons who would have had experienced NCOs, being a New Army unit, and I can find no evidence that he served elsewhere than the Western Front. If so, it is likely that he went over the top at Mansell Copse on 1st July 1916, where so many of his comrades are to be found in the Devonshire Trench Cemetery.
Latterly he served with 7th Tank Corps as a Company Sergeant Major with whom he was wounded again near the end of the war dying 12/11/18. He is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery. He was wounded fatally this time probably during the Tank Corps attacks on the Hindenburg Line starting late September 1918 and during which some 2,400 Officers and Men of the Corps became casualties.
Comes with copy medal rolls and casualty roll page for Boer War, WW1 MIC, wound and "died of wounds" records and photograph in uniform (WW1) wearing his QSA and KSA ribbons