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TOPIC: Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps

Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 7 months 1 day ago #57097

  • Rory
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Meet John Brereton Summers, a Surrey stalwart and son of an ex Mayor of Reigate. Summers has an interesting story to tell which will be revealed in the fullness of time. I can divulge that he was the Honorary Secretary of the London Surrey Club for almost half of his life.

Summers served with a little known unit (any info anyone has would be most appreciated) - Swanson's Volunteer Corps. Who Swanson was is still a mystery.

More later once my fellow in the Zimbabwe Archives has had time to do a bit of digging.







Rory
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Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 6 months 3 weeks ago #57224

  • Frank Kelley
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Good gracious me Rory, now that really is very nice indeed, I really can't remember the last time I actually saw one of those, moreover, with a little change from six thousand Rand, I'd say that someone has made a mistake and it certainly was not you!

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Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 6 months 2 weeks ago #57244

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Any thoughts as to why it was named in that way?

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Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 6 months 2 weeks ago #57245

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I have no frame of reference to work with Frank - there being so few issued off the roll and none, that I am aware of, in the public domain.

Over the years I have seen a number of different naming styles on BSAC medals - all of them thought to be genuine. There are even examples where they have had snow flakes on either side of the naming or even an arrow pointing inwards to the naming.

In the instance of Summers I was assured that the medal is 100% correct.

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Rory

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Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 6 months 2 weeks ago #57255

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Hello Rory,
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that those assurances you have received are indeed accurate, but, that is not what I meant.
Do you not think to see a forename as well as an initial and a surname on that type of medal is rather unusual?
I was certainly more than a little surprised, but, in this case, that is how the recipient is actually shown on the roll from which the medal was issued.
Interestingly, there are some thirty three men shown on page 46 in the main 1896 volume in WO77 which grants the BSA CO medal and clasps under Army Order number 96 of 1897 to members of Swanson's Volunteer Corps, prepared in Salisbury in May 1898, it is headed by Lieutenant Swanson and Sergeant Hyde, I was puzzled to note that your man was not amongst them.
However, the Supplementary 1896 volume does contain an addenda on page 10 for just nine further members of Swanson's Volunteer Corps, this latter was actually prepared in Bulawayo on the 26th of May 1899 and John Summers medal was issued from it, going back to my original point, his medal is the only one with both a Cristian name and a surname together, most unusual and very rare indeed.

Swanson's Volunteer Corps, were, in effect, a Troop of the Bulawayo Field Force and were raised in Bulawayo from residents in April 1896 and were disbanded there on Saturday the 4th of July that same year, after actually being thanked for their brave conduct by Major General Frederick Carrington himself.

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Summers of Swanson's Volunteer Corps 6 months 2 weeks ago #57256

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That is wonderful information indeed Frank. I was unaware of the roll containing the 33 names to Swanson's V.C before your post. I count myself fortunate to now own this medal and have been in communication with a Swanson relative who, it is to be hoped, will shed more light on the units doings.

Ultimately it would be fortuitous were Swanson's own medal to surface and head my way but I'm not hopeful.

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Rory

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