Durham Volunteer Artillery


County: County Durham
Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 16/06/1901, 09/11/1901
Number issued: 8 or 9


Gold shields, to:

16/06/1901 presentation

15th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry (Maxim Gun Detachment) –
Major Ernest VAUX
9994 Sergeant C. McDONALD (K.I.A., Rooidam, 06/05/1900 - did his family receive a medal?)
3265 Corporal John Ambrose COGHLAN
10001 Private Charles BOLDEN
10000 Private Joseph GRAHAM (invalided)
9998 Private [Driver] Charles Henry COLLINS
9999 Private Charles JOHNSON

9997 Private John TWEDDLE

Presentation made by Colonel Vaux, at the Drill Hall, The Green, Sunderland.

Major Vaux also received a bronze equestrian statue "representing a typical Yeomanry officer", with suitably inscribed silver panel.

09/11/1901 presentation

15th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry (Maxim Gun Detachment) –

9996 Sergeant [Sergeant-Major] H. HUGGINS

Presentation made by Major Vaux, at the Drill Hall, The Green, Sunderland.


Subscribed for by officers and men of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery.

Obverse with the regimental badge of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery over the Gateshead civic arms: "1st DURHAM VOLINTEER ARTILLERY / NIL DESPERANDUM AUSPICE DEO".

Reverse: "Presented to / [DRIVER CHARLES COLLINS] / by the officers of the / 1ST DURHAM / VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY / as a souvenir of his services / IN SOUTH AFRICA / 1900 - 1901".

Supplied by Mr R.L. Rennison, Bridge Street, Sunderland.


Some articles suggest that all members of the Sunderland contingent, 15th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry received medals. In this case, Quartermaster-Sergeant Joseph Merriman PRIOR, Sergeants William HODGSON & Henry DRENNAN, and Corporals Forster Charlton HUNTLEY, Victor WILSON & James SMITH should be added to the list. However, this seems unlikely, given that the medals were subscribed for by officers of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery, and were intended for their comrades in that corps.
Sergeant Hodgson and Troopers Bolden, Collins & Tweddle each received a second gold medal from the inhabitants of New Herrington.
VAUX Sunderland Daily Echo 11 Jun 1901      VAUX Maxim Beer


Driver Charles Collins example sold through Dix Noonan Webb, 28/06/2000, for £430.
Driver Charles Collins example sold through Dix Noonan Webb, 23/09/2011, for £2,500.



Sunderland Daily Echo, 11th June 1901


The Reception in Sunderland Tomorrow.


Major Ernest VAUX and his comrades of the local Maxim Detachment of the Imperial Yeomanry arrived at Southampton this morning in the transport Assaye, and left for the North about 10 o’clock. They will arrive in Newcastle this evening, probably about nine or ten o’clock. The exact hour of their reaching Sunderland was not definitely known at noon today, but, as there will be a fair amount of work to do at Newcastle, it is not expected they will be here until midday tomorrow. Under that assumption, AN OFFICIAL ORDER has been issued asking all members of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery who wish to join in the welcome to their comrades to proceed to the Central Station in uniform about that time. The band has been ordered to parade at 11 o’clock at the Drill Hall, The Green, to await orders. The arrangements, so far, are that the detachment shall be met at the station by the Mayor (Conn. Kirtley), as well as by the battalion, which will be under the command of Col. Vaux, who is at Harrogate, but is expected to return, or Lieut.-Col. Barker. The Yeomanry detachment will be marched with the battalion to the Drill Hall, The Green, where they will be formally welcomed home by the Mayor and the battalion, and they will then be disbanded. It is felt by the officers that the men have had enough of eating and drinking, and that their return should be marked by a more lasting token than a banquet. Accordingly, they have arranged that A GOLD MEDAL shall be presented to each of the detachment. It will be of appropriate design and will have a suitable inscription, showing the circumstances under which it is given. This medal is to be the gift of the officers. After the formal reception at the Drill Hall tomorrow, the men will go to their friends, but they will meet again on Sunday and attend a church parade at the Parish Church, Monkwearmouth, and after that the gold medals will be presented to them. On the evening of Wednesday the 19th (tomorrow week), the detachment, together with the Rifle Volunteers who arrived home previously, will attend at the Town Hall, where the Freedom of the Borough will be conferred upon them, and they will then be entertained to a banquet.

Full details of the Sunderland men Major VAUX has with him are not quite known. The men who went out with him were – Sergt. C. McDONALD; Bombardiers C. BOLDEN and J. GRAHAM; Drivers C. COLLINS, J. TWEDDLE, C. JOHNSON, and H. HUGGINS. McDONALD died the death of a hero at Rooidam, and leaves a gap in the detachment which all will regret. Bombardier GRAHAM was invalided home some considerable time since, but the others are all expected to be with Major VAUX, with the exception, perhaps, of HUGGINS, who is now understood to have left the detachment and to be sergeant in the Imperial Yeomanry. It is thought he may have remained in South Africa. It is also supposed that Corporal J.A. COGHLAN will accompany the detachment. There may be several other LOCAL MEN WHO WENT OUT apart from the detachment, because Major VAUX’s Company, which is the 15th of the Imperial Yeomanry, comprises 61 men, and amongst those from Sunderland who joined it are Messrs F.C. HUNTLY and Victor WILSON.


Sunderland Daily Echo, 17th June 1901



Yesterday afternoon a thanksgiving service for the return from South Africa of Major VAUX and the other men of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery, who formed the Maxim gun detachment of the Imperial Yeomanry, was held at St Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth. The officers and men of the Volunteer corps paraded at the Drill Hall, The Green, at two o’clock, mustering about 400. …….

……. At the Drill Hall Major VAUX and his men were each presented with a prettily designed and suitably inscribed gold medal on behalf of the officers and men of the corps in commemoration of their services in South Africa. The presentations were made by Col. Vaux, who spoke in eulogistic terms of the bravery shown by the recipients, and said their comrades were proud of them.
Sunderland Daily Gazette, 14th June 1901


The seven medals which are to be presented to the local Maxim detachment of the Yeomanry have been made by Mr R.L. Rennison, of Bridge Street, and will be exhibited for a few hours in the window of his establishment tomorrow morning. They are of solid gold, and are in the shape of a plain shield of considerable thickness and neat and appropriate design. On the front at the top is the crest of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery, while below are the borough arms, having beneath the motto of the town, “Nil desperandum auspice Deo”. The one presented to Major Vaux has the following inscription on the back – “Presented to Major Vaux by the officers of the 1st Durham Volunteer Artillery as a souvenir of his services in South Africa, 1900-1901”. The others have similar inscriptions, with the name of the recipient.


Sunderland Daily Echo, 11th November 1901


A complimentary dinner of the Maxim detachment of the Sunderland Artillery Volunteers who have recently returned from the front was given by the non-commissioned officers of the corps on Saturday night at the Drill Hall, The Green. Major VAUX presided. An excellent repast was served, and a very pleasant evening was spent. In the course of the proceedings a gold medal, suitably inscribed, was presented to Sergt.-Major HUGGINS by the officers, as a memento of his services in connection with the detachment.
Sunderland Daily Echo, 31st December 1901




11 – Arrival of Major VAUX at Southampton.
12 – The local Yeomanry return home: Enthusiastic reception.
16 – Presentation of gold medals to the returned Yeomanry and thanksgiving service at St Peter’s Church.
19 – Banquet to the returned Volunteers in the Town Hall: Freedom of the borough conferred upon Major VAUX and others.
Sunderland IY Medal ALL s
This commercially produced medalet is sometimes wrongly listed as a Sunderland tribute medal. These pendants were in fact sold to raise funds for the Sunderland Welcome Home Committee, priced at sixpence per medal. They were struck in June 1901 by Mr Percival Craig, General Manager of the Avenue Theatre, Sunderland.

Sunderland Daily Echo, 17th June 1901

I have received from Mr Percival Craig one of the commemoration medals which that gentleman has, with the approval of the Welcome Home to Volunteers Committee, had struck in honour of the men returned from the front. It is about the size and colour of a sovereign, and bears on the obverse the figures of two khaki-clad warriors flanking a gun, the legend being “Commemoration Medal 1901. 15th I.Y.  3rd V.B.D.L.I.”  On the reverse is the Corporation coat-of-arms, with the inscription “Sunderland Volunteer Service in the Boer War”. The price of the medal, which has a ring enabling it to be used as a pendant, sixpence, and the entire profits will be handed over to the committee mentioned above. Several jewellers have the souvenirs on sale.