County: County Durham
Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 31/05/1901 (postponed?), 19/06/1901, abt. 24/06/1901, 08/08/1901
Number issued: c. 142
31/05/1901 presentation (gold; 28 recipients - duplication; see below)
Winlaton & Blaydon (4)
Presentation made at Newcastle Town Hall.
19/06/1901 presentation (probably all gold; 59 - 61 recipients)
8171 Private Joseph TUNSTALL
a number of unnamed yeomen
a number of unnamed volunteers
5870 Sapper Frank William TATE
a number of unnamed volunteers
a number of unnamed volunteers
6 unnamed troopers
Presentation made by Mrs Walter Willson, at Gateshead Town Hall.
abt. 24/06/1901 presentation (silver gilt; c. 60 recipients)
1521 Private John WILSON
and other unnamed militiamen
"There were about 60 of the Militiamen, and a company of 120 ladies and gentlemen gathered to honour them" (Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 25/06/1901).
08/08/1901 presentation (silver gilt; 21 recipients)
9627 Driver Robert WRIGHT
Presentation made by Mrs Gilhespy, at Saltwell Park.
KNOWN EXAMPLES HIGHLIGHTED IN GREEN
MEDALS ENCOUNTERED IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER GILT
Type 1 (gold; June 1901).
Reverse: "Presented / TO / [PTE. H. SIMM, / 5TH V.B.D.L.I.] / SOUTH AFRICA / SERVICE COMPANY, / 1900-1".
Type 2 (silver gilt; June 1901).
Reverse: "Presented / TO / [SERGT. J.H. WILSON, / 3rd D.L.I.] / For Services in / SOUTH AFRICA, / 1900-01".
Type 3 (silver gilt; August 1901).
Reverse: "Presented / TO / [Gunr. T. Foster / Elswick Battery] / for services in / SOUTH AFRICA, / 1900-01".
The Mayor of Newcastle commented that "the Elswick men would not care twopence for the medals". Councillor Gilhespy, on the other hand, "thought that those who received medals would treasure them up as a slight and humble offering of the people in recognition of the services they had rendered ...... he doubted not that those who received medals would not look upon them as cheap ornaments, but would hand them on to their successors as precious heirlooms" (Shields Daily News, 09/08/1901).
Note: an example to 7046 Driver Richard BROWN, Elswick Battery, is in the Paul Dunn Collection. Driver Brown is not listed as a recipient in newspaper reports seen. Was there a later presentation?
Reverse of gold and silver gilt versions of the Gateshead medal. Gold (left) with Birmingham 9-carat gold hallmarks for 1900; silver gilt (right) with Birmingham hallmarks for 1901. The former with maker's initials "S.BROS" for Sydenham Brothers; the latter with "W H H", for William Hair Haseler.
FROM THE FRONT.
THE RETURN OF SOUTH SHIELDS MEN.
The Durham Volunteers from South Africa arrived at the Central Station, Newcastle, this morning about 7 o’clock, having landed from the Mohawk at Southampton yesterday.
According to arrangement they proceeded to Newcastle Barracks, and there gave up their equipment and received refreshments. The officers of the 5th Durham, with the members of the rank and file, and the band, afterwards went to the Barracks for the purpose of bringing over the Gateshead men to the Town Hall, where they were presented with gold medals, and were then disbanded. The number of men who received medals was 28. Eighteen of these belonged to the Gateshead Companies, six to the South Shields Company, and four to the Winlaton and Blaydon Companies.
The South Shields contingent, consisting of Lieut. BOWMAN and five other men, left Newcastle by the 1.56 train this afternoon, and arrived at South Shields at 2.33.
The Mayor and members of the Reception Committee, and many of the leading citizens were at the station to receive them. The men were accompanied by the excellent band of the 5th B.D.L.I. from Gateshead. Starting from the station the proceeded by way of Fowler Street and Stanhope Road to the 5th Durham Drill Hall.
THIRD DURHAM L.I.
PROPOSED COMPLIMENTARY BANQUET.
The Third Durhams.
DURHAM MEN FROM THE FRONT,
BANQUET AT GATESHEAD.
The movement to publicly welcome the Gateshead volunteers culminated last night in the Town Hall, Gateshead, when 59 returned veterans were entertained to a public banquet and were made the recipients of suitably-inscribed medals. The volunteers included 28 men of the 5th Durham Rifles, several Imperial Yeomen, six troopers of Brabant’s Horse, and several natives of Gateshead who had been to the front with the Engineers, ambulance, and other local units. The hall was decorated with flags and hothouse plants, and the scene with its khaki heroes, with its medley of officers and ladies and gentlemen in evening dress, and with the military band playing on the platform, was very animating, especially when viewed from the well-filled ladies’ gallery. The guests numbered some 200.
The Mayor (Mr A. Gillies) presided, and he was supported by the Mayoress (Mrs Wicks), the Mayor and Sheriff of Newcastle, Mrs Abraham, Mrs Walter Willson …….
The loyal toasts were enthusiastically honoured, and then the Mayor in extending a formal welcome to the volunteers, read amidst cheers a telegram from Lord Roberts, which ran – “I beg you will convey to the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the active service volunteer contingent of the Durham Light Infantry whom you are entertaining tonight, my sincere congratulations upon their return and my appreciation of their good work in South Africa”. …….
Ald. J.T. Penman then gave, “Our guests – the Returned Volunteers”, whom he cordially welcomed home after 16 months’ absence. They went out to South Africa when things were at their worst. (Cheers). It was then that the volunteers were most anxious to go, and in the dark days before the relief of Ladysmith the steamship could hardly take them South fast enough. (Cheers). They were perhaps thankful that the Boers in 1899 had no more sense than to sit round Ladysmith, for they might then have overrun Natal and Cape Colony. And now after the sacrifice of life and treasure they all wanted peace; they wanted peace for their children and their children’s children. (Cheers). It was a misrepresentation to say that the ladies and gentlemen who were entertaining the volunteers that night in any way favoured war. They believed, however, that the country was not worth living in that was not worth fighting for. (Cheers). They were glad that their volunteers had returned wiser and stronger men, and while they hoped hostilities would soon cease, they could not believe that the Government would allow it to cease until the British flag was supreme, and until the Boers were prevented from doing mischief in the future. (Cheers).
The movement to publicly welcome the Gateshead volunteers culminated on Wednesday night in the Town Hall, Gateshead, when 59 returned veterans were entertained to a public banquet and were made the recipients of suitably-inscribed medals. The volunteers included 28 men of the 5th Durham Rifles, several Imperial Yeomen, six troopers of Brabant’s Horse, and several natives of Gateshead who have been to the front with the Engineers, ambulance, and other local units. The guests numbered some 200.
The Mayor (Mr A. Gillies) presided.
The Mayor in extending a formal welcome to the volunteers read amidst cheers a telegram from Lord Roberts which ran – “I beg you will convey to the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the active service volunteer contingent of the Durham Light Infantry whom you are entertaining tonight, my sincere congratulations upon their return and my appreciation of their good work in South Africa”.
Ald. Penman proposed “Our Guests – the Returned Volunteers”.
Mrs Walter Wilson then presented the volunteers with gold medals. After each had filed past the platform, Capt. Bowman responded to the toast.
Colour-Sergeant Smith, an old Egyptian veteran and colour-sergeant of the service company, responded. Sergeant Cox and Sergeant Dalton also returned thanks.
Mr J.J. Gillespie (the Sheriff of Newcastle) gave “Mrs Wilson and the Ladies”, which toast was honoured and responded to by Mr Walter Wilson.
DINNER TO DURHAM MILITIA.
A complimentary dinner to the 3rd Durham Light Infantry (Militia) on the occasion of their return from South Africa, was given last night, in the Town Hall, Gateshead. There were about 60 of the Militiamen, and a company of 120 ladies and gentlemen gathered to honour them. The Mayor (Mr Alexander Gillies) was to have presided, but was kept away by business, and Mr R. Affleck presided in his stead. …….
Major Grimshaw, who was in command of the 3rd Durhams in South Africa, wrote regretting his inability to be present. The men, he added, did exceedingly well while in South Africa, and he was sure it would cause them and the regiment the greatest satisfaction that they should entertain those who were resident in Gateshead at dinner. He wished the proceedings every success. …….
The customary toasts were heartily honoured.
Councillor Gilhespy proposed “The Faithful Durhams”.
LORD ROBERTS & THE DURHAM MILITIA.
PRESENTATION OF MEDALS AT GATESHEAD.
MESSAGE FROM LORD ROBERTS.
The ceremony of presenting medals to those members of the Elswick Battery resident in Gateshead took place last night at Saltwell Park. There was a very large crowd around the band stand at 7.30, when the Felling Colliery Band, which had once previously given its services on behalf of the fund, commenced the proceedings. During the playing of a rousing tune, Councillor Gilhespy, Mr J.T. Sanders (hon. secretary), and Mr R. Dunn, members of the committee of the fund, ascended the band stand, being accompanied by Mrs Gilhespy, Mrs W. Forster, and Councillor and Mrs Fred Elliott, of Newcastle.
Mr Gilhespy opened the formal ceremony by remarking that it would be invidious for him, before that great audience, to extol the gallant deeds of the Elswick Battery. Everyone at all interested knew all about its gallant work. He saw that the Mayor of Newcastle had said the Elswick men would not care twopence for medals. That might be his opinion, but the speaker differed from him, and thought that those who received medals would treasure them up as a slight and humble offering of the people of the town in recognition of the services they had rendered. Gateshead had no “freedoms” to bestow, but he doubted not that those who received medals would not look upon them as cheap ornaments, but would hand them on to their successors as precious heirlooms. Finally, he produced a telegram from Lord Roberts, addressed to Mr Sanders, and dated the previous day, which read as follows: – “I am glad to hear of the presentation Gateshead is making to the Gateshead men belonging to the Elswick Battery tomorrow in recognition of their services in South Africa. Will you convey to all ranks my congratulations on their safe return, and my appreciation of their splendid services in South Africa?” The reading of this telegram was greeted with loud applause, as also was the reading of one from Mrs Watts, the wife of Colonel Watts, regretting that she could not accept the invitation to be present.
Mrs Gilhespy then presented the medals which are of silver, doubly gilded, to the twenty men resident in Gateshead. Mrs Forster, on behalf of Mrs Gilhespy, also presented each of the men with a silver-mounted pipe.
Corporal ALLISON responded briefly and suitably.
Councillor Fred Elliott moved a vote of thanks to the committee of ladies, and this was responded to on their behalf by Councillor Gilhespy.
A presentation was also made by Mrs Gilhespy to Bandmaster James Oliver, of the Felling Colliery Band, of a silver-mounted pipe and pouch, in recognition of the services rendered to the fund by himself and band in giving two performances on its behalf.