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

 

Gold / silver gilt medals, to:
 

31/05/1901 presentation (gold; 28 recipients - duplication; see below)

1st Volunteer Active Service Company, 1st Bn. Durham Light Infantry –

28 volunteers

Recipients came from:
Gateshead (18)
South Shields (6)

Winlaton & Blaydon (4)

Presentation made at Newcastle Town Hall.

These are the 28 volunteers reported to have received medals at Gateshead on 19/06/1901 (see below).
 

19/06/1901 presentation (probably all gold; 59 - 61 recipients)

1st Volunteer Active Service Company, 1st Bn. Durham Light Infantry [5th V.B.D.L.I.] –
Lieutenant [Captain] J.B. BOWMAN (South Shields)
3851 Colour-Sergeant Jonathan B. SMITH (South Shields)
8166 Sergeant Howard William McINTYRE
8267 Sergeant George ORD [Draft] (absent - returned 13/09/1901)
8151 Lance-Sergeant Robert Archer DALTON
8152 Lance-Corporal Robert BELL
8158 Lance-Corporal Joseph Falconer HAMILTON (South Shields)
8266 Bugler Charles RIDLEY
8153 Private Lancelot Edwin BLACKETT
8154 Private Christopher COWIE
8155 Private William DOUGLAS
8156 Private Arthur ELLIOTT
8248 Private John ELLIOTT [Draft]
8157 Private Robery Lumley FAID
8261 Private John GOLIGHTLY [Draft]
8159 Private William James HANDS (Blaydon)
8177 Private George Robert HIGGINS
8160 Private [Lance-Corporal] William John HORN (South Shields)
8161 Private George Frederick HUTCHINS
8162 Private Richard Atkinson IRVING
8163 Private Stephen JONES (died, Chieveley, 23/05/1900 - did his family receive a medal?)
8164 Private John Joseph LYNCH
8165 Private Longford MACDONALD
8257 Private George William MADDISON [Draft]
8167 Private W.L. MENNIE (South Shields)
8173 Private R. POTTER
8168 Private William Snowball RIDLEY
8169 Private David RITCHIE
8170 Private Henry SIMM

8171 Private Joseph TUNSTALL

Imperial Yeomanry –

a number of unnamed yeomen

1st Service Section, 1st Newcastle Royal Engineers (Vols) –

a number of unnamed volunteers

1st Service Section, 1st Durham Royal Engineers (Vols) –
5866 Corporal Thomas PEEL
5874 Spper Alexander Thomson HORNE
5877 Sapper T.W. HUTCHINSON
5886 Sapper W. ROBSON

5870 Sapper Frank William TATE

St John Ambulance Brigade –

a number of unnamed volunteers

3rd Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers –

a number of unnamed volunteers

Brabant's Horse –

6 unnamed troopers

Presentation made by Mrs Walter Willson, at Gateshead Town Hall.

The 28 members of the 1st V.A.S.C. are the same 28 men reported to have received medals in Newcastle on 31/05/1901 (see above).
 

abt. 24/06/1901 presentation (silver gilt; c. 60 recipients)

3rd Bn. Durham Light Infantry (Militia) –
3268 Sergeant John Herbert WILSON
640 Private A. HUNTER

1521 Private John WILSON

and other unnamed militiamen

"We understand that there is a separate movement on foot to entertain Gateshead militiamen who have just returned from the front" (Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 13/06/1901).

"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).

The Gateshead militia were entertained at the Town Hall on 24/06/1901. Although reports state that it was "intended to present each of the men with a suitable medal", there is no mention of such a presentation at the dinner. The medals may have been distributed at a later date.
 

08/08/1901 presentation (silver gilt; 21 recipients)

Elswick Battery –
7096 Bombardier [Corporal] John George HARRISON
7253 Bombardier John Joseph TRON [Toon]
7119 Shoeing-Smith Robert Scott JOHNSON [Johnstone]
7052 Gunner [Bombardier] Henry CARR
7054 Gunner Henry CLARKE
7078 Gunner Thomas FORSTER [Foster]
???? Gunner GRAHAM (7089 Gnr. William Graham OR 7090 Gnr. Thomas William Graham)
7097 Gunner James HALLIDAY
7098 Gunner James HART
7115 Gunner Joseph INGLEDEW
7117 Gunner [Bombardier] William INNES
7127 Gunner John James Gordon LITTLE
7149 Gunner John Bruce MONCRIEFF
7152 Gunner James MURRAY
7248 Gunner Charles Robert SMITH
7186 Gunner George SOULSBY
7198 Gunner Robert TARBOT [Tarbitt or Tarbet]
7046 Driver Richard BROWN (Paul Dunn Collection – not listed as a recipient in the Shields Daily News)
7075 Driver [Gunner] Robert ELLIOT
7190 Driver [Gunner] George STEPHENSON

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).

Obverse with the civic arms and motto of Gateshead: "CAPUT INTER NUBILA CONDIT" (arms absent on example seen).

Reverse: "Presented / TO / [PTE. H. SIMM, / 5TH V.B.D.L.I.] / SOUTH AFRICA / SERVICE COMPANY, / 1900-1".

Type 2 (silver gilt; June 1901).

Obverse with the civic arms and motto of Gateshead: "CAPUT INTER NUBILA CONDIT".

Reverse: "Presented / TO / [SERGT. J.H. WILSON, / 3rd D.L.I.] / For Services in / SOUTH AFRICA, / 1900-01".

Type 3 (silver gilt; August 1901).

Obverse with the civic arms and motto of Gateshead: "CAPUT INTER NUBILA CONDIT".

Reverse: "Presented / TO / [Gunr. T. Foster / Elswick Battery] / for services in / SOUTH AFRICA, / 1900-01".

Described as: "gold" and "silver doubly gilded".
 
The extant medal to Private Simm, Volunteer Active Service Company, 1st D.L.I., is made of 9-carat gold, and is of a slightly different design to those presented to Militia and Elswick Battery men (see photograph below). It seems safe to assume that all of the Volunteers received 9-carat gold medals, as was reported in the press at the time. This may also be true of the remaining 19/06/1901 recipients (Imperial Yeomanry, R.E. Volunteers, St John Ambulance, etc.). All the later medals appear to have been silver gilt.
 
It is worth noting that the Volunteer and Militia presentations were managed by two separate committees, the fund-raising for the Militia presentation being described as "a separate movement". This helps explain the different materials and designs of the two types of medal.
 
 

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?

 

 

Gateshead gold and silver gilt s

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.

 

 

 

Sergeant J.H. Wilson example illustrated in Hibbard (incorrectly listed as a Durham tribute)
Driver Richard Brown example in the Paul Dunn Collection.
Private A. Hunter example in the Constantine Collection.
Gunner T. Foster example offered through Dix Noonan Webb, 04/04/2001, unsold.
Private John Wilson example sold through Dix Noonan Webb, 28/06/2000, for £530.
Private John Wilson example sold through Dix Noonan Webb, 23/09/2011, for £2,300.
 
 

 

Hibbard #A12 (incorrectly attributed to Durham)
Constantine Collection
Information provided by Paul Dunn
 
 
______________________________________
 
 
 
South Shields Daily Gazette, 31st May 1901
 

FROM THE FRONT.

THE RETURN OF SOUTH SHIELDS MEN.

To-day’s Reception.

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.

A full description of the reception at South Shields will be given in our later editions.
 
 
Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 13th June 1901
 

GATESHEAD.

A meeting of the committee formed to give the Gateshead volunteers returned from the war a fitting reception and banquet was held last night in the Town Hall, Gateshead. Ald. Penman presided. The toast list was prepared, and other arrangements were made with regard to the banquet, which is to be held in the Town Hall, next Wednesday night. It was stated £114 had already been subscribed, but that at least £200 would be necessary to entertain the men and present each of them with medallions. Subscriptions may be sent to the Mayor (Mr A. Gillies), Ald. Penman (chairman of the committee), Dr Abraham, and Mr J.T. Sanders, hon. Secretary. – We understand that there is a separate movement on foot to entertain Gateshead militiamen who have just returned from the front.
 
 
Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 17th June 1901
 

THIRD DURHAM L.I.

PROPOSED COMPLIMENTARY BANQUET.

A movement is on foot in Gateshead to entertain the men of the 3rd Durham Light Infantry Militia, who volunteered and were sent on active service in South Africa more than a year ago. It will be remembered that after their embodiment they proceeded to Aldershot, when the tide of the war necessitating the despatch of additional troops, the “Faithful Durhams” to a man offered their services. The men have just recently returned, and it is felt that some suitable occasion should be selected to convey to them their fellow townsmen’s appreciation of their devotion to their country. The proposal is to invite them to a dinner to be held in the Town Hall, Gateshead, on Monday evening, the 24th inst. The hon. treasurer to the committee is Councillor Geo. Gilhespy, of 14 Bewick Road, Gateshead, who will be happy to receive subscriptions towards this object. If the funds at the disposal of the committee admit, it is intended to present each of the men with a suitable medal.
 
 
Darlington North Star, 18th June 1901
 

The Third Durhams.

The friends of the 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry will be glad to know that a movement has been set on foot with the object of recognising the services rendered by them in South Africa. It is proposed to entertain the men to a banquet at Gateshead Town Hall on the 24th inst., and, should funds allow, to present each with a medal, as a memento of their war service. In the general and very praiseworthy desire to honour the Volunteers and Yeomen connected with the county of Durham, there is a danger that the work done by the Militia may be overlooked. None, however, deserve more credit than the Militia Battalion of the Durhams. When men were wanted for South Africa, they volunteered to a man, and sailed from England fully 800 strong. When they returned to Barnard Castle, after close upon 18 months’ service, there were not 500 of them. They had lost their leader – the gallant Colonel Wilson – and two officers; many had died of wounds and disease; whilst others preferred to see the end of the war, and had joined line regiments. It is true they were engaged on the work guarding the lines of communication, which the popular mind is inclined to look upon lightly. But that work, as was pointed out by the leading military paper last week, was of the most arduous and wearing character, necessitating constant watchfulness against surprise, whilst frequently subject to the attentions of individual Boer marksmen. Under all the circumstances, it is therefore well that they should share in the honour conferred upon men returning from the front, having borne willingly a heavy share of the burdens of the campaign.
 
 
Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 20th June 1901
 

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).

Mrs Walter Willson then presented the volunteers with gold medals. After each had filed past the platform, Capt. Bowman responded to the toast, and at the same time thanked Mrs Willson for the gracious manner in which she had presented the handsome medals, souvenirs he knew they would all treasure and which he hoped they would never sully by unworthy conduct. (Cheers). In thanking the reception committee for their kind entertainment the volunteers still remembered their hearty send-off, a display of enthusiasm only equalled by their warm reception on their return.
 
 
Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 20th June 1901
 

GATESHEAD.

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.

 

Yorkshire Post, 20th June 1901
 
At Gateshead Town Hall last night, 59 Volunteers, Yeomen, and other local men who have been on service in South Africa were entertained to a banquet by the Reception Committee. The regiments represented were the 5th Durham Light Infantry, the 1st Durham Volunteer Engineers, the Newcastle Engineers, the St John Ambulance, and the 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers. Gold medals were presented to each guest. The Mayor of Gateshead (Mr A. Gillies) presided.
 
 
Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 25th June 1901
 

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”.

Sergeant WILSON replied, and said that when volunteers were asked for the 3rd Durhams stood forward like one man. They were the only regiment landed in South Africa in their home uniforms.
 
 
Sunderland Daily Echo, 25th June 1901
 

LORD ROBERTS & THE DURHAM MILITIA.

The men of the 3rd (Militia) Battalion Durham Light Infantry, recently returned from the front, were last night entertained at dinner in the Town Hall, Gateshead. A letter was read from Lord Roberts, in which he expressed his appreciation of the splendid work done by the battalion during the South African Campaign. The men had well maintained the traditions of the British infantry, and he trusted that they might enjoy for many years to come the sense of satisfaction which was derived from the knowledge that they had done their duty in upholding the honour of their country.
 
 
Shields Daily News, 9th August 1901
 

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.

The men receiving medals were Corporal J.G. HARRISON, Bombardiers W. INNES, W. CARR, and G. TRON, Gunners J. HART, R. TARBOT, J. LITTLE, T. FORSTER, C.R. SMITH, J. HOLLIDAY, J. MURRAY, J. MONCRIEFF, ELLIOTT, G. STEPHENSON, INGLEDEW, GRAHAM, CLARKE, and SOULSBY, Driver R. WRIGHT and Shoeing Smith JOHNSON.