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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Ceylon Medals

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  1. Greetings: This is my first posting. I've just stumbled across GMIC, but am a long-standing member of several similar fora. I suspect I shall come across numerous old hands in this forum, (and have already noted several); and look forward to making new acquaintances. As the signature block should indicate, (if I set things up properly), my primary interest is in collecting and researching Orders, Medals, Decorations with a Ceylon connection -- ie., either to a recipient in a Ceylon unit, (such as the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, Ceylon Light Infantry, or Ceylon Mounted Rifles) or to a resident of Ceylon (for example, many Ceylon planters, during the Great War, served in Indian, Aussie, or Brit units). I'vm also interested in medals to the Royal Indian Navy/Marine. Garth: I can help with some intell on the recipient of your medal. He is David Edgar Smith, born in Colombo Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1893; and educated at St Joseph's College, Colombo. Before the War, he was an Engine Driver for the Ceylon Government Railway. He left Colombo, for "Home", shortly after the outbreak of the war, enlisting in the Rifle Brigade on 13 Dec 1914; landing in France on 20 June 1915. He was wounded 3 times (but I don't know the dates); and took part in the Battles of: Loos; the Somme; 2nd; and 3rd Ypres. He was taken prisoner during Germany's great Spring Offiensive, on 22 March 1918. Smith was repatriated to UK in January 1919; and de-mobbed in May 1919. After the War, he returned to Colombo, where he retired, settling at 22 Dematagoda Road, Colombo. Unfortunately, these medals tend to get separated from the rest of the group. Smith would have had a nice trio. There is a roll of recipients at the Sri Lanka National Archives, a scan of which I have attached below. (Note as well as confirming his entitelment, the roll indicates the medal was sent to him on 9 Jan 1922). For years the Medal Year Book cited the figure of 450 as the total number of these medals issued. I have no idea how they arrived at this figure but it's patently wrong: the actual number is closer to 3,000. I wrote to the editor, indicating the error, and they removed any reference to a number issued about 2 years ago -- bit, unfortunately, many dealers still like to cite the erroneous MYB figure thereby greatly overstating it's rarity. Hope this is of some help/interest. Cheers, Glen, In Our Dominion of the North