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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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About mikehm

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    Somewhere in England
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    The Crimean War and the 46th Regiment of Foot are my primary areas of interest. I collect to both areas, as well as medals to descendant units of the 46th (DCLI, SCLI, LI, RIFLES), and British medal groups in unique combinations. I also maintain a database of, and a website relating to, named Khedive's Stars.

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  1. Well, what do you know? On another forum is a man who owns an oil painting based on the photograph. He writes: It follows that the sash must be either (a) indicative of an RN Medico, (which seems unlikely, as we would otherwise see them much more frequently) or (b) indicative of an appointment as Hon. Physician to the Queen (my best guess at present). I am not sure I will ever forgive Smart for wearing a Second China suspension on his First China Medal (or a complete Second China Medal, if that is what he has done). It makes the task of identifying sitters by their medal entitlements very difficult if they wear the wrong medals!
  2. After the wild distribution of hundreds of Légions d'honneur during the Crimea, the French were far more parsimonious in the Second China War. I don't have RN figures to hand, but I know that only five awards were made to the Army, so the chances are very high that the award was for the Crimea. Yes, it may be that a rosette is missing, but I am loath to start guessing what might be missing, as that way lies madness: a missing Mejedie would open the field up wonderfully! He may not even have had a CB in the Crimea (I'm betting he didn't: men with CBs usually picked up two or three foreign awards), but I have run out of candidates before I even start looking at the Order of the Bath. Someone must know what that unprintable sash is, and I bet it is important . . .
  3. Dear All, I am flummoxed; even more so than when I was trying to identify the Rifle Volunteer uniform I posted yesterday. Please correct me if I am wrong, as I surely must be, but this looks to me to be the uniform of a senior officer of the Royal Navy, wearing a sash I don't recognise, together with the insignia of a KCB; a Crimea Medal (reverse showing); a Second China War Medal without clasp (obverse showing); a Turkish Crimea Medal with a replacement suspension; and the breast badge of a Knight of the French Légion d'honneur. Although apparently a photograph of an engraving, the detail of the medals is so precise that I find it unlikely in the extreme that it is not an absolutely faithful portrait of someone - but who? Of the officers of the Royal Navy who received the fifth class of the Légion d'honneur, only 26 failed to receive another foreign order. According to Kevin Asplin's published roll, only one of these served in China and earned a Second China War Medal: Surgeon Richard D. Mason, RN. He, however, received a clasp for Canton 1857, (and does not appear to have been knighted) so can be ruled out of contention. It seems that I have successfully ruled out every possible candidate. One of my assumptions must be wrong. Which is it? What is that sash, anyway? Is he an RN officer at all? Help, please! ATB Mike
  4. Yes, that was why I jumped to the conclusion that he was an RB officer, but he cannot be (or at least not by the time this picture was taken). No RB Colonel earned that medal combination without also picking up a foreign order (I checked), and, besides, the RB did not wear shiny rank badges. This must be an RV uniform. As for the judge, that was exactly my thought! It reminded me of this Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch: ).
  5. Dear All, Attached is a recent acquisition. I bought it under the misapprehension that the uniform was that of the Rifle Brigade, but no Rifle Brigade Colonel had this medal combination, and the RB wore black rank insignia, not bright metal, on their collars. An officer of Rifle Volunteers, then, wearing Turkish Crimea, three-clasp Crimea, and what may be a South Africa 1853 medal. The photograph was taken by celebrated Chelsea pornographer* Claude Bossoli, (which implies a Middlesex Corps), and probably dates to 1865-67. Rank badges were only worn on the collars of patrol jackets by Field Officers in the regular army, but I am not sure how true that was of the Volunteers, and his sleeve lace is out of sight. Is he a full Colonel, or a mere Captain? Can anyone identify the uniform, or even perhaps the sitter? Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone may be able to offer. ATB Mike * Bossoli was sentenced to 12 months hard labour for selling "grossly obscene photographs . . . at a very low price" in 1871! If nothing else, this gives a latest possible date for the photograph.
  6. I take it back! I have just had an e-mail from the webmaster. I'm in! Edit: I posted this a week or so ago - not sure why it appears only just to have been posted!
  7. It seems I am not welcome. Still no reply to my application to join after a fortnight. If SKS who is a member would like to ask the question for me, I would be most grateful.
  8. Thanks for that. I have dropped the website owner an e-mail, just in case.
  9. Alas, it seems I must be persona non grata - I have not received the requisite authorisation e-mail to gain access to the site. Shame.
  10. Have now applied for membership. Many thanks for the suggestion.
  11. Dear All, There is an amount of confusion surrounding the question of the services of this unit, as the following units existed, and served in South Africa during 1899-1902: No. 11 General Hospital, Kimberley - under the command of Lt. Col. M. D. O'Connell, RAMCNo. 11 Stationary Hospital - under the command of Major D. R. Hamilton, RAMCNo. 11 Brigade Field Hospital - under the command of Major John Brew Moir, RAMCNo. 11 Field Hospital (RAMC) - under the command of Lt. Col. D. L. Irvine, RAMCNo. 11 British Field Hospital - initially under the command of Lt. Col. Sidney Herbert Carter, RAMC, and latterly under the command of Major John Kearney, RAMCHaving drawn almost a complete blank from traditional (to me) sources, I wonder if someone here might have some information on the service of the last-mentioned unit, which was formed in India, included officers from both the RAMC and the ISMD, and served in the Tirah Expedition as well as in South Africa. I learn from an on-line article about the Indian Ordnance Department that "The transport Henzada with No.3 field medical stores depot, No. 11 British field hospital, and Ordnance field park . . . left Calcutta, 20th September (1899) and arrived on October 14th 1899 at Durban." Members of the unit received Queen's South Africa Medals with clasps for the Defence of Ladysmith and Laing's Nek as well as for Belfast, Elandslaagte, Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony and Natal. Can you help fill out the picture, or suggest sources I might consult? I have recently acquired the medal of Pte. Henry Lane, 1/DCLI, who was a member of this unit, and served with it during the Defence of Ladysmith and the engagement at Laing's Nek. ATB Mike
  12. Many thanks, Eric. Having had a look at illustrations on the WWW, I see what you mean. It's a dead ringer for a Mark VII, cupronickel jacketed, .303 bullet - the WWI Lee Enfield round. At its narrowest, where it has been squeezed, it mic's at 0.307"; at its fattest, it is 0.317". I think it probably started life around 0.310" or 0.312" - and .312" is exactly the diameter of a British .303 bullet, and much too small to be a 7.92 Mauser round. Presumably, then, this is something faked up for the tourist market? This is Baldrick's "bullet with his name on it"!
  13. Dear All, I couldn't resist this when it popped up on eBay the other day - an 1897 penny with a bullet stuck halfway through it. The bullet is a jacketed round, 33mm long, with a diameter ranging from 7.80mm to 8.04mm according to digital callipers. The jacket looks to be steel, but is completely non-magnetic. No obvious rifling marks are visible, but there is evidence that the base of the bullet has been deformed by pliers or some other gripping tool - perhaps the result of an attempt to remove it from the penny, which has had a suspension loop added to it. So, is this 7.92mm ammunition from a K98 Mauser rifle, and, if so, can it be dated to the Boer War, the First World War, or the Second World War? If not, can anyone identify it for me? ATB Mike
  14. It stumped the British Medal Forum and all my Facebook friends as well. Scholarship seems thin on the ground north of the border! I shall have a look in the back of the MYB, and, failing that, try the reading room direct. Many thanks.