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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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Everything posted by SemperParatus

  1. I imagine he was a bit of a black sheep to begin with, havent found any explanation as to why he lefy and joined the british army as a ranker... Thanks Noor I splurged and did the same - used the copying service from National Archives UK and received his Service File a little while back. Please keep everyone in suspense if you will. Cheers all
  2. SemperParatus

    Why Collect? - The Best Answer.

    For some reason this read in the voice of John Cleese during the Sex Education scene of The Meaning of Life. Well done.
  3. I am happy to say I am the new steward of these medals, thanks to fellow GMIC user Noor. I have done much research in the past couple of months and have learned some interesting information which I will post here as time allows. While the Denison family is well documented and celebrated - the search was difficult as Oliver Macklem Denison is not mentioned in any literature on the family that I could see. When digging deeper there were bits and pieces of information regarding him in newspaper clippings and archival holdings, yet after 1904, he all but disappears and newspaper articles go so far as omitting any trace of his existence, using terms like "both sons" when speaking of Col George T Denison III's boys, though he had three sons. When he dies in Toronto in 1942, no death notices, obituaries of burial information appear in any local newspapers, unlike the full page spreads when other Denisons die. I contacted numerous archivists and consulted family websites with no information on the man or what happened. The Hidden Denison: The Story of Lieutenant Oliver Macklem Denison. Part 1. Oliver Macklem Denison was born 7 August 1874 at Heydon Villa, Toronto, Ontario - second son of Col George T Denison III, a prominent figure in Canada's military history. His other brothers would famously serve in the South African and Great Wars. From 1884 to 1891, Denison attends the prestigious Upper Canada College in keeping with family tradition. After graduating, Denison is commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Canadian Militia's 7th Battalion London Fusiliers, and attends the Royal School of Infantry at London, Ontario. Denison, promoted to Lieutenant, serves in the 7th Fusiliers until 1895. For Queen Victoria's 76th birthday, Denison participates in the Grand Military Review held in London, Ontario that same year. Suddenly, Denison resigns his commission and "pluckily" enlists as a private in the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, arriving in England in September 1895. His new battalion sailed to India for two years service at the Wellington station, then to Rangoon, Burmah for another two year posting (A History of the South Staffordshire Regiment p.114). Denison, having progressed to the rank of Sergeant in the 2nd South Staffs, is made 2nd Lieutenant on augmentation to The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) - a British Army regiment originally raised in Canada but since relocated to Ireland as part of the Cardwell and Childers Reforms. In July 1898, Denison joins the 1st Leinsters at the Halifax station, in Nova Scotia. It will be the last infantry unit in the British Army to garrison Canada. Denison is likely one of the last (if not the last) Canadian-born officers of the Regiment. (Officers Group - 1st Bn Leinster Regiment, Halifax, ca. 1900 - Library and Archives Canada) Col. Whitton's regimental history picks up the story: "It is a vulgar error to associate Canada with perpetual frost and snow; as a matter a fact summers are hot and while at Halifax the thermometer touched 98°. There was plenty of tennis and cricket ; excellent fishing and delightful sailing both on the harbour and the North West Arm. And in more serious work the musketry camp on McNab's Island was extremely pleasant." They got along well with sailors in the port city... "We had, on the other hand, great friends in the Navy, and many were the cheery nights on board ship or in the mess-room at Wellington Barracks, where the two Services fraternized and ragged. 'Jacky' Fisher was the admiral, and under his regime there was no shortage of dancing becoming a lost art. His flagship, the Renown, was known as the House of Lords from the fact that among its officers were six scions of the peerage. These cheery entertainments would have been productive of enormous bills had it not been for the amazing cheapness of food and liquor. 'If memory serves aright, a small whisky and soda was about 5 cents or 2-1/2d. Eheu Fugaces." Later documents would describe Denison as "practically a Teetotaller", so it's not clear if he would have partaken in the above antics. Aside from the Navy, the young officers would got along well with Halifax's inhabitants as well: "In the winter there were, of course, skating, ice-hockey, sleighing and tobogganing, and the Battalion went in for ice-hockey to a great extent. These sports brought the officers in touch with the inhabitants a good deal and, in more than one archive consulted, there i an allusion to a custom extremely popular with detrimental subalterns by which, 'having settled on your particular charmer, it was customary to pair off for the season. There was no question of an engagement. It was quite customary to be asked out to dinner together, nor would there be any censorious criticism of little picnics 'a deux'. This camaraderie as between sexes was very delightful and all to the good.'" These care-free times, however, would not last. To be continued...
  4. Thankfully you used a truated dealer as the Air Crew Europe Star is one of the most faked medals out there.
  5. Hi Paul, For what it's worth, your post reminded me of an image of the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles in Toronto in 1914. Here is a link to the photo (held by Library and Archives Canada): You will notice most of the enlisted men are without any capbadges on their service caps. Cheers Matt
  6. Poor man suffered the old police curse dying right after retirement. Upper Tooting. Only the English would come up with such a place...
  7. Love the thread idea. Excellent start. I hope to contribute stories when time allows...
  8. Excellent post Peter. Well researched and nicely written. Hosting a POW in your home must have been interesting... Cheers
  9. The plot thickens... And my 2 cents here: from what I understand starting in the spring of 1918 unit commanders were no longer required to forward a detailed recommendation for the MM, just the soldiers name they wished to reward, and in my experience I've had no luck finding written recommendations for MM's awarded after that time.
  10. SemperParatus

    Italian/French medal?

    The text translates to Machine Gun (Model 1907) Section. During the First World War the Italians used St Etienne machineguns acquired from the French in addition to the more widely used Fiat machineguns.
  11. SemperParatus

    All of My Heroes Are Dead

    Another great blog post from Brian and the sports bit had me dying.
  12. Amazing find. Unlike many recipients of the medal, the QOR along with the RHLI were actually in combat with the Fenians. The ribbon however is incorrect
  13. Hmmm there is also a listing for Capt F. W. Campbell who joined the 169th Battalion in 1916. His service file online is mixed with the Campbell VC file. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=84493 Here you can see his attestation paper. The medal card on page 40 lists him also as a Lieutenant, showing with dates of service (ie entering France) in 1917 and 1918 long after Campbell VC was killed.
  14. The only Lt F. W. Campbell on Library and Archives Canada's website (all Cef service files are digitized) is this one: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=84493 He was KIA in 1915 and is a VC winner. How do you do it??
  15. SemperParatus

    MM Gazette entry

    Found it Here There is no citation which is normal for MM's. Check the National Archives UK for the unit war diary which may have some clues.
  16. I tried to find a mention of him in Gen. Maynard's book "The Murmansk Venture", no luck unfortunately.
  17. Hey Gents, A few months back I acquired a 1911 Visit to Ireland Medal named to "1788 Cpl. C.M. Wood R.N.W.M.P. CANADA". From what I can tell it was first sold by DNW Auctions in 2001 and then from Tanya Ursual Antiques. I find it very unusual and perhaps unique that a 1911 Visit to Ireland Medal was named to a Royal North West Mounted Police corporal - The RNWMP is the precursor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of today. The medals were issued unnamed and recipients typically had them named privately. The naming on this medal is consistent with others of the period. There are also contact marks suggesting it may have been mounted with other medals. Taken from the Royal Irish Constabulary forum: Based on Royal Mint records (MINT 20/468) the actual distribution of the medals was as follows: Royal Irish Constabulary - 1022 RIC Office Staff - 24 Dublin Metropolitan Police - 1314 DMP Office Staff - 4 St John Ambulance Brigade - 92 Kingstown Harbour Police - 11 Phoenix Park and St Stephens Green Police - 10 TOTAL - 2477 Unfortunately CM Wood does not show up in Library and Archives Canada’s NWMP Personnel Files 1873-1904 collection so I presume he would have joined after 1904. There is no record I could find in their spotty collection of 1904-1920 RNWMP records. A few CM Woods show up in the CEF Personnel Files but none with the occupation of policeman (this was a theory due to the contact marks indicating other medals). Does anyone know of a medal register of the RCMP LS&GC medal? I emailed the RCMP Historical Section four months ago and have yet to receive a reply. A few questions for the forum: Is anyone aware of the RNWMP sending any personnel to Ireland? Did the RNWMP provide Consulate/Embassy security? Did the RNWMP send members on exchange or training with Irish police forces such as the Royal Irish Constabulary? Are there any lists of the 1911 RNWMP Coronation delegations? Does CM Wood show up in any Irish censuses or RIC/DMP files? Is there anywhere else I can look for a service file for Cpl Wood?
  18. Can anyone with a copy of the North West Canada (1885) Medal Rolls check for a Frederick Walter TUCKER, Canadian Militia on the list? The search function on Library and Archives Canada doesnt come back with a match but I don't know how reliable it is.
  19. Defence Medal was for service at the time but not necessarily military service - service in certain civil defence / aid organizations also led to the award of the Defence Medal. The qualifying periods and organizations can be found on Wikipedia or elsewhere.
  20. Odin, thanks to your post above I was able to find some documents relating to my coronation pair recipient. Cheers!
  21. The first man's sleeve insignia appears to me to be Overseas Service Chevrons with a "Driver" Proficiency Badge above it, which would be consisted with his mounted uniform.
  22. A little more information on where these men lived around the time of their service would be helpful towards identifying the units based on some visual clues... At first glance the first man's 1903 Leather Bandolier indicates a cavalry, artillery or mounted infantry unit.
  23. Great story. Glad the medals are in good hands.