Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

SemperParatus

Basic Membership
  • Content count

    26
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by SemperParatus

  1. Hey Folks, I thought I'd share a souvenir and medal group which belonged to my great uncle Robert Bleau, a Sergeant in the R22eR who served from the outset and fought in Italy and the Netherlands. He died when I was young but I remember him as always being the life of the party at family events. He passed down his war souvenirs to my uncle who in turn passed them down to me - turns out my uncle had everything jammed into a ziploc bag! Everything is now appropirately stored. This is how it arrived... His medals group. Sadly the Defence Medal is missing. Postwar cap badge for veteran events. ID Discs. The CVSM ribbon from his battledress. War trophy - A German Naval Artillery War Badge (Kriegsabzeichen für die Marineartillerie). War trophy - an Italian map. An excerpt Robert kept from his field message pad from the Italian Campaign. Army training manuals. A Demobilization booklet and a patriotic British empire magazine in French - Robert who was French-Canadian through and through was a staunch Canadian Federalist and hated the Seperatist movement until the day he died. And finally, the man himself.
  2. Thanks Frank, I'll be sure to do that - would love to have a photo in uniform. Cheers Matt
  3. Thanks Peter, I've located them on there, I was just fishing to see if I could save $12, I'll save it for a rainy day!
  4. Hi there, Looking for help with someone who has the above mentioned war diaries, I'm looking for the entries on two dates in particular 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - 18 November 1916 1st Battalion, Scots Guards - 13 October 1915 Thank you for any assistance
  5. Peter, a great story as always. Frank, glad you like it. Sadly, I've only seen the Citadel from outside when I was a boy. I went back to Quebec City a few years ago for Carnaval but I spent most of the time drinking Caribou out of a hollow cane... My plan is to go back in the summer time in a couple years and take my family to the Changing of the Guard and then checking out the museum. I hope I get to see Batisse! P.S. does anyone know what organizations these lapel pins belong to? They were also in with Robert's things.
  6. This mess dress thing is not as worrisome as the trend in Canada of emergency services being granted Colours. Two examples: Toronto Paramedic Services - http://torontoparamedicservices.ca/history-of-toronto-paramedic-services/heraldic-grant/ Winnipeg Police Service - http://www.winnipeg.ca/police/AboutTheService/colours.stm
  7. Hah nice story Peter. I can only recall 2 often repeated stories of Robert's but in minimal detail as I was a kid at the time. During one of the most intense artillery barrages he endured, at Cassino, he ran into a what he thought was a foxhole. He quickly found out it was a latrine, but couldn't leave it. It was funny later in life but not at the time... Another is that at one point in the war the boys were fed up and burnt out. So, while inside a church, they put some uniforms helmets and rifles up on statues and other debris to act as "sentries" and they all went to the basement and raided the wine cellar. As for the message pad excerpt - the crossed out names were men who were struck off strength for various reasons, which are noted beside the name: Evacué is wounded. Transf. short for Transferée is, of course, Transfered. And we all know A.W.L The notations (c) and (m) beside the names are marital status: (c) = célibataire - Single (m) = marrié - Married. Out of that list, E/11051 Private Pierre Gosselin was killed in action during the Liberation of the Netherlands. And now for my most prized possession out of the lot; this is a Catholic Virgin Mary icon Robert kept with him throughout the war. (Matchbook included for scale) There is a handmade metal case for it, and it was blessed by the Pope when he held an audience for the Van Doos in July 1944. He credited this with keeping him safe and getting through the war in one piece. When he died in 1997 it went to my grandfather, who in turned passed it on to me when I became a policeman - I carry it in my body armour... so far so good!
  8. In Canada it's pretty commonplace for Senior Officers to wear mess dress at appropriate functions. Here is a photo of Toronto's police chief at a Cancer benefit: (Bit of an unflattering photo but it shows the mess dress well)
  9. The EK 1914 group I want to see ....

    Since I can no longer edit my original post, here are the images again under a better hosting site (vgy.me) Excerpt from the 1964 book History of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Haywood & Clarke British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Card Military Medal recommendation, appears to have began as a recommendation for the British Empire Medal. 1942 London Gazette announcement confirming award of the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished service during the East Africa Campaign. British Empire Medal recommendation. 1944 King's Birthday Honours announcing the award of the British Empire Medal. 1946 London Gazette Mention in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished service during the Burma Campaign. Maigumeri gazetted as an Honourary Captain, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal Rolls, National Archives This 1920s-30s era photo, also from History of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Haywood & Clarke, may well contain a younger Maigumeri, the man in the middle bearing a resemblance but to the contrary appears to have a 1914-15 Star P.S. The 1965 book Soldier of Africa by Maurice Hennessy & Edwin Sauter Jr. contains a detailed interview with Maigumeri. Does anyone have a copy?
  10. Wow what a story Peter... thamks for sharing.
  11. While we're on the topic... Picked up this Victory Medal issued to 663140 Acting Corporal George Harcourt Burland Bull, Canadian Machine Gun Brigade at a Sunday Antique Market together with some unrelated items. After a bit of research I'm happy to say it's not just a run of the mill Vic - the Orangeville, Ontario man was underage and lied on his Attestation Papers when he enlisted in December 1915 - I found it suspicious that his apparent age was exactly 18 years of age. I found his birth certificate on Ancestry he was actually 16-1/2 years of age on attestation. I wonder if his superiors figured him out as he did not proceed to France until March 1918 after reaching a proper age and served with the CMG Bde for the rest of the war...
  12. A less exciting but more realistic explanation. I'm I correct to assume his unit was 305th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery?
  13. Hey there, I've come into possession of this man's Victory Medal and I'm having trouble interpreting the comments in the "Remarks" portion of the card and their significance. I'm also wondering why there is no Theatre listed or entry therein. And could anyone provide further information on the recipient Gunner Tomlins? I don't have access to the pension records. Much appreciated, Matt
  14. Well I guess that's why it came alone! This is different. Thanks as always gents looking forward to hearing more about this. What do you have to do to have your mwdal returned and scrapped and I wonder how, logistically, that's achieved. .
  15. The EK 1914 group I want to see ....

    Well that's annoying. However I believe if you click on the thumbnails it will bring you to the photos.
  16. I'll try this a different way...
  17. Sorry to have missed these replies. QSAMike I'll have to register on that forum to see those, what am I missing here?
  18. Hello everyone, this is my first post on this great website, thanks for having me. I'm hoping for your help in filling in some blanks. I'm in the advanced stages of a research project on Toronto Police Force officers killed in the Great War, a project that's close to my heart. My aim is to have a display in the Toronto Police Museum up and running in 2018 and have some non-profit literature published. Out of the 27 Toronto policemen killed in action, 6 of them formerly served as police officers in Britain, and I'm hoping some of you gentlemen with archival access can provide some service details of these men in their former police forces (I already possess their TPF and Military service files). William Edward Arnold (b. 9 May 1884 - Buckinghamshire, England) Toronto Police Force P.C. 406, No. 6 Police Station, Hired 6 Oct 1911 Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Sergeant 233 Died of Wounds 26 March 1915 (Shot by sniper in trenches near Dickiebusch, Belgium on 17 March 1915) 3 years service in the Hampshire Constabulary Randal Chantler (b. 21 December 1889 - Northwhich, Cheshire, England) Toronto Police Force P.C. 481, No. 7 Police Station, Hired 2 June 1913 19th Battalion (Central Ontario) CEF, Lance Corporal 157110 Killed in Action 8 May 1917 (Battle of Fresnoy) 1-1/2 years service in the Cheshire Constabulary James Gammack, sometimes spelled "Gammock" (b. circa 1882 - Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland) Toronto Police Force P.C. 33, No. 9 Police Station, Hired 1 April 1910 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, Guardsman 5550 Killed in Action 13 October 1915 (Battle of Loos) 14 months service in the Metropolitan Police Thomas George Harding (b. 18 September 1891 - Feltham, Middlesex, England) Toronto Police Force P.C. 574, No. 7 Police Station, Hired 16 Nov 1914 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) CEF, Private 678064 Killed in Action 15 August 1917 (Battle of Hill 70) 16 months service in the Eastbourne Police George Brewin Stannage (b. 3 September 1886 - London, England) Toronto Police Force P.C. 452, Hired 13 Nov 1912 22nd Battery, 6th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery CEF, Bombardier 304442 Killed in Action 22 April 1918 2 years service in the Warwickshire Constabulary Alfred Sim (b. 1 September 1891 - Aberdeen, Scotland) Toronto Police Force P.C. 470, Hired 11 April 1913 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) CEF, Private 192688 Killed in Action 6 October 1916 (Battle of Ancre Heights) 15 months service in the Edinburgh City Police
  19. I'm gonna second this notice, as I have recently updated the thread and this man deserves to be remembered!
  20. The EK 1914 group I want to see ....

    A thread in the Commonwealth forum made me think about this man. I was going to create a new thread when I found there was already one about Maigumeri. A couple of years ago, when researching the death of my great uncle Pasquale (a soldier in the 5ª Compagnia of the Camicie Nere d'Africa – a territorial militia unit comprised of local Italian colonists resident in Abyssinia) I came across Chari Maigumeri, a member of the opposing Nigeria Regiment, who had been awarded the Military Medal for an action at the Omo River where he pursued my ancestor's retreating forces toward the end of the East Africa Campaign (my great uncle died in a fierce rearguard action two weeks later against the same commonwealth force of Nigerian, East African, and South African troops as well as irregular Abyssinian Patriots). I instantly was interested in this veteran of two World Wars and two opposing armies, and did a bit of research. I'll attach some of what I found below. Excerpt from the 1964 book History of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Haywood & Clarke British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Card Military Medal recommendation, appears to have began as a recommendation for the British Empire Medal. 1942 London Gazette announcement confirming award of the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished service during the East Africa Campaign. British Empire Medal recommendation. 1944 King's Birthday Honours announcing the award of the British Empire Medal. 1946 London Gazette Mention in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished service during the Burma Campaign. Maigumeri gazetted as an Honourary Captain, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal Rolls, National Archives This 1920s-30s era photo may well contain a younger Maigumeri, the man in the middle bearing a resemblance but to the contrary appears to have a 1914-15 Star So between the sources and photographs posted in this thread, his awards are confirmed to at least include: German Service - Krieger -Verdienstmedaille 2. Klasse (Warrior Merit Medal, 2nd Class) or the Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse (Iron Cross, 2nd Class); and British Service - Military Medal, British Empire Medal (Military Division), British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945 with Mention in Dispatches insignia, King George VI Coronation Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, Royal West African Frontier Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. P.S. The 1965 book Soldier of Africa by Maurice Hennessy & Edwin Sauter Jr. contains a detailed interview with Maigumeri. Does anyone have a copy?
  21. To anyone who is interested, the tip of the iceberg to my project can be read here. A little amateur but I hope you enjoy it.
  22. Dave, thanks, I was worried that would be the answer. I'll reach out to the individual organizations and see what if anything can be drummed up. These men all had relatively short service so my expectations are low. Can any one who has access to the Metropolitan Police records see if they can find anything on Gammack? There are a few RIC men too not listed as I have a contact in Ireland looking into them. And thanks for the encouragement Peter, I'll be sure to post something on here when it's completed.
  23. Dave, very interesting, though it's always going to bother me now knowing that 1911 medal is somewhere else out there in the universe! Thank you very much for taking time out of your day to do that for me, it's much appreciated. And yeah I kind of figured as much with the scratches especially evident on the 1902 medal but it doesnt look as pronounced in person and allowed me to get in on a pair of medals I wouldnt have bought otherwise any time soon (diapers taking up most my money now). Matt.
×