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peter monahan

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Everything posted by peter monahan

  1. Agreed. Many weapons designed for 'Asian' troops - Indians, Gurkhas et al - had smaller grips and occasionally were lighter in weight, so this is very likely a local modification done to suit the new users.
  2. peter monahan

    Officer in trench protection kit, mask and dog. Colour Rppc.

    What a great image! Thanks.
  3. peter monahan

    Where are all the Indian medal dealers on Ebay?

    Could well be, Duncan. I once bought a group of 8 to a Risaldar Major, Indian Cavalry out of a suitcase full of silver medals, smuggled out of India in defiance of the 'no exporting bullion' law. The irony is that the two non-silver gongs - 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal- had been thrown away by the picker who bought the group for the value of the metal. It may well be that the country has now banned all exports of military awards.
  4. peter monahan

    Where are all the Indian medal dealers on Ebay?

    At one time the only way to get silver medals out of India was 'privately' - undeclared or by arrangement with an accommodating shipper, as Indian law forbid the export of gold and silver. Probably honoured more in the breech than in the observance, but that was the law twenty or so years ago when I was trying, with limited success, to collect silver medals to the Indian Army. So, it may be the case that a new law, or new enforcement of an existing regulation, has made the dealers stop advertising - because I'd be very surprised if they stopped actually selling - on easily monitored platforms such as ebay. Just a guess, however. Ed Haynes, who runs the 'SA Gongs' Fbook page, will know if there is such a reason, as he is a true specialist and travels regularly to the subcontinent. Or perhaps they've just found better ways to market. But I would be interested to hear, if you find an answer! Peter
  5. Truly gorgeous objects, even if one ignores the medallic and historic importance. The book is good news too, Rusty! Good on ya, cobber! Peter
  6. peter monahan

    Ethiopia : Emperor's Bodyguard Long Service Badge

    As usual, the experts come through! And this is why the GMIC is one of my favourite destinations on the Web!
  7. The badges I've posted would have been worn from the 1910 re-naming until replaced by cloth titles sometime in the early '30s. Or until their disbandment? Michael, Gunner asked specifically about the 'KGO' S & M, and the illustrations seem clear - '61' = KGO. Or am I misunderstanding you? I can't explain the '61' but do believe that Ashok has it right. Here is the information from Wiki, sourced from the Corps of Engineers Museum. Gunner, I hope this helps. · 1803 1st company raised by Capt T Wood as Bengal Pioneers · 1851 became Corps of Bengal Sappers and Pioneers · 1903 became 1st Sappers and Miners · 1906 became 1st Prince of Wales's Own Sappers and Miners · 1910 became 1st King George V's Own Bengal Sappers and Miners · 1923 became King George V's Own Bengal Sappers and Miners · 1937 became King George V's Bengal Sappers and Miners · 1941 became King George V's Bengal Sappers and Miners Group of the Indian Engineers · 1946 became King George V's Group of the Royal Indian Engineers · 1947 half allocated to India on Partition and half to Pakistan Lord Kitchener's Reforms in 1903 saw it redesignated as the '1st Sappers and Miners' which was, again, altered in 1906 to '1st Prince of Wales's Own Sappers and Miners'. On the accession of George V to the throne in 1910 it was renamed '1st King George's Own Sappers and Miners' with the numerical nomination being dropped in 1923. In 1937 it was re-titled 'King George V's Bengal Sappers and Miners'. In 1941 they became the 'King George V's Bengal Sappers and Miners Group' of the Indian Engineers in 1946 the 'King George V's Group' of the Royal Indian Engineers. [The Royal Engineers Museum and Library “Corps History Part 10 - Indian Engineering Soldiers 1777-1947”;] https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Bengal_Sappers_and_Miners
  8. MonsieurJ Welcome to the GMIC! I am in Canada and can only speak for the situation here, but between confidentiality rules and slow digitization of records - beginning with the oldest, for obvious reasons - I do know that WWII records are harder to research than WWI and 'between' and 'after' the 'Wars' quite tough. However I'm confident that some of our UK members will offer useful advice. Again, welcome, and good luck in your hunt! Peter
  9. Proof marks and identifying marks - batch, year, etc, -were stamped at the 'top' of the blade, just below the guard, by the manufacturer. I think I recall that regimental marks, as here, were stamped somewhere on the hilt. I believe I've seen an example where a Cdn. regiment had stamped the hilt where it joined the hilt/grip, but can't remember details, so these markings seem 'right' to me.
  10. This regiment became the 'KGO Sappers and Miners' in 1910, formerly the 'Prince of Wales S&M'. Their shoulder title was a curved brass one, with a large '61' - their precedence number in the line - over 'K.G.O. PIONEERS'. [Ashok Nath, Sowars and Sepoys in the Great War, p213, no. 674].
  11. Very interesting indeed! Presumably the Jordanians concluded that the heavy bowl was of little use and, to save weight, made some 'mods'. Possibly for dismounted use or perhaps simply because, while they needed/wanted to carry them, there was no expectation of mounted combat and so no need for the full length and full bowl of what was, in essence, designed as a short lance. A fascinating story I read decades ago refers to hundreds of US cavalry sabres sent out to the Philippines & Australia just before or early in WWII. Brand new, never issued. After the last horsed unit in the Philippines - the 26th Cavalry - charged on and then ate their mounts, the sabres were repurposed as machetes by: grinding down the hilts and shortening both blades and scabbards. I never bothered to really research the story, in a novel by a US writer with intimate ties to the US Army, but it has a ring of truth. My suspicion is that these, especially if there are examples in the TFF Museum, were an official modification and issued as such. My tuppence worth! Peter
  12. It's interesting how different colors react so differently to time and light. Canada just celebrated it's 150th birthday and a number of friends have bumper stickers noting the anniversary. In all cases, the colours - 12-18 months later - are crisp and bright, except for the red on the flag and lettering, which has faded to a banana yellow. And, while red is notorious for that problem, kit's not the only dye to cause problems. Odd, but in a way, fascinating.
  13. There were only 5 Berkshire Yeomanry POW in Gallipoli so its quite special and there are 4 pages of Red Cross Papers - which is a bonus Private Andrew Osmond Walter (1891-1966) Andrew Osmond Walter was known as Osmond (Not Oswald) and was the youngest son of his parents Thomas Walter and mother Hanor Walter of Moon Lane, Hungerford, Berkshire who were farmer landowners. Osmond attended School at? Osmond was one of 13 children born in Hungerford, of which 5 were boys. Three of the brothers serve in WW1, while the other two were too old to enlist. Osmond's four older brothers were · Shadrack Walter (1870-1938) too old to serve in WW1 · Eli Charles Walter (1874-1958) too old to serve in WW1 · Leonard Thomas Walter (1885-1972) was known as “Tommy” and joined up at the age of 30 on 22nd June 1915 three weeks after his marriage to Edith Amy Purton. He was a platelayer on the Great Western Railway GWR and went to France to build the railways there between 1915 and 1919. He joined the Royal Engineers (RE) Railway Construction companies and spent the War making railways to lead from the supply heads to the trenches. · Henry Walter (1877-1915) was a musician in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was killed in France near Fleurbaix 1806 No3 (Hungerford) Tp of C (Newbury) Squadron of the Berkshire Yeomanry. Osmond enlisted in the Berkshire Yeomanry, (army number 1806) in the spring of 1913, when he was 21 years old. He is seen in photo, attended camp in June 1914 (and almost certainly the previous year in 1913). Declaration of war Prior to the outbreak of war being declared, each Yeomanry regiment had a ‘Mobilisation plan’ which they had previously prepared and involved one of their four Squadrons being disbanded to bring the three remaining Squadrons up to its wartime establishment. At the time the British army was a 100% volunteer establishment so only those who volunteered for overseas service and were declared medically ‘A1’ fit to fight, were assigned into 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry, while the remainder were to form the newly established 2/1st (Reserve) Berks Yeomanry Regt. In the Berkshire Yeomanry Regiment it was ‘C’ Squadron, which was disbanded and of those Hungerford men who volunteered from of No.3 Troop, of C Squadron, they were mostly placed into B Squadron (Reading) for the war. The regiment mobilised on 4th August 1914 and every man from the regiment reported to their local drill halls within the first 24 hours. From these drill halls they were issued equipment and formed as Squadrons, then rode by horse to Reading, where each squadron formed with the Regiment. The Regiment then proceeded by train to Churn on the North Berkshire downs, where they joined their Brigade. Each Squadron moved towards Reading Railway Station, a route which was well known to members of the Regiment, as Churn had been a regular location for previous annual camps. At Reading they had a good send-off from family and friends as well as the local residents when they departed. The Mayor Mr Sutton had two sons in the Berkshire Yeomanry Regiment. From Reading they moved by train to Churn, which was on the north Berkshire downs. The Berkshire Yeomanry spent the autumn of 1914 exercising on the Downs, north of Blewbury and Didcot on Churn land. At Churn they joined the rest of their Brigade and practiced manoeuvres with the 2ND South Midlands Mounted Brigade. While there they were inspected by King George V, who commented very favourably on the progress they had made in such a short time. There were strong historical links between this Brigade and the King, due to their geographic location to Windsor. A number of the officers were also well known to the king as they were land owners and neighbours to the King land. These officers had hunted with hounds together with The King, so he regarded the Berks and Bucks Yeomanry favourably. There are a number of quotes to this effect. In April 1915 the King telegraphed the Brigade and apologised for not being able to see them off, when they left to go overseas and said “Im sure you will do your regiments proud”. Soon after their first enemy contact in Gallipoli he visited the picture of ‘A’ Squadron of Berkshire Yeomanry, presented to Windsor Guild Hall, where it was pointed out to him that several of these Windsor men, who had recently been killed, had served in the Royal Household, and were known to him. In October 1914 the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade was assigned to duties in Norfolk to protect the South coast from a feared invasion from Germany. The German navy had shelled some coastal towns and there had been several Zeppelin airship raids which made this a likely site for invasion from Belgium. The Yeomanry were frustrated from not being sent overseas, because most everyone believed the war would be over by Christmas 2014. They were sent to Egypt and left Avonmouth Docks on 12th April onboard HMT Menominee, which docked at Alexandria on 21st April 1915. This is confirmed by his Medal Index Card In Cairo they settled into Barrack duties with much grooming of horses, guards and inspections. Again the men became restless for the opportunity of action. This was soon to be given them as the decision was taken to deploy the Yeomanry to Gallipoli. Roughly 110 men remained behind in Egypt to mind the horses. Although the yeomanry were a mounted regiment, the decision was taken that they would fight on foot as infantry and on 14th August 1915, 314 men and 9 officers sailed from Alexandria aboard the SS Lake Michigan to Mudros, which was a Greek island harbour, from here they transhipped to low birth coal schooners. 17th August 1915 at Mudros, transhipping to shallow boats for landing at Suvla - SS Sarni The regiment were landed at Sulva Bay on the Gallipoli peninsula on 18th August, when they received their “baptism of fire”, as they were shelled during their landing, but fortunately did not have any casualties. They initially dug in near the shore and moved the next day to an improved position to dig in again. On their third day ashore they were ordered into action and fought in one of the bloodiest of battles in the Dardanelles. The approach required the Yeomanry to cross an open flat dried up salt lake in daylight and in full view of the overlooking enemy artillery. They were shelled for nearly two miles, under the watchful eye of their commander who later reported “they marched as if soldiers on parade, not a man hung back and when a gap appeared in their line, men moved forwards to close the gaps. When they reached the shelter of Chocolate Hill (hill 60) which was held by the regular British troops, who cheered them in. They were only there for 15 minutes when the decision was made for them to go into action. The battle for Hill 70 (known as Scimitar Hill due to the shape of the feature, which later became known as “Burnt Hill”, as the naval shelling set the scrub on the hill on fire prior to the famous attack) is well documented. The Brigade commander was Brigadier Lord Longford and the Berkshire Yeomanry were given the honour as the lead regiment in this attack. The regiment were split into two ‘com[panies’ with A Squadron on the left and B Squadron on the left (D Squadron were split between these two). The decision was made to move their approach more left than the previous attacks, which afforded them a small amount of cover 600 yards from their objective. The advance was murderous and described as “like driving the devil out of Hell itself!” as many of the men were cut down before they reached the cover, 600 yards short. This attack was being watched by allied troops from the adjacent hill and was reported “they rose as one” and charged in for the final assault. The first Turkish trench line had been abandoned and the second line was taken at the point of the bayonet. Major Gouch, who commanded the Berkshire Yeomanry on the day was the first man in the enemy second trench closely followed by his men, when bitter hand to hand fighting was all around. Major Gooch was wounded in the head. By this time the Bucks Hussars Regiment had caught up with the Berkshire Yeomanry and they managed to secure the front two trench lines, some Turkish managed to escape over the hill towards their reserve trenches. The Turkish reserve trenches were well defended, as their numbers were bolstered by those who had escaped from the captured forward trench positions. The Turkish held onto their remining reserve trenches with great tenacity, as from here they had no remaining safe place left to them, apart from leaving the hill across open ground. It’s reported that a small force of Yeomanry followed the retreating Turkish, over the top of the hill and down the other side towards the reserve trenches. However these Yeomanry were too few in numbers to successfully assault the Turkish reserve Trenches and it was reported that none of these Yeomanry were to return. Most were killed, overpowered by sheer numbers or cut off from the main part of their regiment, and were left behind when the regiment withdrew. By the night of 21st and 22nd August and the remaining yeomanry were too few in numbers to secure their position and it was realised that come daylight, they would be in full view of the Turkish artillery, who still occupied the overlooking hills. A runner was sent back to the British at Chocolate Hill to report their predicament and await orders. The other attacks on that day had failed so the order was given to the Yeomanry to withdraw from their captured positions. The surviving yeomanry were reported to withdraw in good order, taking with them as many wounded as they could carry. There were 325 strong going into action and of those who went, only 4 officers and 150 men returned. There were five men from the Berks Yeomanry regiment who were made Prisoners Of War (PoW’s): 1. 1636 70149 Sergt William James Babister PoW B Sqn (Reading), 1/1st BY 4th Troop 2. 2110 70206 Trooper Archibald W Calder PoW D Sqn (Wantage), 1/1st BY 3. 1752 70288 Trooper Percy Frank New PoW Wounded D Sqn (Wantage), 1/1st BY. also a Hungerford man and enlisted a few months before Osmond Walter. 4. 1806 70296 Trooper Osmond Andrew Walters PoW B Sqn (Reading), 1/1st BY 5. 1083 Trooper William Charles Collins died while in captivity POW A Sqn (Windsor), 1/1st BY 4th Troop and had been wounded during the left flank approach. Sgt WJ Babister, Tpr O. Walter and Tpr Percy New, were part of the right flank approach during the assault, Reading men with Hungerford & Wantage men were on same approach during the attack on Hill 70. Being at the front of the attack and having made it past the second Turkish trench lines, with full hearts and in the heat of battle, a group of men continued their attack over the top of the hill and down the reverse side, to attack the reserve trenches at the rear of the hill. It’s likely they were cut off, left behind and then captured. Note: Sgt Babister was Walter’s Troop Sejant, and after the war Babister was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for his services whilst in captivity. This gallantry award was well deserved as during his time in captivity Sgt Babister was reported to be totally selfless and a true gentleman, who carried a man during the long march to captivity, befriended the enemy and worked to improve conditions for his men, who had appointed him their leader. This link below mentions Babister and the Berkshire Yeomanry. http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2012/D16835/a3901.htm In 1917 he Osmond Walter re-numbered to 70296. Osmond was held prisoner in Turkey for the remainder of the war. There are few details recording his captivity apart from a newspaper article in April 1918 asking for provisions, which were sent out by the Berkshire yeomanry Comfort’s Fund. It is documented that the prisoners were held in people’s homes in Turkey. Osmond survived and was released in 1918 and returned to Britain by 10th January 1919. He married Daisy Litten and had 5 children one of whom Andrew Osmond died in infancy. He worked as a farm foreman. Osmond Walter died of a heart attack in Aylesbury on 14th June 1966 aged 74 years old
  14. peter monahan

    Ethopian Victory Medal, 1941

    Ribbons for African and Asian decorations, especially older or obsolete ones, are notoriously difficult to find/replace and many examples are sold with what appear to be 'close enough' type substitutes or replacements. But, yes, disappointing and annoying.
  15. peter monahan

    Help identifying an item please

    Not my field at all, but a high school chum had a Luftwaffe dagger which his dad had taken from a captured Fallschirmjager officer in Holland in late'44-early '45, so it was the first real militaria item I ever came across. As several others have noted, this is not the standard pattern. Even the originals, BTW, did not actually have ivory handles in most cases, but a form of plastic or Bakelite, which the Germans were early pioneers in the use of.
  16. peter monahan

    Military Zippo lighters

    I know the feeling! I have three rooms devoted to military clobber of various types and periods and can put my hands on all of it. Just not necessarily when I want or need to!
  17. Welcome to the GMIC, Alan. Yes, Mervyn is sadly missed, both for his expertise and his big heart and welcoming ways. I have no information on the colour, but then I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic, I suspect. However, the tentacles of the GMIC do seem to get into some very obscure places and I am hopeful that one of our members may have information for you. Well done for taking on the task of preserving the history of a proud regiment. Peter
  18. A nice bonus then! And a buckle 'worn with pride', or at least brick dust. These used to be fairly common even this side of the Great Salty and I think some of the Canadian militia units still issue them to bands and colour parties who wear the uniforms of that period on occasion.
  19. peter monahan

    Military Zippo lighters

    A friend recently visited the Zippo factory and I gather from several of his remarks that one can purchase many of these 'historic' designs there.
  20. peter monahan

    "F" service number prefix on Indian WW2 War Medal.

    I once owned a couple bronze QSAs to Indian followers - a 'Sais' [groom] and one other which escapes me now. Love the variety of ranks and trades they represent.
  21. peter monahan

    Ethopian Victory Medal, 1941

    What a wonderful photograph! Seriously intimidating looking veterans!
  22. It was the fashion for young men to carry small [completely impractical] canes during the 1880s-1890s and soldiers were quick to follow this fashion, not least because they echoed the 'stick' carried by RSMs and such like. A cane would be perfectly appropriate for a CDV taken of a trooper in walking out dress. Peter
  23. peter monahan

    Work of art...

    Good call! 'Art' by a loose definition of that word.
  24. This is an example of the British 'Home Service Helmet', modelled on the white sun helmets worn by British troops serving in hot climates. These were used in the second half of the nineteenth century and, I think, in the ceremonial dress of some regimental bands and so on even today. The badge is that of the 'Queen's Own Regiment'. Here is a link to its history: http://queensregimentalassociation.org/queens-badge.html No idea whether this is an original or a reproduction. If you google 'home pattern helmet' you will find many examples of both for sale. A very pretty piece! Peter