peter monahan

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Everything posted by peter monahan

  1. Thomas Bryson Kinniburgh was discharged on Sept. 4, 1912 from the Canadian Pacific line's 'S.S. Lake Erie', an emigrant ship which seems to have had a steady run between Liverpool, where he was discharged, and Quebec City. His home address was given as Glasgow. A month previously he was discharged, at his own request, from the Workhouse in Old Gravel Lane, London. According to the 1901 Census of Scotland, Kinniburgh had a wife, Jessie, three daughters and a son, the eldest nine. I can't see anything else about his service in Ancestry, but perhaps those clues will help. Feel free to PM me for more detailed info. from the census and copies of the two discharge papers. Peter
  2. Manni I saw you initial post on Scouting in SW Africa and began some very preliminary research, just to satisfy my own curiosisity, but got distracted before I finished. This is a fascinating piece. My first reaction to your query was 'Didn't the Germans lose SW Africa after the War?' but I completely missed the vital point that the German population of the area would have stayed on! And, presumably, formed social and other clubs as did all expatriate populatiions. [I blame old age for most of my mental lapses. ]
  3. It is certainly the case that the Imperial Indian Army awarded campaign medals to 'followers' of all sorts. I'm not sure if they also qualified for long service medals but I suspect the answer is yes. As so many of the traditions carried on, and as the place of non-combatants in the armed forces of India and Pakistan contiuned to be vital, I would say its a good possibility. A 1984 amendment to the rules for the Indian Navy Long Service Medal says that 'with immediate effect' the award of this medal without the RS.100 per annum gratuity is to cease. I suspect that the award without gratuity may have been for 'followers' or the naval equivalent, but that's just a guess.
  4. Provenance is all. I would agree that, as far as can be told from the photos, the order is probably genuine, but... not in that group?
  5. Obviously well loved, and remembered. Thank you for sharing the photo.
  6. Yes, farm work was all by hand back then, but well fed. A lot of young Brits came over as teens, young men or even boys if they were part of the Barnardo scheme, and most would have wound up on farms. Something like 80% plus of the population was rural. In a very unscientific sampling, 4 of the 70 men from my towen who died were Barnardp boys and those are the men well enough known to be on the emorials, so the % would have been higher. But, even by the end of the war, 'British born' men were 48% of thge CEF. One reason the ages were not as young as people assume: over 30 in fact.
  7. Andy Robertshaw, who used to be the Education co-ordinator at the Imperial War Museum [London] comes to Canada annually now and I've been able to see him the last two years. Last fall he showed students a slide show on the WWI trenches and one shot shows a bunch of 1918 recruits: average height 5'1", average weight probably 95 pounds, and all look 15 years old. They are simply the result of 2-3 generations of urban poverty and what was left to recruit by that late in the war. The Canadians and Aussies, at least those born there, were valued not just for their 'fighting spirit' but because most were farm boys and well nourished. This, of course, dicounts the 48% of the CEF who were actually British Born but even they would likely have bben betterb fed here as young men than in some mining town in Wales or Yorkshire or a factory slum in Manchester or London. I believe that the average Cdn recruit had two inches on the average British soldier and probably 20-30 pounds in weight.
  8. I was going to mention the use of Greek letters during the Indian Mutiny as a primitive form of code as well. I also recall reading, as a teen, so sooome time ago, of British officers in North Africa in early WWII using schoolboy slang and "multi-lingual" phrases in an attempt to fool the Jerries. The example which has stuck in my head all these years was 'Bumbeaten' for 'Asmara', Ethiopia, as the Hundi/Urdu word for 'hit' or 'beat' is 'maro'. Just re-rereading one of Patrick O'Brien's naval novels, of 'luck Jack Aubrey', and there are several signals which are simply Biblical references and clearly intended to be witty as opposed to secret.
  9. Statistically, I suspect the odds are 5/1 fake/real theses days.
  10. Makes sense, Jerry. I'd have pegged it as WWI or earlier just on the buttons. As I say, by 1918 they had none, just a safety pin, as so many were being turned out. The ones I wear are pinned together and to the back of my sleeve, so they don't 'wander' down my arm to the elbow. A sensible method, which or course makes it unusuakl in the military!
  11. That sounds familiar! In a period I know a little about for the British Army - 1810-1820 - there are multiple records of orders saying 'Officers will NOT Wear straw hats!'. Once is an order, multiple times means everybody IS wearing straw hats. Regulations never stop enterprising officers from 'improving' their uniforms.
  12. Jerry, I really like that WWI arm band! I've not seen the button style fastening before and may use it on the next one I make up for my re-enactment kit. Could be earlier, too, I suppose. The 'Army Medical Service' is the disignation for the RAMC, dental services, and veterinary services of the Br Army, so it's not much help dating, but it certainly looks early. By at least mid-WWI they bands were issued with a safety pin, no buttons or buckles.
  13. Yikes! I am going to assume that the saw cut on the reverse is a deliberate mark, to prevent anyone passing it off as a real one. And, I suppose, the price of a cheap copy is a boon to new collectros, but this is no prize!
  14. By no means an expert but I'm not keen on the title patch - the back looks unlike the few I've seen. These have been heavily reproduced and the repros now often turn up, some suitable aged, as originals. I actually bought a half size repro. at the Juno Beach center when i was there in 2015. The Canadian Airbourne section of the british Badge Forum has at least 5-6 threads on repro/fake patches, some of which date back 15 years and more [the wings, not the threads]. No idea about the wings.
  15. The British Badge Forum - http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/ - has a whole section on the Royal Flying Corps and RAF. I'm sure someone there can give you the dimensions of the cloth RAF wings. Coldstream is correct, I think, in saying that RAF [and RCAF, RAAF, RIAF] pilots did not wear metal wings, only the cloth wings, sewn on the left breast of the tunic.
  16. Hard to say from the photos but it appears that the brim is machine stitched, so not earlier than about 1870, I'd guess. The height is probably a clue, as my impression is that French kepis got higher and 'stiffer' as time went on. This site shows a couple of similar - to my eye - kepis from thew WWI period: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Military_peaked_caps_of_France
  17. Fascinating! If it is in fact to 'Jack' bernard, he's have been one of quiote a small number of Quebec Anglos in the famous 'Vandoos'. Le Vingt-Deuxime Battalion was the only French unit in the CEF - that is, in which French was the working language and language of command - and was raised in an attempt to make a not-very-popular war and an English speaking [and largely Anglican] army more palatable to RC Francophones. OTOH, there was pretty clearly a major industry after the Great war in patritoic certificates, produced by and for towns, regiments, and various other groups, and its not beyond the realm of possibility that somebody grabbed an English piece and 're-purposed' it for a Cdn. soldier. Looking forward to any more information you may turn up, Bravo!
  18. That seems logical, Cazack, and nothing else leaps to mind.
  19. A nice rare award! Dix Noonan has an interesting MM and Bar in their next auction: to Pte in the Gorodns who deserted on '11.11.1918' and so forfeited his campaign medals. There must be a story there!
  20. The odd looking hat from which the flower issues is a heraldic 'chapeau' - an ermine trimmed red cap - and, in theory at least, part of the arms of a peer of the realm. The Black Prince had the crest on his arms issuing from one. Not sure that is a huge help except perhaps that it might indicate that the arms are those of the head of Clan Buchanan and not simply a badge for any member of that clan?
  21. Hmm. That's clearer but, sadly, nothing leaps to mind. Perhaps another member will have ideas on this abbreviation.
  22. An interesting selection, both in terms of the missions covered and the, if I may say so, widely varying aesthetic appeal. It must be very difficult to design a modern award which is both distinctive and visually appealing, but a couple of these look as though they were designed by a committee made up of the lowest bidders. I am coming down on the side of 'peacekeeping medals here' as the common theme, in my mind, trumps the nationalities of the awarding agencies/governments. My two cents worth.
  23. Excellent! Now you'll have us all cruising the antique shops looking [and listening] for 'rattle-y' boxes! Lovely condition on what I suspect are two fairly rare belt plates. In favt, you might want to try and get a valuation and stow them soewhere safe!
  24. Can you give us some context, Hasan? I assume you mean that 'NT' is a rank, but perhaps seeing the whole inscription will jog someone's mind. Thanks. Peter
  25. Welcome Aboard, Bravo! I'm afraid I have nnothing to say about the medal but I'm sure others will. As I undersatnd it, 'Captain of the Foretop / Maintop' were appointments rather tan ranks so no idea what that would mean on a stone frigate. And I know that only because William Hall, the 2nd Canadian, and a negro, to win the VC, was 'Captain of the Foretop' in the Crimea. Naval collectors, over to you!