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Ed_Haynes

Pre-1947 Indian Non-Gallantry Groups

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Ed

Apologies if you think my use of the english word native is inappropriate.

I agree in a general way that your point 8 is correct and I also would agree that its ridiculous this is still an attitude to have today. I have made no attempt however to use that word in a derogatory way.

It is a common useage word in the very MYB you decry in your post whether we like it and the way it may seek to label certain peoples. Collectors in this field whom I know have collected since the end of WW2 use this term and probably all those I know use it to differentiate between the medals to british units and those of former empire units, much as in your point number 4. Ugly word or no its in common use and I don't think that will change. Perhaps most people see it is purely descriptive. I am a native of GB, my work colleague is a native of South Africa, my latest IGS is to a native of India, thats the context I use it in.

I think that a book as in your point 7 would be a truly interesting and possibly ground breaking new work of great interest to researchers. However, the enlightened post "empire" society we live in will not change the historical fact that 4 or 5 major european powers had ruddy great swathes of the rest of the world under their oppresive heel for a good part of the 19th and 20th centuries. Whatever the language or point of reference any book comes out in would be personally welcome to me.

Whether we agree or not with the way in which these armies were rasist in that they were mainly officered by white europeans to me is just a point of historical fact. Eliminating the continued policy of denigration by making people aware what the men involved in the actions for which they recieved medals seems to me to be more important, I don't know whether its already happening but if as you say in your point 5 and 8 they are getting to be better known about and sought then isn't that a good thing.

I have spoken to several people who tell me the snobbery of the medal collectors will not be seen to have changed until the price differentials quoted in the price guides are no longer printed. That will then mean all are valued equally. Personally speaking I think my Grandfather took a bullet for freedon in 1940 to hope the world would be a better place and that freedom would win out. Its not so good to think we don't value the medals of some who gave their lives as highly as others just because of where they came from does it?

Many thanks for your response, it has opened my eyes much more to the interests of collecting in this field! The first thing I have done is to get a book just about the Indian Army 1900 to 1947 to read more.

Best wishes

Matt Gibbs

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[155] 21 Duffadar Andul Rahman, Comissariat Transport Department

1- India General Service Medal, 1854-95, bronze - CHIN-LUSHAI 1889-90 - 155 Mule Duffr. Abdul Rahmn, Comt. Transport Dept.

Mule Dafadar, Commissariat Transport Department

2- India Medal, 1895-1902, Victoria, bronze - RELIEF OF CHITRAL 1895 - 21 Duffdr Abdul Rahman, Comst. Transpt. Deptt.

Dafadar, Commissariat Transport Department

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3712 Sepoy Baryam Singh, 23rd Sikh Pioneers

1- The India Medal 1985 -Waz 1901-2, RofC 1895 - "3712 Sepoy Baryam Singh 23rd Bl Infy"

2- Tibet Medal - GYANTSE - "3712 Sepoy Baryam Singh 23 Sikh Pioneers"

3- Indian General Service 1908 - "3712 Seoy [sic.] Baryam Singh 23d Sikh Pioneers"

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3212 Sepoy Sundar Singh. 15th Sikhs

1- Second Afghan War - AHMED KHEL - "Sepoy Soonder Singh 15th Regt N.I."

2- The India Medal 1895 - PF 97-98, SAMANA 1897, TIRAH 1897-98 - "3212 Sepoy Sundar Singh. 15th Sikhs"

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My ONLY core interest acquisition from the 2007 OMSA.

A pair that wants MUCH research:

1- George V, 1st variety, Title Badge, Rai Sahib -- "Mr. Dan Singh Rai, 3rd July 1926" -- Not. No. 333-H of 3 July 1926, "Mr. Dan Singh Rai, Superintendent, Medical Branch, Lahore District Headquarters" -- the use of "Mr." is unusual, and the title is most likely a retirement gift (but those recommendations can be especially rich)

2- Victoria, IGS 1895, "TIRAH 1897-98", "PUNJAB FROINTIER / 1897-98", and "RELIEF OF CHITRAL / 1895" -- "Clerk Dan Singh Rai office of P.M.O." (???)

????

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My ONLY core interest acquisition from the 2007 OMSA.

A pair that wants MUCH research:

1- George V, 1st variety, Title Badge, Rai Sahib -- "Mr. Dan Singh Rai, 3rd July 1926" -- Not. No. 333-H of 3 July 1926, "Mr. Dan Singh Rai, Superintendent, Medical Branch, Lahore District Headquarters" -- the use of "Mr." is unusual, and the title is most likely a retirement gift (but those recommendations can be especially rich)

2- Victoria, IGS 1895, "TIRAH 1897-98", "PUNJAB FROINTIER / 1897-98", and "RELIEF OF CHITRAL / 1895" -- "Clerk Dan Singh Rai office of P.M.O." (???)

????

PMO = Post Masters Office? Just a thought :rolleyes: .

"Mr." is also a title given to Doctors, but going from a Clerk to a Doctor seems a bit of a stretch. Should be interesting bit of research.

Regards;

Johnsy

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Much to figure out, Johnsy.

I'm guessing "PMO" is "Punjab Medical Office" (or some such), but this can be checked.

Rarely was "Mr." used for any Indians, as it was deemed a too respectful title. Likely pretty long service (well, 1895 to 1926 at least) and guessing a pretty high salary (likely well over the Rs. 500 p.m. minimum, below which they'd give him a BEM) , susprised they didn't put him up for a direct Rai Bahadur (but maybe they did?). Only the recommendation -- the next time I'm in Delhi -- will reveal this.

Suspect medals missing.

I love puzzles.

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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A part-original mounted group which I haven't had the heart to rip apart and remount.

4648 Company Havildar Major Dina Nath, 2/17th Dogra Regiment

1- IGS 08, GV, 2nd variety, "NORTH WEST FRONTIER 1930-31" -- "4648 SEP. DINA NATH, 2-17 DOGRA R."

2- IGS 36, "NORTH WEST FRONTIER 1936-37" -- "4648 NAIK DINA NATH, 2-17 DOGRA R."

3- 1939-45 Star -- "4648 CHM DINA NATH"

4- Pacific Star -- "4648 CHM DINA NATH"

5- Defence Medal -- "4648 CHM DINA NATH"

6- WWII War Medal -- "4648 CHM DINA NATH"

Need to check his POW status. Interestingly, no regiment on his WWII medals.

Hi Ed,

I have a modern medal to CHM and no regiment as well...

Did you solve the puzzle? ;)

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dug - welcome to GMIC. Mr. Haynes is no longer a member of this Forum. Brian Wolfe - also an Administrator on the

British Forums, is an Indian collector. I will draw your post to his attention and I am sure he will reply. Mervyn

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Hello dug,

Welcome and good to see a new member interested in the medals of India, I wish I could help you but this remains a puzzle.

I'm sorry to say that Mr. Haynes left the forum a number of years ago so we cannot tap into his knowledge base.

If I find anything out I will post it here, I hope you will do the same.

Regards

Brian

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Dug

To echo Brian, "Welcome to the GMIC". I don't collect medals any more - kids in college, mortgages and so on forbid - but I still have a strong interest in the Indian Army, though any knowledge I have is largely pre-1947. Ed Haynes is one of the few collectors I know who collects to the post-Independence Indian forces and sadly he is no longer a member here. However, a number of has share that interest, so please do let us know more about your medal. I recognize the ribbon as being post '47 Indian, but don't know which one. :(

Peter Monahan

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I think CHM is an NCO rank so the medals for NCO's must be named with regiment's name as well as No., rank and name of recipient. On the medals for CHM's shown by Ed and me the regiment were not mentioned. Why? This is the question...

And many thanks to all of you for welcome greetings and readyness to help. :)

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Hello dug,

CHM = Company Havildar Major (Company Sargeant Major).

When it comes to post 1947 Indian medals almost anything is possible, in other words the regualtions may be set down but when it comes time for the medals to be named the regs. go out the window and anything goes.

It is very frustrating for collectors and those interested in Independent India's Military history.

The rank is a good one however, so well done on this addition to your collection.

Regards

Brian

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Hi Ed,

Here is a little pre 1947 Group for this Discussion Group.

It is:

To: Lt. Col. R.J. Shearcroft, MBE, East Surrey Regt.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the group, please ask.

Best wishes,

David B 1812

Edited by David B 1812

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Further to the photo of the Lt. Col. R.J. Shearcroft MBE medal group illustrated above, here is all the information I have on him. If ANYONE can add to it, build on it, add appropriate photographs, or comment on, or solve the questions posed in the notes at the end, it would be most appreciated.

Thank you,

David B 1812

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lt. Col. Reginald James SHEARCROFT, M.B.E. – East Surrey Regiment

By David R. Bennett © 31 March 2013

Reginald James Shearcroft was born in Pimlico, London, on 5 December 1892 (cf. 1901 Census) and was living at that time in North Sheen, Surrey. (However, another source has him born on 14 January 1893). He enlisted as a ‘local enlistment’ in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) – Territorial Force Battalion, where he received the number 5776. He then transferred to the East Surrey Regiment, (and was given the number L/14214) whose 5th and 6th Battalions (Territorial) did not see action at the Somme, but were part of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (who forced the Turkish surrender in Mesopotamia). The Battalion then went to India, returning later (6th Battalion) for service in the Aden Protectorate – from 29 January 1917 to 29 November 1917. In January 1918, the Battalion returned again to India, arriving in Bombay on 14 January, and they remained in India for the rest of the War. By the end of the War, the Regimental number for Shearcroft had changed again, to 240050, (as it appears on his BWM and AVM) and he had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, according to his Medal Index Card. His medal group was also accompanied by a brass nameplate, “Sgt. R.J. Shearcroft”.

It is thought that Shearcroft then joined the India Army, for, when we next hear of him, he is appointed as a Conductor on the India Miscellaneous List, as of 1 January 1928. Next, he receives his first Commission - as a Major (Commissary) - on 15 November 1935 (India Miscellaneous List). This was also confirmed in the LG No. 34275 of 17 April 1936. At this time, the Adjutant General in India was Lt Gen. Sir Walter Leslie, KCB, KBE, CMG, DSO (who had held the position since 1 April 1932). He was then succeeded by Lt Gen. Sir John E.S. Brind, KCB, KBE, CMG, DSO on 1 April 1936. A “special appointment” to Shearcroft was made in January 1936, as an ‘Officer Supervisor’ in the Adjutant General’s Office at the AG Branch, Army Headquarters. Maj. Shearcroft (as he was then) assumed the position of officiating Personal Secretary to the Adjutant General (first Leslie, then Brind) in place of Lt.Col (Commissary) Jackson, OBE, who was on leave from India from 1 February 1936 until 6 November 1936.

Then, on 1 August, 1937 Shearcroft is attached, as Assistant Secretary (D.3) to the Defence Department in Delhi – it is thought in a very superior confidential position, right at the centre of power. He is shown in the I.A.L. of October, 1939. During this period, Major Shearcroft was made a Member of the British Empire (Military) and his M.B.E. was announced in the London Gazette No. 34518 of 9 June 1938. As of 27 October 1941, Shearcroft is promoted, again, this time to Lt Col. (Commissary), Indian Army Departments. This promotion was formalised in the London Gazette No. 35440 of Friday, 30 January 1942.

Finally, in April 1944, the Indian Army List shows Lt. Col. R.J. Shearcroft as holding the appointment of Director of Military Regulations and Forms, Defence Department. The last reference we have is the London Gazette of 25 February 1949 (LG No. 38546) which lists the retirement from the Indian Army, on 14 June 1948, of Lt Col. R.J. Shearcroft.

Readers will of course recall that India gained formal independence from Britain on 15 August 1947.

NOTES:

  1. Shearcroft’s 1914-1919 Victory Medal shows an Oak Leaf device, for having been “Mentioned in Despatches”. HOWEVER, I cannot find any London Gazette record of him having been M.I.D.
  2. Shearcroft had a fairly long military career, including War Service. He has at least four years service in 1914-1918. To qualify for a T.F.W.M. he needed four years service before August 1914. And then, from what we know, above, he has further service from at least 1928 to his retirement in 1948. At least 20 years. So a minimum length of service of 28 years

or more, some of it (for ‘long service’ purposes) counting double, in war time. And, yet, despite this service, Shearcroft’s group does not show any LONG SERVICE award??This is very strange. Why no long service award? Unless he did qualify for one, but for whatever reason, the actual medal is missing from his group?Anyone have any answers / ideas???

Group of TEN medals to Lt. Col. Reginald James SHEARCROFT, MBE.

Member of the British Empire (t.2) GVR. Military.

British War Medal, 1914 – 1920

Allied Victory Medal, 1914-1919, British version, with M.I.D. Oakleaf

Terrritorial Force War Medal, 1914-1919

1939 – 1945 Star

Burma Star

British War Medal, 1939 – 1945

India Service Medal, 1939 – 1945

Jubilee Medal, GVR, 1935

Coronation Medal, GVIR, 1937

© D.R. Bennett 2013

Edited by David B 1812

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