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Imperial Service Medal - early awards (to 1920)

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Introduction:

Following on from discussions in another thread I plan to cover the various types of Imperial Service Medals and give a guide to the timescales over which these types were issued. Hopefully that will help narrow the window when searching for the recipient in the London gazettes.

This thread will cover the early issues; a second more detailed thread will cover the later (circular) medals.

Edward VII Issues:

The award of the Imperial Service Medal was first announced in LG 8th August 1902. It was 'tacked on' to the end of the entry covering the setting up of Imperial Service Order. The ISM was to be an award for those not eligible for the ISO (ie more junior employees) with the basic criteria of not less than twenty five years meritorious service in the United Kingdom or not less than sixteen years in a colony or protectorate recognised as having an unhealthy climate. The use of the term 'meritorious' is somewhat misleading as it implies a very high level of service. In more recent years the criteria has been interpreted as diligent service.

According to the LG the design of the medal was to be the same as the ISO but made from silver. In fact the ISMs were made in bronze with a silvered centre. The initial awards appeared in LG 29th May 1903. The design of the Edward VII Star shaped awards is shown below. This particular example is to Alfred Killick who was a postman in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The EdVII issues were continued up until LG 21st April 1911.

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George V Issues:

With the death of Edward VII the design of the ISM was changed and medals awarded from LG 4th July 1911 had the centre bearing a new cipher for GV. This design was continued until LG 14th Nov 1919 when a new design of medal was adopted. The design of a George V Star is shown below. This example was awarded to Arthur S Jones who was a ship fitter at Pembroke Dockyard (a ship fitter worked on mechanical items outside of the engine / boiler rooms, on equipment such as winches).

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Awards to Women:

Initially the medals awarded to women were identical to those given to men but were worn from a bow shaped ribbon. Then the design was changed to a wreath design (in line with the Imperial Service Order for women) and this change probably occurred in 1908. As with the men's issue the centre was change in July 1911 to include the GV cipher. The wreath design was dropped in November 1919 when the small circular medal was adopted for both men and women. An example of a GV wreath design ISM is shown below.

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Naming:

Although the awards were gazetted in the LG, the initial awards of the ISM were issued unnamed. Some of the earlier awards are found neatly named and it could be that some departments had their medals named before issue to the recipient. From LG 26th June 1908 all ISMs were issued named, engraved on the reverse with the recipient's first name, then further initials and surname. An example of the naming is shown below. The style of naming is similar for both late EdVII and GV medals.

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Variants:

Some EdVII issues have been noted with crown made as a separate piece which can be seen when viewing the medal from the reverse. The period this design was used is unclear but was probably used for some of the earlier unnamed EdVII stars. An example is shown below.

I have compiled a complete register of all star / wreath shaped ISMs from the London Gazettes (total approx 10,800) and am able to quickly identify the LG date for each of these awards should forum members wish.

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George V Issues:

With the death of Edward VII the design of the ISM was changed and medals awarded from LG 4th July 1911 had the centre bearing a new cipher for GV. This design was continued until LG 14th Nov 1919 when a new design of medal was adopted. The design of a George V Star is shown below.

I have a Geo V which looks almost exactly the same as this except it appears that the star itself is copper. I've looked carefully to see whether it's just an issue of the silver plate being polished off, but there are no residual traces of silver. I'm convinced it was issued with a copper star (Pls. see att.) Your comments?

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I have a Geo V which looks almost exactly the same as this except it appears that the star itself is copper. I've looked carefully to see whether it's just an issue of the silver plate being polished off, but there are no residual traces of silver. I'm convinced it was issued with a copper star (Pls. see att.) Your comments?

Naming looks slightly different from your example.

Sorting clerk / telegraphist, Falkirk.

LG Vol. I, Jan - Mar 1919, P. 1794.

Thanks,

Hugh

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Re the naming - I have a number of stars and the majority are named like the example I have shown. However one is much more like your example to John Williamson, especially the inclusion of the lines the engraver used to ensure the letters were the same height. Given that these medals were named by by a number of different individuals over a period of nearly 20 years there are bound to be differences in the style. However the generic form is the same - ie first name, then initial, then surname.

One the question of plating etc, only the centre section and crown appear to have been plated. I think the basic star itself was left as a bronze finish and any colour variations we are now seeing are probably a product of whether the recipient cleaned or refrained from cleaning his medal.

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Thanks for that, Odin. I wasn't really concerned about authenticity, as I got it from a very reputable Australian supplier, but was interested in your insights.

Best,

Hugh

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I am very new to all of this and have joined because of my interest in family history rather than militaria so please forgive my lack of knowledge!!

I have a photo of an ancestor who was awarded the Imperial Service Order. I would suspect that (given his likely retirement age) it was an early award. The problem is that I only have a surname - WATERS. The possibilities are:

Alfred Charles Waters born 1848 remained in England and a clerk in the general registry office in 1901

Wiliam Waters born 1855 destination unknown but could have been Australia or South Africa

Alexander Waters born 1858 destination unknown but could have been Australia or South Africa

I guess Alfred is the logical likelihood but a clerk seems unlikely to have warranted such an award. He was all dressed up in the photo (attached) post-10714-061261000 1288104562_thumb.jpincluding a sword at his side but the medal (other than its distinctive shape) is not clearly visible enough to know if it is Edward 7 or George.

My question is this - can anyone tell me if there is a list somewhere of those who would have been presented with this medal at these early dates? I would really like to know which of the borthers this is!!!

Thanks you for any assistance you can provide.

Burt (via his wife Ann)

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Hi there,

I have only joined today!!

I have been trying to look up some persons who's Imperial Service Medals I have and don't seem to get on the correct pages via the L G I'm also a member of Ancestry.com. Can you help the names are as follows.

George Ward Thomson QE2

Watson Bain QE2

George Frederick Wallis George V1

Alfred Edward Eddolls George V1

Henry James Evans George V

Alan

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26/3/57

THOMSON, George Ward, Supervising Engineer,

Whitehall, March 2, 1937.

IMPERIAL SERVICE MEDAL.

His Majesty The KING was pleased to award

the Imperial Service Medal to the following

officers of the Home Civil Service on their

retirement:—

Allen, Richard Hall, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Anderson, Edward, Skilled Workman, Class II,

Post Office Engineering Department, London.

Andrew, Robert, Postman, Patrington SubOffice, Hull.

Aplin, John Frederick, Postman, Birmingham.

Ball, John Richard, Postman, Southend-onSea.

Barry, Thomas William James, Head Postman,

London Postal Region.

Beecher, Charles, Overseer, London Postal

Region.

Bisset, Thomas Taylor, Postman, Dunbar.

Bitton, Benjamin John Henry, Assistant Superintendent, Post Office, Manchester.

Bolt, Arthur Winter Harris, Sorter, London

Postal Region.

Bond, George, Sorter, London Postal Region.

Borkett, Leonard William, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Bowden, John Frederick, Postman, Kingstonon-Thames.

Bowman, Francis George, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Bowman, John, Postman, Paisley.

Brampton, Edward, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Brenchley, Harry, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

Brightwell, Joseph David, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Britton, Frederick Wynne, Chief Inspector,

Post Office Engineering Department, Birmingham Test Section.

Bryce, James, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist}

Dundee.

Burdock, James Ford, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Southampton.

Burnard, Louis Patrick, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Bristol.

Bushell, George William, Sorter, London

Postal Region.

Carter, James Ernest, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Carter, William Edward, Overseer, Post Office,

Worthing.

Cassels, William Gordon, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Aberdeen.

Chapman, John, Postman, Gilberdyke SubOffice, Hull.

Checkley, William, Overseer, London Postal

Region.

Cheetham, Godfrey, Postman, Kingston-onThames.

Chisholm, William David, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Belfast.

Clark, Benjamin Spencer, Overseer, London

Postal Region.

Collyer, Herbert Henry, Assistant Inspector,

Post Office, Leatherhead.

Cooper, Ernest, Inspector of Telegraph

Messengers, Central Telegraph Office.

Cooper, George John, Skilled Workman, Class

II, Post Office Engineering Department,

London.

Cornwell, Walter John, Overseer, Post Office,

Birmingham.

Cox, Thomas, Overseer, London Postal Region.

Cox, William, Skilled Workman, Class II, Post

Office Engineering Department, Manchester.

Davies, Ezer William, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

Dickinson, Alonza, Postman, Sheffield.

Downes, Annie, Assistant Supervisor, Class II,

Post Office, Liverpool.

Drewell, Alfred Ray, Postman, London Postal

Region.

Edwards, George Griffiths, Assistant Inspector

of Postmen, Wrexham.

Elbourn, Frederic, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

English, Edward James, Assistant Superintendent, London Postal Region.

Evans, Henry James, Skilled Workman, Class

II, Post Office Engineering Department,

London.

hope this helps GV ISMS were awarded well into 1937.

Paul

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26/3/57

THOMSON, George Ward, Supervising Engineer,

Whitehall, March 2, 1937.

IMPERIAL SERVICE MEDAL.

His Majesty The KING was pleased to award

the Imperial Service Medal to the following

officers of the Home Civil Service on their

retirement:—

Allen, Richard Hall, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Anderson, Edward, Skilled Workman, Class II,

Post Office Engineering Department, London.

Andrew, Robert, Postman, Patrington SubOffice, Hull.

Aplin, John Frederick, Postman, Birmingham.

Ball, John Richard, Postman, Southend-onSea.

Barry, Thomas William James, Head Postman,

London Postal Region.

Beecher, Charles, Overseer, London Postal

Region.

Bisset, Thomas Taylor, Postman, Dunbar.

Bitton, Benjamin John Henry, Assistant Superintendent, Post Office, Manchester.

Bolt, Arthur Winter Harris, Sorter, London

Postal Region.

Bond, George, Sorter, London Postal Region.

Borkett, Leonard William, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Bowden, John Frederick, Postman, Kingstonon-Thames.

Bowman, Francis George, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Bowman, John, Postman, Paisley.

Brampton, Edward, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Brenchley, Harry, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

Brightwell, Joseph David, Postman, London

Postal Region.

Britton, Frederick Wynne, Chief Inspector,

Post Office Engineering Department, Birmingham Test Section.

Bryce, James, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist}

Dundee.

Burdock, James Ford, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Southampton.

Burnard, Louis Patrick, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Bristol.

Bushell, George William, Sorter, London

Postal Region.

Carter, James Ernest, Sorter, London Postal

Region.

Carter, William Edward, Overseer, Post Office,

Worthing.

Cassels, William Gordon, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Aberdeen.

Chapman, John, Postman, Gilberdyke SubOffice, Hull.

Checkley, William, Overseer, London Postal

Region.

Cheetham, Godfrey, Postman, Kingston-onThames.

Chisholm, William David, Sorting Clerk and

Telegraphist, Belfast.

Clark, Benjamin Spencer, Overseer, London

Postal Region.

Collyer, Herbert Henry, Assistant Inspector,

Post Office, Leatherhead.

Cooper, Ernest, Inspector of Telegraph

Messengers, Central Telegraph Office.

Cooper, George John, Skilled Workman, Class

II, Post Office Engineering Department,

London.

Cornwell, Walter John, Overseer, Post Office,

Birmingham.

Cox, Thomas, Overseer, London Postal Region.

Cox, William, Skilled Workman, Class II, Post

Office Engineering Department, Manchester.

Davies, Ezer William, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

Dickinson, Alonza, Postman, Sheffield.

Downes, Annie, Assistant Supervisor, Class II,

Post Office, Liverpool.

Drewell, Alfred Ray, Postman, London Postal

Region.

Edwards, George Griffiths, Assistant Inspector

of Postmen, Wrexham.

Elbourn, Frederic, Sorting Clerk and Telegraphist, Birmingham.

English, Edward James, Assistant Superintendent, London Postal Region.

Evans, Henry James, Skilled Workman, Class

II, Post Office Engineering Department,

London.

hope this helps GV ISMS were awarded well into 1937.

Paul

THOMSON, George Ward, Supervising Engineer,

Grade III, Ministry of Works.

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Burt and Alan - you are both very welcome as new members to our Forum. We will hope that you will be able to join-in on a regular basis.

Paul - thankyou for helping with that good information. Mervyn

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Burt and Alan - you are both very welcome as new members to our Forum. We will hope that you will be able to join-in on a regular basis.

Paul - thankyou for helping with that good information. Mervyn

CENTRAL CHANCERY OF

THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD

St. James's Palace, London S.W.I.

5th April 1977.

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to award the

Imperial Service Medal to the following officers on

their retirement.

HOME CIVIL SERVICE

Ministry of Defence

ABRAM, Joseph, Stores Officer Grade D.

AKERS, Thomas Henry, Professional and Technology

Officer III.

ALLEN, Henry, Process and General Supervisory C.

ALLEN, Ronald Oliver, Fitter.

ANDREWS, Jack Herbert, Professional and Technology

Officer IV.

AULD, Archibald, Professional and Technology Officer

IV.

BADGER, William Bassett, Skilled Labourer.

BAIN, Watson, Fitter Charge

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Hi there,

Thanks for the information. Is there any luck with the other two:-

Alfred Edward Eddolls (George VI) and George Frederick Wallis (George VI).

Cheers,

Alan

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A quick search of the Gazette doesn't turn up Alfred E, Alfred Edward or A E Eddolls, though I didn't check every variant spelling of the surname. Unfortunately, there are 185 pages of hits, at 5-6 per page, for just 'Wallis' but none for George Frederick Wallis. Doesn't mean neither is there, as the search engine is far from infallible, but more info. would be very helpful in narrowing down the search fields.

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I'm trying to get some idea the value of this medal, see attached photo. It has a letter dated May 6 1913 signed R.F. Reynar. It was for recognition of service for the Department Of Railways and Canals Canada. Any help will be appreciated, Thanks

Wayne

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Thanks for this info.

I have a George VI ISM awarded in May 1953 – after the accession of Queen Elizabeth II (on 6 February 1952) but before her coronation (2 June 1953). I guess old stock continued to be used but after the Coronation it would be hard to justify its continued use.

Do you know who designed the reverse?

Thanks

Paul

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Hello There

I Have just found a Imperial Service Medal in my Grandfathers Boxes, and it has the name Jeremiah Webb on it, and I am looking to find some background Information into Jeremiah, However, I cannot find some relevant Information that I Could use, The Medal, is a 7 Point Star that I believe is from Edward VII, I am really hoping you guys can help

Thanks

Matthew

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This is the ISM awarded to John Code, Royal Irish Constabulary Office, Dublin, 1903. This came in an unnamed box (although this box may be a replacement).

Code.jpg~original

Also shown is the ISM awarded to Frederick Hamilton, Royal Irish Constabulary Office, Dublin, 1908; together with his two Visit to Ireland medals.

As you can see it came in a named box of issue.

HamiltonGroupforWeb.jpg~original

Edited by Peter Mc
Photobucket images fixed

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