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Posted (edited)

Hey Gents,

A few months back I acquired a 1911 Visit to Ireland Medal named to "1788 Cpl. C.M. Wood R.N.W.M.P. CANADA". From what I can tell it was first sold by DNW Auctions in 2001 and then from Tanya Ursual Antiques.

I find it very unusual and perhaps unique that a 1911 Visit to Ireland Medal was named to a Royal North West Mounted Police corporal - The RNWMP is the precursor to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of today. The medals were issued unnamed and recipients typically had them named privately. The naming on this medal is consistent with others of the period. There are also contact marks suggesting it may have been mounted with other medals.

Taken from the Royal Irish Constabulary forum:

Based on Royal Mint records (MINT 20/468) the actual distribution of the medals was as follows:
Royal Irish Constabulary - 1022
RIC Office Staff - 24
Dublin Metropolitan Police - 1314
DMP Office Staff - 4
St John Ambulance Brigade - 92
Kingstown Harbour Police - 11
Phoenix Park and St Stephens Green Police - 10
TOTAL - 2477

 

Unfortunately CM Wood does not show up in Library and Archives Canada’s NWMP Personnel Files 1873-1904 collection so I presume he would have joined after 1904. There is no record I could find in their spotty collection of 1904-1920 RNWMP records. A few CM Woods show up in the CEF Personnel Files but none with the occupation of policeman (this was a theory due to the contact marks indicating other medals). Does anyone know of a medal register of the RCMP LS&GC medal?

I emailed the RCMP Historical Section four months ago and have yet to receive a reply.

A few questions for the forum:

  • Is anyone aware of the RNWMP sending any personnel to Ireland?
  • Did the RNWMP provide Consulate/Embassy security?
  • Did the RNWMP send members on exchange or training with Irish police forces such as the Royal Irish Constabulary?
  • Are there any lists of the 1911 RNWMP Coronation delegations?
  • Does CM Wood show up in any Irish censuses or RIC/DMP files?
  • Is there anywhere else I can look for a service file for Cpl Wood?03.jpg.9b67626bba0d1a24cfd1969e5234ea9b.jpg04.jpg.16bf68062d820fbd6761901eaf187b58.jpg05.jpg.0881c07fc6d78c10cf98a09fceee3309.jpg01.jpg.b4b0d49af9687e9659f22406ae15f579.jpg02.jpg.de08735b0ea911f6d7b38099fbc59266.jpg

 

Edited by SemperParatus

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Interesting medal worthy of further research if possible. Maybe he left Ireland and emigrated to Canada ? Have you looked at the records for an RIC or Dublin Metropolitan Police officer with that name ?

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Not yet, I don't currently have access and was hoping someone who does may help me in that regard. 

Cheers

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I only pay for Ancestry.ca  and there are 50 pages [8-10 per page] of 'c.m. wood's, but I'll keep looking when I get some time.   Almost certainly an outler, though, and not a fabrication. 

The late Gene Ursual was both ex-RCMP and a very knowledgable and highly respected dealer/collector and I'm sure Tanya, his daughter, the same, though I've never dealt with her personally.  They would recognize a fake and not sell it on.  Dtto DNW.  And it would be an odd thing to fake!   Keep looking!

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I first came across this medal being offered for sale in 1992. Despite extensive searches, I was unable to identify 'C.M. Wood' as ever being associated with any of the Irish Police forces, clerical judiciary or office staff.  The RCMP Museum was unable to help even with a full name (this was in the 90's so new archives may be available now). 

I have come across a further 10 'funnies'; all Visits 1911, some engraved to the MPSC, Gdn Hrs, Stoke on Trent Police, others unnamed but with named military medals.  I have a feeling some of these men may have provided services in the St Johns Ambulance at the time, but this is only a speculation.  The RIC did have a Colonial Policing training school and it is possible that men were present there, but usually these would have been of commissioned or NCO ranks. Again, I cannot place any of my '11 funnies' as positively being in Ireland at that time.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Peter Mc said:

I first came across this medal being offered for sale in 1992. Despite extensive searches, I was unable to identify 'C.M. Wood' as ever being associated with any of the Irish Police forces, clerical judiciary or office staff.  The RCMP Museum was unable to help even with a full name (this was in the 90's so new archives may be available now). 

 

Peter, thanks for your input on this, I was hoping you would make an appearance in this thread as I know you are an authority on the topic.

As for RCMP files held in the archives, here is what Library and Archives Canada has to say on the topic:

Quote

The Records

Records of the North West Mounted Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police are in the custody of Library and Archives Canada, Record Group 18 (RG 18). The records include the surviving personnel records for NWMP members who served between 1873 and 1904. Search this database.

After 1904, only a sample of historically significant personnel records was retained, some of which are held by Library and Archives Canada. There are also files for members of the Dominion Police.

The personnel files in this database were digitized from the microfiche in RG 18, volumes 10037-10047, and RG 18 1997-98/386/box 33.

References to the surviving personnel files for the RNWMP, 1904 - 1920, can be searched using the Archives Advanced Search database using the following search strategy. Those files are not digitized.

  • Archival ref. number: 18
  • Any Keyword: surname

Note that some references indicate an initial rather than a full given name. The references for personnel records are identified as Series G. If the reference includes a microfilm reel number, it indicates that the file is available on microfilm and may be borrowed. If no reel number is included, the file can only be consulted onsite.

References to other documents relating to some NWMP members can be found in records of the Department of the Interior (RG 15). In the above database, enter RG 15 in the Archival Ref. Number box and the name in the Any Keyword box.

Record Group 18 includes other records relating to the Force, such as daily journals for the different Divisions and Detachments. There are also records relating to recruitment, enlistment, medical examinations, nominal rolls, discharges and investigations into charges against members.

Service files for those who joined the RCMP after 1920 remain in the custody of the RCMP. Requests for service information can be made directly to the RCMP under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

So no record found for CM Wood in the archives does not necessarily mean Cpl CM Wood did not exist.

As for his purported Regimental Number 1788, it was in use from 1885 to 1887 by a James Mason who died of medical complications.

I have come across a further 10 'funnies'; all Visits 1911, some engraved to the MPSC, Gdn Hrs, Stoke on Trent Police, others unnamed but with named military medals.  I have a feeling some of these men may have provided services in the St Johns Ambulance at the time, but this is only a speculation.  The RIC did have a Colonial Policing training school and it is possible that men were present there, but usually these would have been of commissioned or NCO ranks. Again, I cannot place any of my '11 funnies' as positively being in Ireland at that time.

My "hunch" when I purchased this medal was that the man was on some sort of exchange in a training capacity. The two agencies being similar in nature. A Corporal in the RNWMP was a NCO rank after all.

Edited by SemperParatus

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