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Claudio

Great medal bar of a Swedish officer who served in the British Army

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Dear forumites,

Let's the picture do the talking... I was blown away to see such an array of very exotic and rare awards for a "British" style court mounted medal bar... speachless! :speechless1::love::love:

The name of the officer is known.

Ciao,

Claudio

Edited by Claudio

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Ye gods, that's an impressive bar alright! One question however, i spy two WW1 victory medals there, a British issue with a MID and another one. Was that allowable (Obviously it was, or at least tolerated) and what's the second one?

Sam.

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Nothing like a spy... He served in the British army and was a battalion commander in the Western front... I forgot the name of the officer, but also his British officer uniform is on display at the Swedish Army Museum, in a temporary exhibition about "heroes"...

Ciao,

Claudio

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Claudio,

No, i di'dn't mean he was a spy, but rather i saw the two victory medals.

Wonder why he served in South Africa and the western front with the British.

Sam.

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Hello Claudio

A very interesting set. Thanks for posting it for all of us to see.

If you have the ability to blow up the picture, it may be possible to read the name engraved on the rim of one of his British medals.

I wonder of he belonged to one of those old Scottish families in Sweden, like the Hamiltons, Malcolms or Montgomerys.

Cheers,

James

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Hi everybody!

I found him!

Ivor Thord-Gray (April 17, 1878 - August 18, 1964) was a Swedish adventurer and soldier. He had quite a very exciting and eventful long life... very well traveled guy! Wow... he's been everywhere: in Africa serving as prisoner guard then in the Militia after with mounted police, in the far east (also Philippines), served in the Chinese revolution, joined the Mexican revolution, fought for the British Army in WWI on the Western front and after with the Russian "white" army against the "reds", later immigrated to USA and became US citizen. The Swedish article on Wikipedia mention that he was for a little period also with the French Foreign Legion in 1909 in Tonkin (China)...

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29973

1897-1901 (not 1895) Cape Mounted Rifles Artillery (Pte)

1902-1903 South African Constabulary (Cpl)

1903-1905 Voluntary unit Transvaal/1907 Northern Mounted Rifles/ (Cpt 1904)

1906 Royston´s Horse (Lt not 1901 but 1906 - Cpt 1906)

1913 CO Pancho Villas Artillery (1st Capt)

1914 COS 1st Mexican Army (Col)

1914 2/C 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in UK (Maj)

1915 CO 13th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers training in France (Maj)

1915-16 CO 11th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers in France (LtCol)

1916-17 CO 1/25th and 2/25th (Overseas) Bns London Regt (LtCol)

1917 Bde Cdr "Theodore Roosevelt" Div. Dissolved 1917 in when President Woodrow Wilson didn´t back up the project.

1918 Canadian Expeditionary Force to Russia (LtCol)

1919 1st Siberian Assault Division (MjGen)

1935 COS to the Governor of Florida USA (MjGen)

1960 Fil Dr (PhD) Uppsala University, Sweden

Incredible!!! :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1::jumping:

Such groups are really unique!

He's even mentioned in 3 article and different languages on Wikipedia (English, Spanish and Swedish!):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Thord-Gray in English

http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Thord-Gray in Swedish

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29973

Ciao,

Claudio

Edited by Claudio

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Hello Claudio

An amazing story and very, very interesting.

Presumably at some point he must have also served in Finland, given the Finnish order on the medal bar?

Cheers,

James

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Hello Claudio

An amazing story and very, very interesting.

Presumably at some point he must have also served in Finland, given the Finnish order on the medal bar?

Cheers,

James

No, I don't think, but maybe he got the Finnish order because he fought the reds in 1919. Finland got the indipendence during the same period...

Ciao,

Claudio

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:Cat-Scratch: When did he find spare time to be in the SWEDISH army? :speechless1:

Hi Rick!

Interestingly enough Mr. Thord-Gray never served in the Swedish army... :rolleyes:

Ciao,

Claudio

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Dear forumites,

Let's the picture do the talking... I was blown away to see such an array of very exotic and rare awards for a "British" style court mounted medal bar... speachless! speechless1.giflove.giflove.gif

The name of the officer is known.

Ciao,

Claudio

How did you find this amazing group. You should offer it to the Stockholm Army museum I bet they would pay big money for it or even try Probus Auktioner in Stockholm.

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Hi Vinland30,

The medal bar is not mine... I just took a picture at the Swedish Army museum in Stockholm: since the complete uniform and the medal bar of this officer is there on a temporary exposition, I guess the group probably came just on loan from the family or from a private collector.

Ciao,

Claudio

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Hi James,

I am pretty convinced that the two last enamelled decoration must be some kind of Mexican or Chinese decorations. I tried to make a search on internet but I couldn't find anything.

Maybe our collecting friends from Mexico or Asia can help us with this.

Ciao,

Claudio

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Actually, the last one is ringing dim distant bells as one of innumerable unofficial WW1 veterans organizations membership "awards." Cannot see what they are at the end because of being overlapped so much that neither the awards or ribbons are clear.

I suspect he was... an over-dresser. :catjava:

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Hi Rick!

He could have been over-dressed, but many medals on this bar he really deserved to wear, since he participated most of the campaigns.

Let's try to identify this court mounted medal bar... 1st attempt... you're more than welcome to fill in the blanks!! :rolleyes:

1. Sweden, Order of the Sword, Knight

2. Finland, Order of the White Rose of Finland, Knight’s Cross 2nd class

3. Finland, Civil Guard’s Iron Cross of Merit

4. British Empire, Cape of Good Hope GSM, 1880-97, 1 clasp, Bechuanaland

5. British Empire, Queen's South Africa Medal, 1899-1902 (1899), 4 clasps Wittebergen ???, Natal, Wepener ???, Cape Colony

6. British Empire, King's South Africa Medal, 1901-02 (1902), 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902

7. British Empire, Zulu Rising Medal, 1906 (1907) clasp ?

8. British Empire, 1914/1914-15 Star

9. British Empire, British War Medal, 1914-20

10. British Empire, Victory Medal, 1914-18

11. France, Victory Medal, 1914-18 (could also be the Belgian Victory Medal)

12. Russia, Order of Saint Anne, 3rd class (?)

13. Russia, Order of Saint Vladimir, 3rd class (?)

14. Russia, Order of Saint Stanislaus, 3rd class (?)

15. Finland, Swedish Brigade Medal 1918

16. ???

17. ???

Good luck with the remaining medals... (just two...).

Ciao,

Claudio

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This is all sounding more and more unlikely-- I suspect he was a completely "Self Invented Man."

What he is wearing (SIX ribbons!!!!!!) in the photo in British (cap badge, please? :catjava: ) does not seem to bear any relation to what he supposedly had. Nor do the classes of the Orders bear any relation to his purportedly exalted ranks.

I think he was a fairy-tale spinner. :catjava:

Surely somebody with THAT bizarrely exotic a career would have left a considerable "paper trail" than what sounds like an Ickypedia hoax? :whistle:

Google up ANY actual period references, anybody? Uh, "Theodore Roosevelt Division" (WTF?)... Florida (!!! 1935) Uh, "world archery champion?" Uh... banker/archaelogist-- what, no racing car championships or solo around the world flight records? Uh... PhD 1960-- has ANYBODY

actually VERIFIED any of this? And, uh, NO-- I don't mean consulting the Ickypediaa hoax. I mean CONTEMPORARY references, in REAL places? :whistle:

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Hi Rick,

I understand that you're skeptical...

Maybe somebody has to check these sources and references...

For example:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28986/supplements/9973

(see under 15th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, I. Thord-Gray temp. Major)

Thord-Gray, Ivor (1960). Gringo Rebel: Mexico 1913-1914 (2nd ed.). Miami Press. ASIN: B0007FRTXY.

London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28986, p. 9973, 24 November 1914. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.

London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29488, p. 2090, 22 February 1916. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.

"Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2007-07-23.

Swedish Royal Library: "Thord Ivar Hallströms handlingar" Some 1,000 letters and documents regarding Ivor Thord-Gray deposited in the Kungliga Biblioteket (Royal Library) in Stockholm

Svenskar i krig 1914-1945 (Swedes at War 1914-1945), by Lars Gyllenhaal and Lennart Westberg. ISBN 91-85057-08-8

" Ivor Thord Gray - soldat under 13 fanor", by Stellan Bojerud, ISBN 978-91-85705-13-9

I don't want to justify the work of the Army Museum of Stockholm, but I can tell you one thing; Swedes in general are quite honest and precise with their research. Like Switzerland, Sweden is after all not a Banana republic like for instance Libya. You should see the museum; it's really professionally well done by students and academic decree enthusiasts in Military History. Why should they lie about such a person? They couldn’t care less about him, since they don’t have to follow any political agenda dictated by a ruling regime.

I could get more info on this officer, but I am not interested to prove this to be true and read several different books in Swedish. Maybe some Swedish forum member could add more vital and interesting information. I just wanted to share something that I found very interesting. There are a lot of people like Swedish or Swiss volonteers who fought during WWI or WWII (my grand-father was in the French legion in Indochina and a great-uncle fought, as a Swiss with also US citizenship, the Japanese in the Pacific). Therefore I am more inclined to believe this story; of course not everything is probably true or some decorations have been added without having deserved them, but who didn't do that...

Ciao,

Claudio

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No need to speculate IF it's true. All of what Claudio has written is a case of reality being better than fiction. Thord Gray is well documented professional soldier and if you want hard evidence I recommend the Bojerud book (unfortunately only in Swedish). Or a trip to the archive i Stockholm, Krigsarkivet. I'm sure they will be more than happy to help.

Here's a pic of him as a White Russian General, from the Armémuseum collection.

/Kim

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Here's the minis to go with the big bar.

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Hi Kim!

Thanks a lot for your very interesting additional info and pictures. ;):beer:

Do you know what are the three last medals on the miniature bar?

Ciao,

Claudio

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