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H.R.H The Duke of Connaught M.W.C.M 1917 Medal


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Hallo Gents, :beer:

a guy I know sent me an email asking about a medal which belonged to his great Grandfather

his attempts to attach a picture, so far have failed, however he has added the details of what was on the medal, which I presume is a commemorative piece.

"The Multi coloured Ribbon medal is enscribed as follows:-

H.R.H The Duke of Connaught M.W.C.M 1917

1717-1917."

Will add pictures once I receive them from him.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Hallo Gents, beer.gif

a guy I know sent me an email asking about a medal which belonged to his great Grandfather

his attempts to attach a picture, so far have failed, however he has added the details of what was on the medal, which I presume is a commemorative piece.

Will add pictures once I receive them from him.

Kevin in Deva. beer.gif

Kev,

Are you sure that the last three letters aren't WGM which would be Worshipful Grand Master, thus suggesting Masonic.

All the best,

Paul

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  • 9 years later...

I recently came across a Duke of Connaught 1717-1917 Masonic Medal as a component in a large lot of medals, award brevets, Royal licenses to wear foreign orders, and a personal journal kept during the Boer War, that was associated with a British physician who worked in Egypt in the early 20th century. I checked GMIC for information and saw that no images had been added to this thread about the medal and that Paul Wood had a question about a portion of the motto on the reverse of this badge. There are a few threads addressing the Duke of Connaught’s awards and background here on GMIC (i.e., see “Duke of Connaught’s medal”, started by freiherr on 28 June 2010 in the “Great Britain: Orders, Gallantry, Campaign Medals” section; “Duke of Connaught” started by Mervyn Mitton on 9 October, 2011, also in the “Great Britain: Orders, Gallantry, Campaign Medals”; and “Did or Not the Duke of Connaught received the Sachsen-Koburg-Gotha Medals” thread started by lilo on 30 January, 2009 in the “Germany: Imperial: The Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the Imperial German States” section, among information in other threads, all here on GMIC). The recent auction of the awards and other materials belonging to Dr. Ferguson Lees included a Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal 1717-1917 in a Spencer & Co., London cardboard presentation case (identical to that in the 5th photo shown below). I realize this is a bit of a cold topic, but thought I would at least add a few photos to round out the topic.

 

I came across this medal as a part of a 22 June, 2021 auction of several orders and medals  that belonged to Dr. James Ferguson Lees, CBE (https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/departments/medals-coins-arms-armour/ma060521/view-lot/29/). This listing also is archived with lower-resolution images on the Drouot Digital website (https://www.gazette-drouot.com/lots/15319018), and high-resolution photos are archived with this listing on the saleroom.com website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/woolley-and-wallis/catalogue-id-srwo10279/lot-8de16daa-647c-4e71-a699-ad3b010c7ff6#lotDetails). The Woolley and Wallace auction included medals, award documents, extra ribbons, a notebook journal from the Boer War, and a portrait photo of Dr. Ferguson Lees wearing his Egyptian, Ottoman, and British full-sized awards and a medal bar of miniatures for the same insignia (however, he is not wearing the Duke of Connaught Masonic medal in that portrait). All of the items in this auction Lot (29) belonged to Dr. James Ferguson Lees, who was born 29 January, 1872 and died 12 January, 1935. The Woolley & Wallace auction information further states that Dr. Ferguson Lees: “…served in the South African War on the Hospital Ship Spartan, at a base hospital in the East End of London, and in the field attached to the 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers. Having become an M.D. in 1902, he joined the Egyptian Government Service as Port Health Officer for Alexandria in 1908, rising to become Director General in 1920, and acting as Under-Secretary of State from July to October 1920. He served in the Great War as Inspector of Prisoner of War Camps in Egypt, E.E.F.” The photo of the Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal belonging to Dr. Ferguson Lees is not good enough resolution to include here (and does not show the reverse), so I had to fish for other online images of this medal.

 

large.139435012_1717-1917DukeofConnaughtMedal.jpg.54ef42569080d1403939be7f453fe467.jpg

 

Above are photos of the obverse and reverse of an example of the Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal 1711-1917. This comes from a 3 February, 2018 auction by Whytes of Dublin (Lot 71), archived on the invaluable website (https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/1717-1917-duke-of-connaught-medal.-0B044AB94A#).). As noted by Paul Wood, this is a Masonic decoration. The 1717-1917 Duke of Connaught's Medal commemorates the bicentenary of English freemasonry. Other sources identify this medal as being solid sterling silver, with the following dimensions: 30.2 mm in diameter x 43.5 mm tall, 3.5 mm thick, weighing 26.2 g, and manufactured by the silversmith Richard Spencer. The obverse shows a bust of the Duke (Earl) of Connaught on a background of the English Rose. The reverse has a motto around the upper ¾ of the margin reading: “H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT M.W.G.M. 1917”. To answer Paul Wood’s question here of 1 February, 2010, the “M.W.G.M.” is an abbreviation for “Most Worthy Grand Master”. The reverse shows a coat of arms of the United Grand Lodge of England, U.G.L.E.,  (see the last image in this post) with a banner below bearing the abbreviated Latin motto: “AUDI VIDE TACE” (= Hear, See, and Be Silent), with the dates 1717-1917. Below that is the inscription; “SPENCER RD” followed by a space and then the digits that are the registration number. In my limited image searches, I have seen three other examples of this medal with the clip reading: “23 JUNE 1917”, the date of the bicentenary. 

 

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Above is a high-resolution, more detailed view of the obverse of this medal, from a current eBay offering, eBay item number: 363549546410, (https://www.ebay.ie/itm/THE-DUKE-OF-CONNAUGHT-H-R-H-BI-CENTENARY-1717-1917-WW1-MASONIC-SILVER-MEDAL-/363549546410?hash=item54a53dd7aa). The pin on this piece also is marked “SPENCER LONDON” identical to that seen on the Whytes example above, but lacks the clip marked “23 JUNE 1917”. 

 

large.282563263_DukeofConnaughtMedalrevdetail.jpg.615af67a4ab9739535651fbfbeaef299.jpg

 

High-resolution image of the reverse of this same eBay example of the Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal 1711-1917, showing the design in better detail than in the Whytes photo above, eBay item number: 363549546410. 

 

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A very high-resolution photo of the obverse and reveres of a Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal 1711-1917 without an associated ribbon. This image comes from a 3 September, 2016 auction by Maruhdar (Auction 21. Lot 727), archived on the Sixbid.com website (https://www.sixbid-coin-archive.com/#/en/search?text=Duke Connaught masonic medal). The brief auction description gives a diameter of 29.94 mm and a weight of 26.3 g for this piece. This image can be zoomed for significantly greater details. 

 

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An example of this medal in its case with the Spencer name and location as the Masonic Depot (from a current eBay offering, eBay item number: 154607723196: https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Duke-of-Connaught-Silver-Bi-Centenial-1717-1917-Jewel-Pin-Bar-by-Spencer-Box-/154607723196?hash=item23ff56a2bc). 

 

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An example of a different form of the case for this medal, in coated cardboard, with the marking SPENCER & CO., LONDON, W C 2.” From a current eBay auction, eBay item number:203348652342 (https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Antique-Duke-of-Connaught-Centenary-Silver-Medal-Cased-Freemasonry-/203348652342?hash=item2f58863136). 

 

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The exterior of the upper lid of this same case from the current eBay auction (eBay item number:203348652342) showing the form of the U.G.L.E. coat of arms embossed on it. 

 

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Above is an illustration showing details of the U.G.L.E. coat of arms that is on the reverse of the Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal 1711-1917 (from: http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/grandlodge/seal/ugle.html). See the following website for a description of symbolic elements of the U.G.L.E. coat of arms, including the colors not seen in the above illustration or on the reverse of Duke of Connaught Masonic Medal: https://www.hertsmasonicbanners.uk/united-grand-lodge

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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Paul, Many thanks for the observation about the medal and the case. I noticed it was easy to find low-quality images on lots of eBay and other sites, and the jewel is not expensive. Is the scarcity you note only for the elaborate & sturdy case shown above marked "SPENCER'S MASONIC DEPOT, OPPOSITE MASONIC HALL, 16 GT QUEEN ST, LONDON W.C.", or are the cardboard cases with the Masonic coat-of-arms also less common than the medals as well? 

 

large.1535466267_DrJFergusonLeesDukeofConnaughtmedal2.jpg.775adb69c208bab13a8836fefc27b904.jpg

 

Above is a moderate-resolution cropped image of the 1717-1917 Duke of Connaught Masonic medal from the 22 June, 2021 auction Lot 79 by Woolley and Wallis (https://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/departments/medals-coins-arms-armour/ma060521/view-lot/29/) of medals and documents belonging to Dr. James Ferguson Lees. This is the only image of this medal from that auction listing, shown in the cardboard case marked "SPENCER & CO., LONDON, W.C. 2." (same as the above case for the current eBay example, eBay item number: 203348652342). No photo or description of the outer lid cover to determine whether the same embossed U.G.L.E. coat-of-arms is present. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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I have encountered the card case before but they are scarce as they rarely survived but the solid case must have been rarely issued, yours is the first I have seen, maybe for VIPs such as lodge heads.

 

Paul

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