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Rare WW1 - NAVAL Mons Star Group

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I must be honest and say that until I purchased this Group, I was not aware that Naval personnel

were eligible to receive the famous MONS Star.

This was awarded only for Service between August 5 - 22nd. Nov. 1914. Basically it was for members

of our expeditionary Force sent to help defend Belgium. The Battles of Mons and Ypres saw severe

casualities - however, our smaller Army held the Germans and we were able regroup and broke out from the

lines in 1915 with the Battle of Loos. To be awarded the clasp and the ribbon rosette, the soldier had to have

been under enemy fire and engagement.

This superb group - with it's Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve -

came with the Engineer Officer's group - and no-one has any ides of who Smith was - or, where the medals

came from. However, it is quite common for old servicemen to leave their medals to former friends and

colleagues - and, I think this could be the case here. I will find out and let you know.

The Royal Naval Reserve was established in 1863 for serving members of the Merchant Navy. The Royal

Naval Volunteer Reserve came about in 1903. Leading Seaman A.N.Smith had been in the RNVR prior to

WW1 as his min. 1914 Star has been privately named and shows that he was attached to the Clyde Division -

which is in Scotland.

When War broke out Britain's various Reserves were recalled to the Colours - however, there were immediate

problems for the Navy. There were between 20 and 30,000 excess men for whom no places on the ships were

available. The First Lord of the Admiralty - a Civilian appointment - was Winston Churchill and he decided that

these men whould be put into uniform - formed into Naval Battalions and be sent to France to fight as soldiers.

This must have been a terrible shock to men trained as seamen - but the decision was typical of Churchill.

He sent untold numbers of men to their deaths because he always thought he was right.

The Naval personnel were formed into 8 Bns. - each named after a famous Admiral - Smith was in Hood Bn..

Their were enough men to form 3 Brigades and a 4th. was made-up from the Royal Marines.

The unit name was : British 63rd. (Royal Naval) Division.

They fought in their own uniforms - at first, had no proper equipment and were sent off to Belgium. They tookpart in the Defence of Antwerp and when forced to retreat 1500 men fled into Holland - which was neutral - and were


The Division saw service in Egypt - fought at Gallipoli - Greece - The Dardenelles. Severe casualties had reduced the number of sailors and in July 1916 it was re-named as the 63rd. Division and fought on the Western Front in

France for the balance of the War.

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ooooooohhhhh.... subject that made me cry....

I saw a mons star group to the division for a very, very reasonable price, contacted the seller within a couple of minutes of it being posted.... and 3 days later he came back and said..."sorry, someone else was faster"....

I made a wax doll and stuck pins in the lying bastid :-(

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The Miniature Group - from the look of it he had the Star gilded. Note, on the ribbon

there is an additional medal - The Africa Service Medal. He must have moved to South Africa

and during WW2 did Defence Duty. I think it has become lost, simply because he never bothered

to have it mounted on his group - probably didn't want to disturb them ?

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No Chris - we don't even know how Jenkins (the Naval Eng.) came to have them. He was probably guarding something?

Thankyou for comments - I think it is a good group with lots of history - if he survived without being wounded he was very lucky.

I think I'll hang-on to it for the present - however, a Strathcona's Horse would probably do the trick................

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Again - thankyou for comments - and Odulf - you really are very helpful with giving info. -

I promise you that all of our members are very grateful.

I found two pictures on Google that I will add to the thread. Acknowledgements to a good article by Douglas

Jerrold, that had these pictures.

This shows a young man of the Naval Division. Probably from later in the War - he is wearing khaki uniform

and his Naval cap is also khaki. He is carrying a .303Lee Enfield - which the men prior to Nov. 1914 didn't

have the good fortune to be issued with.


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Cap Badge for HOOD BATTALION. Worn on the khaki Naval cap.

Hi Mervyn,

This is not correct!

In the photo shown above, the cap tally is nown, NOT the brass cap badge.

The brass cap badge was worn on the Army style khaki woolen or cottom peaked or vizor cap, in combination with the Army style uniform, NOT on the Navy style sailor's hat.

See also my previous remark: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/50851-hms-tallies-how-to-tell-the-difference/page__st__20 #35

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