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Two medals, two doctors, two ships

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Ebay is a for many of us  a chance to buy a piece of history but sometimes that "buy in now" button can  cause a sense of dread....especially when you buy the wrong medal.....I had been watching a single 1915 Star to an RAMC doctor and when I saw the price had been reduced pressed that "buy in now" button, only to realise that it was the wrong medal.....wanting the other one (same dealer) I then bought the other one (the one I wanted),,,,,I went to bed thinking how stupid I was spending money I could ill afford................the first medal 

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Single 1915 star to Major William Sylvester Crosthwait, served on the Hospital Ship SS Braemar Castle and during the Gallipoli landings in the Hospital ship Assaye,  Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Royal Army Medical Corps.

While on the Braemar Castle as senior medical officer he was mentioned in despatches 1918 as the officer who was in charge of the life boats when the ship hit a mine


“Perhaps the best testimony to the behaviour of those on board was contained in a letter from Lieutenant‑Colonel J. C. B. Statham, R.A.M.C., to Lord Methuen, the Governor of Malta, dated December 4th, 1916, from Intarfa Hospital. All the patients, except those actually killed by the explosion, were speedily got into the ship's boats, the result being due, as Colonel Statham said, not only to the splendid handling of the ship by the com­mander and crew, but also to the efforts of the senior medical officer, Major W. S. Crosthwait, R.A.M.C., who had been in charge of the boat drill preparations, and whose efforts had largely secured that, when the emergency actually occurred, there was no panic whatsoever. The patients were landed at Syra, the Greek and French hospitals being placed at their disposal as well as the French convent school”.

He went on to be a  Surgeon for the P&O Company and a Civil Surgeon, Hospital Ship Princes of Wales













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Edited by dante
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The medal I purchased by mistake:

Captain Hugh Forrest RAMC, a pre-war territorial who was awarded the Territorial Decoration (TD) in 1928, he served with the Lowland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance on board the SS Arcadian landing at Cape Helles Gallipoli 29/09/1915 attached to the 52nd (Lowland) Division until 30 December when it was evacuated to Mudros. He remained attached to 52nd (Lowland) Division serving in Palestine and France.

In 1919 he joined the Merchant Navy as a Surgeon serving though out WW2 including the Cunard White Star “Northumberland” in 1944

On June 23 1953 in the port of Beira Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique) Dr Forrest was on duty on board the SS Clan Sutherland when the Norwegian tanker Fenheim blew up and spread gasoline on the water which then caught fire and spread to the Fenheim and four other ships including the Clan Sutherland, during this fire in which 50 stevedores died, Dr Forrest was badly burnt fighting the fire and died in Beira hospital, he was buried at sea. 

I would like to think it was all for a reason.........








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Tell your bank manager / significant other that this was karma.  You were meant to own both!

And, yes, thanks for sharing the stories.  As I recently said on another forum, I really believe that the RAMC and RE and their colonial offspring contained some of the bravest men in the forces.  Many can be brave with a weapon in hand; to do what these men did day in and day out takes a bit extra, IMHO.


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Thank you Gentleman, I was talking to a colleague about them today and how after all these years you can bring there lives back....you can get quite sentimental about this stuff sometimes....its is a great hobby....    

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I think we have all been there, hit on the wrong medal then realize it moments later. I will happen again you know. Every medal tells a story of a life lived. I have been quite surprised at some things that have come up.

Both are keepers in my mind. 

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