I have been pondering approximately (very approximately as you'll see) how many QSA and Military Medals combinations there are.
The answer is out there but it will take some time to determine it, so in the long interim, here is a possible calculation.
Of the 500,000 men who took part in the Boer War, I estimate that 1 in 20 took part in the Great War. 5% of 500,000 is 25,000 men.
8.7m allied soldiers took part in the Great War. 115,000 MM and 5,700 second award bars were issued.
The chance of being awarded an MM was 1 in 75 and for a first bar was 1 in 1,526. This does make the assumption that all the 8.7m men and women were eligible for the MM which is not correct.
If I continue the calculation, the number of ex-Boer War soldier with the MM is 330 and with MM* is 1.4.
This is pure speculation of course but interesting speculation for all that!
Here is the MM* to George William Ash.
Picture courtesy of DNW
MM* (20236 Sjt., 15/Hants. R.)
QSA (5) CC OFS Tr 02 01 (6589 Dmr., Rl. Innis. Fus.)
BWM (20236 A.W.O. Cl. 2, Hamps. R.)
MM LG 9 December 1916. Bar to MM LG 16 August 1917.
George William Ash was born in Marylebone, London. A Musician by occupation he attested for the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Hounslow on 23 February 1900, aged 15 years, 8 months. He was appointed a Drummer on 23 April 1900 and served in South Africa, November 1900-April 1902, qualifying for the Queen’s medal with all the above clasps. Drummer Ash was discharged on 22 February 1912 on the termination of his first period of engagement. In the Great War he re-enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment.
Private W. Casey, Gloucester Regiment, late Coldstream Guards
MM (2753 Pte. W. Casey, 1/Glouc. R.)
QSA (6) Belm MR Drie Joh DH Belf (8100 Pte. W. Casey, Cldstm. Gds.)
KSA (2) (8100 Pte. W. Casey, Coldstream Guards)
1914-15 Star (2753 Pte. W. Casey, Glouc. R.)
BWM & VM & MID (2753 Pte. W. Casey, Glouc. R.)
MM LG 14 September 1916.
William Casey was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and enlisted in the Coldstream Guards in June 1890, aged 18 years. Having then been discharged to the Army Reserve in May 1897, he was recalled on the outbreak of the Boer War and saw action with the 2nd Battalion (Queen’s Medal & 6 clasps; King’s Medal & 2 clasps). He was discharged on his return to the UK in the summer of 1902.
Rejoining the Colours after the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Reynolds was wounded in the head at Barleux in May 1915 while serving in the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment - ‘the wounded man, Private Casey, had been a guardsman years earlier. Now he must have been nearly fifty years old, yet he was full of life and dash’ (Regimental records, refer).
Back in action with the Battalion at the Battle of Loos, he was recommended for the DCM for his gallantry on 26 September 1915, when he ‘volunteered to go out with Lieutenant Hewitt and Corporal Holder to look for Major Stevenson’ after a gas attack (Regimental records, refer): in the event an unsuccessful recommendation.
However, he was mentioned in despatches in the following year (London Gazette 15 June 1916, refers), and was awarded the MM, the latter distinction possibly in respect of the Battalion’s attack at Contalmaison on the Somme on 16 July 1916.
REG. NO.: 7287
REGT: ROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERS
BARS: CAPE COLONY, ORANGE FREE STATE, TRANSVAAL, SOUTH AFRICA 1901
REMARKS / HISTORY:
1) MILITARY MEDAL - 32880 - PTE. P. KEANE, 1st ROYAL SCOTS FUSILIERS
2) 1914 STAR WITH MONS BAR - 3-3092 PTE. P. KEANE, ROYAL HIGHLANDERS, (BLACK WATCH)
3) WAR MEDAL - INTERALLIED VICTORY MEDAL - 3-3092 PTE. P. KEANE, ROYAL HIGHLANDERS, (BLACK WATCH)
4) MILITARY MEDAL - LONDON GAZETTE 28th JANUARY 1918 - NO CITATION.
5) 1914 STAR AND BAR VERIFIED ON MEDAL CARD ENTERED FRANCE 09/11/14
6) QSA MEDAL WAS FORFEITED BUT REISSUED FEBRUARY 5th 1907
7) MILITARY MEDAL HAS NO CITATION.
Ah, a good stats question! As Muerig suggests, tailor-made for us who spend an inordinate amount of time on databases . I have wanted an NZMR/NZEF MM/QSA combo for a few years now, but with only 17 individual men receiving one, it's a bit of a holy grail.
Here's my numbers from the New Zealand perspective, bearing in mind the absolute numbers may change a little, the percentages will not vary by much:
NZEF served overseas (calculated so far): 97,512
Those with previous is Boer War (NZ Contingents only): 1138 (1.16%)
NZEF MM's: 2066
NZEF MM's with NZMR Boer War service: 18 (including 1 MM*)
Percentage of MM's to those who served: 2.12%
Percentage of MM's to those with NZMR Boer War service: 1.58%
So Boer War men are generally under-represented in terms of MM's awarded. I guess this is possibly to be expected given their age often meant they were not always in front-line roles, or didn't last too long before becoming ill etc.
There are a further six men (so far) who had previous non-NZMR Boer War service and who were awarded an MM, bringing the percentage up to 1.69%. This will almost certainly drop as more non-NZMR men in the NZEF come to light.
I'd love to say these numbers will translate to other forces, but it is well recorded that the NZEF suffered from a lack of medallic recognition during the first 2-3 years of the war, so probably doesn't reflect the ratios accurately in terms of the BEF/AIF/CEF etc.
MM GV (2-5848 Sjt: J. Grady. 1/R.M. Fus:)
QSA (3) CC Tr Witt (5848 Pte. J. Grady, Munster Fus:)
KSA (2) (5848 Pte. J. Grady, Rl: Munster Fus:)
IGS 1908 (1) North West Frontier 1908 (5848 Pte. J. Grady 1st Rl. M. Fus.)
1914 Star, with copy slip-on clasp (5848 Pte. J. Grady. R. Muns: Fus:)
BWM & VM (5848 Sjt. J. Grady. R. Mun. Fus.)
Army LS&GC GV (2-5848 Sjt: J. Grady. R. Muns: Fus:)
Mounted as worn, contact marks, otherwise very fine or better £500-600
MM LG 19 November 1917: 2/5848 Sjt. J. Grady, R.M. Fus. (Limerick).