QSA (4) Relief of Mafeking, Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal (149 Tpr: J.Fowler. Imp: Lt Horse);
KSA (2) (1501 Tpr: J.Fowler. Steinaecker's H.);
1914 Star (89613 Gnr: J.Fowler. R.F.A.);
BWM and VM (89613 Gnr. J.Fowler R.A.).
James Fowler, born in England 11 May 1872; served in Royal Horse Artillery for 7 years and then for two years as a Trooper in Imperial Light Horse; fought at the Battle of Elandslaagte on 21 Oct 1899 and was with the forces in Ladysmith throughout the siege; marched with Mahon's column to relieve the siege of Mafeking; Enrolled 9 Oct 1901 at Pietermaritzburg, Sth Africa in Steinaecker's Horse at age 29 while working as a bricklayer; Discharged 7 Feb 1903 at Pietermaritzburg following disbandment of regiment and campaign medals forwarded to Kingstone Park, near Dorchester, England; WWI: served with Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner.
DSO Ed VII;
QSA (7) Colony, Relief of Mafeking, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 (Major. G.T.M.Bridges, Imp: L. H.);
AGS 1902 (2) Somaliland 1902-04, Jidballi (Bt:Maj. G.T.M.Bridges, D.S.O. R.F.A);
1914 Star, - clasp - 5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914 [Unnamed];
British War Medal 1914-18 [Unnamed];
Victory Medal 1914-19 with MID [Unnamed].
Also awarded Commander Legion of Honour 3rd and 4th Classes (France); Croix de Guerre with 2 Palmes (France); Order of Leopold 4th Class (Belgium); Grand Cross 1st Class and 2nd Class of the Order of the Crown (Belgium); Croix de Guerre with Palme (Belgium); Order of Danneborg (Denmark); Order of the Crown 2nd Class (Italy); Distinguished Service Medal (USA).
Together with a book titled, Alarms & Excursions, Reminiscences of a Soldier by Lieut-Gen. Sir Tom Bridges K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O., LL.D, with a foreword by The Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill P.C., C.H., M.P., hard cover, pp361.
DSO: LG 6/9/1904 to Captain and Brevet Major Goerge Tom Molesworth Bridges in recognition of services during the operations in Somaliland.
MID: 8/2/1901 and 29/7/1902 and WWI: 19/10/1914, 15/12/1914, 17/2/1915, 13/4/1915, 22/6/1915, 1/1/1916, 12/1/1916, 4/1/1917, 27/2/1918.
George Tom Molesworth Bridges, born 20 Aug 1871, the son of Major T.W.Bridges Royal (late Bengal) Artillery and Mary Ann Bridges (nee Philippi); joined Royal Artillery 19 Feb 1892; to Lieutenant 19 Feb 1895; to Captain 05 Apr 1900; served in Boer War and was given Brevet of Major 22 Aug 1902; served in Somaliland as Special Service Officer 1902-04; Staff Captain and later G.S.O.3, HQs of Army Feb-Nov 1901; Instructor at Cavalry School Dec 1907-Jun 1908; to Major with 4th Dragoons 19 Aug 1908; served as Military Attache at The Hague, Brussels, Copenhagen and Christiania Mar 1910-Mar 1914; to Lt-Colonel of 4th Hussars 20 Sep 1914; WWI: Head of Military Mission with Belgian Field Army; CO of 19Div Dec 1915-Oct 1917 with a brief absence as a Military Member of Mr. Balfour's Mission to USA; to Maj-General 01 Jan 1917; Temp Lt-General Apr-Jun 1917; Head of British War Mission to USA in 1918; Temp Lt-General Jan 1919; Chief of British Military Mission to the Army of the Orient 09 Jan 1920.
During the Anglo-Boer War George Bridges was an officer in the Imperial Light Horse. He also was in command of the 5th and 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry from May to July 1901. He led the relief columns into both Ladysmith and Mafeking. During the war he was twice mentioned in despatches and was also severely wounded. In 1904 he was sent to Somaliland where he raised and commanded the Tribal Horse and was again severely wounded this time at the Battle of Jidballi. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order during this campaign.
At the start of WWI Bridges' unit was the first British unit to engage the Germans. He later commanded the 15th Division in France and was wounded a further three times including having his leg blown off. In 1917 he went to the United States of America with the Balfour Mission in order to consolidate American involvement in the war. He was the senior military member of the mission and was awarded the USA Distinguished Service Medal.
In 1922 he accepted an appointment as Governor of South Australia following urging by his friend and admirer, Winston Churchill. He took up the post on 4 December 1922. Bridges held very conservative views and did not get along very well with the Labor Government that was in control for some of the time of his tenure. When his term of office ended on 4 December 1927 he refused a second term as governor and returned to England. In retirement he wrote his memoirs which was published in 1938. Sir George Tom Molesworth Bridges KCB, KCMG, DSO, (known as Sir Tom Bridges), died on 26 November 1939 at Brighton, United Kingdom.
-QSA, Cape Colony, Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Transvaal
engraved in running script to :
Capt. & Paymr : W. St John Carr Imp. Lt Horse :
-Knight Bachelors Badge, hallmarked London 1926
-Knight of St Gregory (Vatican)
QSA, Relief of Mafeking, Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal
Impressed to :
594 Tpr R St John Carr Imp Lt Horse
Whilst on honeymoon in the UK in 1990, we stayed with my wife's gran, Joyce, who lived in Shirley. We travelled by bus into Birmingham one day and along the way passed a row of shops and my eye was drawn by the sign "The Military Shop". We stopped off on the way back and I purchased my first QSA (to a Sapper in the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers, with RoM & Rhodesia clasps), from the shop owner Frank Marsh. This would start a regular buying of medals from Frank over the years when his quarterly typed catalogue dropped into my postbox, and Frank would drop off a little parcel of medals I had brought during the year at Granny Joyce, who would bring them out with her on her annual trip to South Africa.
I remember first seeing this pair on a catalogue, and I knew the name St. John Carr as this name kept on being featured in numerous publications and archival material that I was accumulating in my research on a QSA to Supt. Sister St Barnabe, one of the original nursing staff at the Johannesburg Hospital. I saw the price on the catalog and realised that there was no way I could afford it and so reluctantly passed it over. I was extremely miserable for a time after this
About 9 months later the latest catalogue from Frank arrived and there was just the QSA to Captain and Paymaster W. St. John Carr, no mention of the QSA to his son. I knew then I had to have it and wrote off to Frank to reserve it. A few weeks later the reply came saying that Carr's medal was reserved for me and would I be interested in the QSA to his son, which he had just relocated after misplacing it. Another letter was sent confirming both, a payment plan was put in place, and after another 6 months it duly arrived via Granny Joyce on her annual holiday.
Along the way much research and photographs have been added from various sources as well as a copy of his letters he wrote whilst in Ladysmith, this journal was located in the Wolfsonian Library in Florida USA.
As per his entry in "Men of our Times", he was a prominent member of Johannesburg society as well as the Cathlolic Church and was awarded the insignia of the Vatican Knight of Saint Gregory. As the Chairman of the Johannesburg Hospital Board in 1988 it was his vote that carried the resolution to appoint 5 French Nuns of the Holy Family of Bordeaux as nursing staff, thus the connection to the QSA to Supt Sister St Barnabe which is in my collection.
Both father and son were in Ladysmith during the siege, but William only arrived the day after Elandslaagte, where he was attached to the HQ as a Sergeant until an officers post became vacant and he was appointed with the rank of Captain and Paymaster. I discovered copies of the letters he wrote to his wife whilst in Ladysmith, the original bound journal being held by the Wolfsonian Institute in America. An interesting man being involved in the early days of Johannesburg, chairman of the Hospital Board, member of the Stock Exchange, arrested, imprisoned and fined £2000 for the part played as a member of the Reform Committee and the abortive Jameson Raid. Would become first elected Mayor of Johannesburg in 1903, before resigning and being appointed Chairman of the newly formed Rand Water Board. Knighted for his service to the Empire and as a prominent Catholic was awarded the Papel Knighthood of St Gregory.
A very nice group to a father and son who served together during the Ladysmith siege, was lucky to find a captioned photo in Museum Afrika of the two of them outside a tent in Ladysmith. Tons of research done, but his entry in 'Men of Our Times' appended tells more.
When the streets in Newtown, Johannesburg were renamed to reflect "struggle icons", (I use this term lightly) Carr Street was the only street that retained its original colonial name, as well as the Carr Street off ramp on the N1 highway.
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, Brett Hendey