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TOPIC: Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 8 months 3 days ago #51495

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From the next DNW sale:


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Albert Medal, 2nd Class, for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea, bronze and enamel, the reverse officially engraved;
QSA (0) (A. Stickley, Ch. Sto., H.M.S. Powerful.);
1914-15 Star (131808, A. Stickley, Ch. Sto., R.N.);
BWM and VM (131808 A. Stickley. Ch. Sto. R.N.);
Coronation 1911, silver;
Royal Navy LS&GC, V.R., narrow suspension (A. Stickley, Ch. Stoer, H.M.S. Powerful.)

AM LG 17 February 1905: 'Presented by His Majesty to Chief Stoker Alfred Stickley, R.N., in recognition of the Gallantry displayed by him on the occasion of the explosion in the stokehold of H.M.S. “Success” on the 11th. day of June 1904’



‘On the morning of the 11th June 1904, at about 11:30, His Majesty’s Torpedo Boat Destroyer Success was steaming towards Lamlash, when it became apparent from deck, owing to the issue of steam from the funnel, that something was wrong in the after stokehold. Alfred Stickley, Chief Stoker, in accordance with the orders of the Engineer Officer, went below to ascertain the cause. On reaching the stokehold he found that there was an escape of steam from the top drum of No. 4 Boiler, which shortly caused one of the furnace doors which had been left unlatched to be blown open. The stokehold was immediately filled with flame and steam, and the men present were burnt and scalded. Stickley grasped the situation with promptness, showing the greatest presence of mind in the emergency, and ran great risks in endeavouring to minimise the consequences of the accident and prevent further injuries to the men.

In spite of the conditions in the stokehold, and his own severe exposure to the flames, he managed to open out the fans to their full extent, and made many gallant attempts to close the furnace door and open the drencher valve. Finding it was impossible to drive the flames back, he gave orders for the hatch to be opened, and himself remained below until the four men in the stokehold had effected their escape. His face and neck were severely burned, and his hands and forearms very badly scalded. For over four months he has been on the sick list suffering from his injuries. His lungs escaped injury, as he had the presence of mind to put cotton waste into his mouth while he was in the stokehold.’

Alfred Stickley was born on the Isle of Dogs, London, on 12 January 1867 and enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class on 1 April 1885, having previously been employed as a bargeman. Advanced Acting Chief Stoker on 14 April 1897, he transferred for service in H.M.S. Powerful on 8 June of that year, and was promoted Chief Stoker on 22 April 1898. He served in Powerful during operations on and off the coast of South Africa in the Boer War, and received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 30 August 1900, before transferring for service in H.M.S. Success on 1 April 1904. Severely burnt during his gallant act following the accident in the ship’s stokehold, his Captain wrote to him: ‘I consider you behaved so well during the accident and I am quite sure that you were the means of everyone coming on deck alive. Considering the damage done to No. 4 Boiler, I can only wonder that anybody came on deck at all as the boiler is now quite useless the drum being badly damaged and at least 34 tubes having gone.’ (letter to the recipient from Captain Osmond Prentis, dated 16 June 1904 refers). Recommended for the Albert Medal by Success’s captain, he was awarded his Albert Medal by H.M. King Edward VII on 9 February 1905, the investiture having been deferred for a considerable time on account of the recipient’s severe burns.

Drafted to H.M. Yacht Victoria and Albert on 15 February 1905 as a reward for his gallantry, ‘to be borne on the books as a permanent supernumerary until a vacancy occurs for a Chief Stoker, when he is to be absorbed into the compliment’ (the recipient’s service record refers), he had a long and pleasant commission in the Royal Yacht, before serving throughout the Great War, first in H.M.S. King Alfred from 4 August 1914, and then in H.M.S. Victory until the end of the War. He was finally shore pensioned on 29 March 1919, after 33 years’ service.
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David Biggins

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 8 months 1 day ago #51518

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I remember this group adorning an auction catalogue cover many years ago.


Pictures courtesy of DNW

DSO VR;
Albert Medal, 2nd Class, for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea, bronze and enamel, reverse officially engraved ‘Presented in the name of Her Majesty to Captain E. D .Thornburgh Cropper of the West Kent Militia for attempting to save the life of Thomas Nolan of Steam Ship “Idaho” on 6th. August 1878.’, reverse of the crown with maker’s cartouché Phillips, Cockspur St., and officially numbered ‘No. 41’, with originally-ordained narrow riband;
Jubilee 1897, silver (Captain E. D. Cropper. Pembroke Yeomanry Cavalry.);
SAGS (1) 1879 (Capt. E. D. Thornburgh Cropper ADC);
QSA (2) CC, OFS (Major E. D. Thornburgh Cropper. 30/Co. Imp. Yeo.) re-engraved naming;
Royal Humane Society, small bronze medal (unsuccessful) (Capt. E. D. Thornburgh Cropper. 6th. Aug. 1878) with top bronze riband buckle.

Provenance: Payne Collection 1911; W. F. Hughes Collection; Edkins Collection, Glendining’s, September 1986

D.S.O. London Gazette 26 September 1901.

A.M. London Gazette 5 June 1879:

‘At 11 a.m. on 6th August, 1878, as the steamship “Idaho”, belonging to the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, was in the act of crossing the bar of San Francisco Bay, outward bound, about two miles from the shore, Thomas Nolan, a coloured waiter, threw himself overboard. Immediately there was a cry of “a man overboard”, and Captain Cropper, a passenger, without a moment’s hesitation, threw off his coast and waistcoat, rushed to the stern, and jumped overboard. Although Captain Cropper made a most gallant attempt to reach the drowning man, Nolan sank before he was reached. Captain Cropper was subsequently picked up by the steamer’s lifeboat, after being in the water five-and-twenty minutes. The steamship was going eight knots at the time, and there was a high sea running with a westerly wind.’



Royal Humane Society Case No. 20514:

‘At 11 a.m. on 6th August 1878, in San Francisco Bay, North America, Captain E. D. T. Cropper, West Kent Militia, jumped overboard into a rough sea 8 fathoms deep and 2 miles from the shore and swam through water towards the drowning man, Thomas Nolan, a Negro waiter from the S.S “Idaho”, but he sank before being reached and was drowned. Cropper then undressed in the water and waited forty minutes until he was picked up by a boat.’

Edward Denman Thornburgh Cropper was born at Swaylands, Kent, in 1855, and educated at Eton. Commissioned Sub-Lieutenant in the West Kent Militia on 20 May 1875, he was advanced to Captain on 20 March 1878.

In August 1878, Thornburgh Cropper, having married a Californian lady by the name of Virginia in 1874 (although records about their marriage were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906), and whilst a passenger on board the 1,077 ton, 3 deck steamship Idaho, two miles from the shore in the Bay of San Francisco, made an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the life of a suicidal crewman who had thrown himself overboard. For his unsuccessful attempt to rescue the crewman, and one where it was considered that the risk of death to Thornburgh Cropper exceeded his chances of survival, he was awarded both the Albert Medal and the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal, the latter being sent to him in February 1879.

Thornburgh Cropper returned from America and served throughout the Zulu War as orderly officer and extra Aide-de-Camp to Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., and was present at Ulundi and with the flying column. He was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 21 August 1879), in which it is stated that he and Colonel the Hon. R. Needham, as orderly officers, ‘have worked continuously in assisting to get the column transport forward on the line of march’. He retired from the West Kent Militia on 29 January 1881, and was appointed a Captain in the Royal Pembroke Artillery on 29 June of that year. During the First Boer War in 1881 he again served as orderly officer to Sir Evelyn Wood, and was again Mentioned in Despatches. Following his return from South Africa he transferred to the Pembroke Yeomanry as a Lieutenant on 19 August 1885, and was promoted Captain on 15 June 1893.

Having reportedly served in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, Thornburgh Cropper was gazetted a Captain with the 30th (Pembrokeshire) Company, 9th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry, and served during the South African War. He was dangerously wounded near Bethlehem, in the Orange Free State, on 29 December 1900, most likely having fallen victim to the Boer’s isolated but effective guerrilla tactics and dumdum bullets. The following month he was promoted Major and honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the Pembroke Yeomanry Cavalry.

Mentioned in Lord Roberts’ Despatch (London Gazette 10 September 1901), and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for his services in South Africa, tragically Thornburgh Cropper did not live to receive either award, dying on 29 March 1901 from influenza and pneumonia whilst recuperating in London from an operation, presumably related to the severe wound he had received exactly three months previously. Described by an officer who knew him well, ‘he was an exceedingly popular officer in “club-land”, and also in the county. He has been described as one of the “Dare Devils” in the British Army.’

12 Albert Medals for Sea have been awarded to the Army. In addition, only 18 Albert Medals have been awarded for acts of gallantry in North America, 17 in Canada, and this unique award for gallantry in the United States of America.

Note: Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh Cropper’s original Queen’s South Africa Medal (which would have been issued posthumously to his next of kin is in Newarke House Museum in Leicester.
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David Biggins

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 4 months 1 week ago #53531

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Picture courtesy of Spink

From their catalogue in 1988. Estimate was £650.

Group of sixteen to Sidney John Miller

(a) Q.S.A. 3 bars Cape Colony, Orange Free State, S. Africa 1901 (Pte. Rl. Warwick Regt.).
(b) Royal Victorian Medal George VI, silver.
(c) 1902 Edward VH Coronation Medal bronze.
(d) 1911 George V Coronation Medal.
(e) 1935 George V Jubilee Medal.
(f) 1937 George VI Coronation Medal.
(g) Royal Household Faithful Service Medal Geo. V with bar ‘Twenty years’ (J. Miller).
(h) France, Medal of Honour silver.
(i) Italy, Royal Service Medal, Vittorio Emanuele III gold medal.
(j) Russia, Medal for Zeal silver, Nicholas II, with St. Anne riband.
(k) Belgium. King Albert Service Medal silver.
(l) Norway, King Haakon Coronation 1906 Medal bronze.
(m) Greece, Royal Household Medal silver.
(n) Roumania, Loyal Service Cross 3rd Class bronze.
(o) Yugoslavia, Royal Household Medal Alexander I, gilt with crown.
(p) Greece, Medal of the Order of George I gilt.

The lot included two photographs and full biographical details which show that he entered the royal household in 1902 and retired in 1943. Assistant valet to George V.
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David Biggins

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 3 months 1 day ago #54277

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A London Blitz GM group to Lt Cdr T A Herriott, RN.


Picture courtesy of Morton and Eden.

GM GVI (Lieut. Cdr. Thomas Herriott, R.N.);
QSA (0) (T. A. Herriott, Lg. Sean. H.M.S. Terrible);
China (1) Relief of Pekin (T. A. Herriott. Lg. Sean, H.M.S. Terrible,);
1914-15 Star (Gnr. T. A. .Herriott, R.N.);
[BWM]
[VM]
[DM]

GM LG 23 September 1941 ‘for fortitude and devotion to duty while serving with a fire party during an air raid on the Port of London’

Original recommendation states: ‘The ship was alongside the pontoon of Tower Pier during a heavy raid. Many fire bombs were dropped. Lieutenant Commander Herriott led a party of two Officers and four Seamen on to the pontoon to put out fires, and to bring an A.F.S. pump into action. Soon after midnight a heavy bomb struck the pontoon, killing or mortally wounding the four Seamen and wounding both Officers. Lieutenant Commander Herriott’s right arm was shattered and has since been amputated. In spite of this he devoted himself, with total disregard to his own condition, to tending and encouraging the wounded. When a rescue party arrived, he refused to have anything done for himself. He took charge of the work removing the injured. This Officer displayed the greatest courage throughout the whole attack.’)

Thomas Albert Herriott was born 3 September 1878 at Lillington, Sussex, and entered the Royal Navy in time to serve as Leading Seaman aboard H.M.S. Terrible towards the end of the Second Anglo Boer War. He was also present aboard this ship during the Boxer Rebellion in China, where he took part in the Relief of Pekin. He reached the rank of Gunner, and served for a time aboard H.M.S. Drake between November 1904 and January 1910, where none other than Captain John Jellicoe considered Herriott ‘Zealous and Promising’. He continued to serve aboard Seahorse, Shannon, and Good Hope before the outbreak of WWI, often taking on additional duties as Navigating Officer.

He served aboard H.M.S. Duncan on 8 August 1914, and later transferred to the General Craufurd on 6 January 1917 thus being present in support of the First Ostend Raid in April 1918. He was promoted to the commissioned position of Chief Gunner soon after on 13 September 1918, and passed his officer examinations to become Lieutenant on 31 December 1921 whilst serving aboard Racer. He continued to serve in this capacity until repeated dislocation of his shoulder appears to have led to his discharge and retirement at Haslar on 3 September 1928, when he was placed on the retired list. He was then promoted to Lieutenant Commander (Retired) on 21 December 1929. In civilian life he resided in Cowplain near Portsmouth , and took up the positions of Chairman of Havant and Waterlooville Urban District Council, member of Hampshire County Council.

He rejoined the Royal Navy early in 1940 to serve in WW2, presumably for home service (given his age at 62). While doing so, he was recommended for the George Medal for battling with incendiaries which had fallen on Tower Pier, Tower Bridge, at the Port of London, on the night of 7 8 September 1940. This night was the first night of the London ‘Blitz’ which would continue unrelenting for a further 56 nights. Whilst specific details regarding the incident remain scant (other than those provided above), we know that Lieutenant Commander Herriott was seriously wounded and most of his team were killed by a German bomb, and that Herriott lost his forearm as a direct result of his injuries. Tower Pier was located just in front of the Tower itself, and close by the iconic Tower Bridge. Herriott was awarded the George Medal the following year, and his picture was included in several important newspapers at that time. He sadly died soon after the culmination of war on 30 July 1946, at the age of 67, being buried at Waterlooville Cemetery.


photo, taken on the same evening of 7 September 1940
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David Biggins

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 2 months 2 weeks ago #54491

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Have been watching the sale of the GM/QSA group. It hammered for £5,000. Then there's the 27.5% fees!

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David Biggins

Unusual medal combinations that include a QSA 2 months 2 weeks ago #54492

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I think the price actually paid by Thomas Herriott was very considerably greater, he certainly paid an appalling price for his actions, I really do not think his medal group was expensive.

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