Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
sutton-in-craven

Unidentified (unofficial) silver medal Oct 1914 ?

Recommended Posts

sutton-in-craven   
sutton-in-craven

Hi everyone, I've been a medal collector for 20 odd years, but have never seen a medal like this before.

The number 1279 on the reverse is the regimental number of Pte Duncan Grant from Scotland who served with the Royal Fusliers. He was later KIA on 24th March 1918

Can anyone identify this medal and offer an explanation as to what it is all about, who would have awarded it, etc

Thanks very much, regards Andrew

post-47732-0-20174000-1312364306.jpg

post-47732-0-26864900-1312364314.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sepoy   
Sepoy

Andrew

It was given to the original volunteers of the Sportsmen's Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers by Mrs Cunnliffe-Owen. These medallions can be traceable using the Regimental Number engraved on it.

Regards

Sepoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sepoy   
Sepoy

Having a quick look in records to hand, it was awarded to 1279 Private Duncan Grant, 23rd (Sportsman's) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers who was born in Culpar, Fife and enlisted in Newton Stewart. He was a resident of Edinburgh.

Lance Corporal Duncan Grant was killed in action on 24th March, 1918, whilst serving with the 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (numbered G/49265) and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial

Sepoy

NB am rushing to go to work and have just noticed you already have this info!

A Roll of the original Volunteers can be found in the 23rd Battalion's Regimental history which can be downloaded at archives.org. I have 3 of these medallions, but have only been able to trace 2!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Piorun   
Piorun

This looks like a good luck charm given (not awarded) by the COs wife. Not unusual but much out of fashion now, methinks. Antony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sutton-in-craven   
sutton-in-craven

That's excellent fellas, thanks very much for that very useful information. :D

Actually, Duncan's brother (Peter) was also KIA on the exact same day - 24th March 1918. A third brother served with the Royal Flying Corps and survived the war. I have all three medal groups in my collection (but not the 2 Death Plaques). :poppy:

I've searched extensively, but in vain, for a war memorial in Scotland that lists both Duncan & Peter Grant on the same name tablet. That said, I'm not exactly sure whether there is one for them

Thanks again fellas, regards Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theoden   
Theoden

Mrs Cunliffe-Owen wasn't the CO's wife, but what would be described today as a sponsor. She organised and partly funded the raising of two battalions of sportsmen, the 23rd and 24th, opening an office at the Hotel Cecil in the Strand - and in light of this, it is interesting to see members of the original battalions enlisted elsewhere.

She originally envisaged their being raised as mounted infantry, following Boer War experience, but of course, in 1914-15, it was infantry that was needed primarily. Appeals in the press brought a large response from sportsmen of all kinds, from footballers and cricketers, such as my grandfather, who joined up after hearing (incorrectly) that the England batsman, Jack Hobbs, had joined, to mountaineers and big game hunters. She supervised some of the recruiting herself, and could be selective - when my grandfather joined in January 1915, she was present at the hotel, and turned one man down for wearing the typical working men's scarf rather than a tie!

The two battalions served in France and Belgium from December 1915 to the end of the war, and entered Germany in January 1919, by which time only six of the original 900-odd men of the 24th Battalion remained, my grandfather, now a company sergeant-major, among them. Not all of these men had been killed or were missing, however - many men were posted to a different battalion from hospital after being wounded, and because of the slightly elitist nature of the recruiting base in 1914-15, some dozens of men had joined as Tommies but were subsequently commissioned - always in other battalions. Interestingly, my grandfather was asked in 1918 if he wanted to go for a commission, but declined for precisely this reason - he wanted to see the war out with his friends.

The Museum of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at the Tower of London, has much more information on the two Sportsmen's Battalions.

Incidentally, I would be really glad to hear from any Sportsmen's Battalion descendants, as I'm hoping to start a descendants' register, and perhaps an association, in time for the centenary of the raising of the two Battalions in 2014.

Best regards, Colin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×