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casperdog

Major F.R.G. French of the 4th Dragoon Guards NOT F.R.G. Forsyth !

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casperdog
Posted (edited)

The puzzle is now solved! The sword was owned not by Major Forsyth, but by Major French, both of the 4th Dragoon Guards and both share the same initials. So helpful people thought it was Forsyth, but the Wilkinson's records seem to show it was purchased by F.R.G. French in 1917 (18th July of that year).

 

I have the cavalry sword World war 1 of an Officer from the British Army. Early brief research shows the sword to have been made 1914 to 1917. It is the 1912 pattern type.

 

I have also noted the initials on the sword are: FRGF.

 

The initials may stand for Major Forsyth He might have served in the (4th?) Dragoon Guards. If anyone can help me I'd be so grateful.

 

Dave

NOTE: If you just opened this, to save you following the whole thread, some diligent members have helped find who the sword belonged to. It's almost certain it belonged to Lt.Colonel Forsyth 4th Dragoon Guards. Dave

 

 

P1030290.JPG

P1030291.JPG

P1030289.JPG

Edited by casperdog

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Mark1959

Can you say how you arrived at the conclusion re poss being Major French. Plus why you think he is 5DG. Cannot find any officer file at the National Archives with that name.

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HolymoleyRE
Posted (edited)

Equally

 

Maj FRG Forsyth MC Signal Service 1920 (late 4th DG)

Capt FRG Forsyth Seaforth Highlanders

 

Edited by HolymoleyRE

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casperdog
3 minutes ago, Mark1959 said:

Can you say how you arrived at the conclusion re poss being Major French. Plus why you think he is 5DG. Cannot find any officer file at the National Archives with that name.

Hi Mark,

 

you may well be correct. I rang Milner's who have the Wilkinson Sword records. I am willing to pay, but the chap checked for me and I thought he said it was ''Major French'' and I thought he said 5th Dragoon Guards to be fair, however, I may have misheard him. All I know for certain is that it was made between 1914 - 17 (via Poley's Swords who told me this) and it has the intials: FRGF on the blade.

 

Sorry if I put forward unclear information. Milner's obviously want me to send my money and they appear to have records worth pursuing.

 

Dave

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casperdog
Posted (edited)

Here is the Wilkinson Sword stamped serial number. I expect I'll just have to pay Milner's but it'll be worth it I expect.

 

Thanks HolyMoleyRE too. Maj FRG Forsyth MC late 4th DG that sounds a good match and interesting too.

 

Much appreciated.

 

Dave

P1030287.JPG

Edited by casperdog

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HolymoleyRE
Posted (edited)

He went on to be an Honorary Col in the Royal Signals

Edited by HolymoleyRE

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HolymoleyRE

Wilkinson manufacture dates

Screenshot_20170519-205043.jpg

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casperdog
1 minute ago, HolymoleyRE said:

He went on to be am Honorary Col in the Royal Signals

Hi,

 

appreciate your efforts HolyMoleyRE , yes the dates tie up on this now thanks.

 

There cannot be too many (I am assuming Cavalry) British Officers who have the initials FRGF in WW1 so we're getting closer ! It's a Cavalry Sword 1912 Pattern, so once Milner's gets back to me, I'll post up. 

 

This gets addictive.

 

Dave

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casperdog
3 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

It would seem all the other forums and a previous thread on GWF point to Richard Milner

https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?department=Medals&lot_id=179067

 

 Oh my goodness, if it is him, what a result. I have just purchased this with no provenance, whatsoever. I do hope it is this guy:

 

'' Lieutenant-Colonel F. R. G. Forsyth, 4th Dragoon Guards, late Scottish Rifles, Northumberland Fusiliers and Seaforth Highlanders, who was twice wounded and once gassed on the Western Front''

 

Dave

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HolymoleyRE
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

Equally

 

Maj FRG Forsyth MC Signal Service 1920 (late 4th DG)

Capt FRG Forsyth Seaforth Highlanders

 

Same man I think....

 

MC was gazetted 1 Nov 1916

Edited by HolymoleyRE

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casperdog
1 minute ago, HolymoleyRE said:

Same man I think....

 

My knowledge of arms is not extensive, but an Officer in the Seaforth Highlanders would have an Infantry officer's sword (1896 Pattern)? But I may be wholly incorrect?

 

I seem to remember the chap at Milner's today (over the phone) mentioning the ''Dragoon Guards'' which means that it was Forsyth of the 4th (not the 5th as I thought he said) Dragoon Guards.

 

Oh well, if it is, I shall be most pleased. I suspect it may be the 4th Dragoon Guards, simply because although these swords were not rare they were only  issued (as far as I am aware) to serving Cavalry Officers in the British Army. But I may well be incorrect in this view, to be fair.

 

Dave

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HolymoleyRE
14 minutes ago, casperdog said:

 

My knowledge of arms is not extensive, but an Officer in the Seaforth Highlanders would have an Infantry officer's sword (1896 Pattern)? But I may be wholly incorrect?

 

I seem to remember the chap at Milner's today (over the phone) mentioning the ''Dragoon Guards'' which means that it was Forsyth of the 4th (not the 5th as I thought he said) Dragoon Guards.

 

Oh well, if it is, I shall be most pleased. I suspect it may be the 4th Dragoon Guards, simply because although these swords were not rare they were only  issued (as far as I am aware) to serving Cavalry Officers in the British Army. But I may well be incorrect in this view, to be fair.

 

Dave

Seaforth had a basket hilted sword, transfer to dragoons may have meant a swap...

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casperdog
15 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

Seaforth had a basket hilted sword, transfer to dragoons may have meant a swap...

Yes, I expect as he moved to a different regiment, he'd have the appropriate sword. Very interesting.

 

Thanks for all the detective work! I can't think who else it could be, it all seems to tie together well. He eventually ended up as a senior officer and lots of fruit salad too (as they called medal ribbons in WW2) .

 

The guy in Milner's said Dragoon Guards, so it was the 4th D.G. and although it's not definitely him 100% , I doubt the chances of someone having such a distinctive set of similar 4 initials would be very slim.

 

Thanks again. Appreciated.

 

Dave.

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Colin W Taylor

There are no other officers listed on the transcribed medal rolls with the initials 'FRG' and a surname beginning with 'F'; the only caveat being that an officer fitting these criteria may not have served overseas.

 

I would be pretty confident that it's Forsyth.

 

Getting a copy of his service records from the MoD would help confirm his detailed movements.  A search of the London Gazette might identify when he transferred from Infantry to cavalry; if it's late 1917 you can be fairly confident that he's your man.

 

Regards

 

Colin

 

 

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casperdog
9 minutes ago, Colin W Taylor said:

There are no other officers listed on the transcribed medal rolls with the initials 'FRG' and a surname beginning with 'F'; the only caveat being that an officer fitting these criteria may not have served overseas.

 

I would be pretty confident that it's Forsyth.

 

Getting a copy of his service records from the MoD would help confirm his detailed movements.  A search of the London Gazette might identify when he transferred from Infantry to cavalry; if it's late 1917 you can be fairly confident that he's your man.

 

Regards

 

Colin

 

 

Cheers Colin. Really helpful. Once I manage to get confirmation either way, I'll post up on the forum.

 

Thanks to all.

 

Dave

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HolymoleyRE

I haven't found another man either.

 

His Officer records are at the TNA under 4th Dragoons, seems to have spent a fair amount of time attached to to the Royal Engineers (good man!) involved with signals, so would the Dragoons have need for a Signals Officer?

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C695237

 

 

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casperdog
26 minutes ago, HolymoleyRE said:

I haven't found another man either.

 

His Officer records are at the TNA under 4th Dragoons, seems to have spent a fair amount of time attached to to the Royal Engineers (good man!) involved with signals, so would the Dragoons have need for a Signals Officer?

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C695237

 

 

Holymoley RE

 

thanks to you as well!

 

By the way, just purchased this little beauty....swagger stick probably WW1 (but George V), marked for the Royal Engineers :-) Thought you'd like to see it !

 

Dave

 

 

P1030301.JPG

P1030303.JPG

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HolymoleyRE
Posted (edited)

A great piece...a true Sapper "tapper"

 

REgards

 

Andy

Edited by HolymoleyRE

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HolymoleyRE
Posted (edited)

His MC seems to be in the King's New Year Honours, therefore no citation.

 

1 of 4 brothers who all served in the War, one killed? The youngest was awarded the DSO.

 

Andy

 

 

Edited by HolymoleyRE

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HarryBrook

Captain F. R. G. Forsyth transferred from Seaforth Highlanders to 4th Dragoon Guards on 23 December 1916, at the time he was seconded to the Army Signals Service and remained so.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29875/page/12480

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HarryBrook

Without going into every Gazette notification, he served in the T.A. after the war in the Army Signals Service and later Royal Corps of Signals.

His Regular Army rank was Capt. and Brevet Major.

He was granted the rank of temp. Lt.-Col. on being appointed to command 51st (Highland) Divisional Signals, T.A., on 16 December 1925 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33114/page/8281

He resigned his commission in the T.A. on 30 October 1928 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33114/page/8281 retaining his T.A. rank of Lt.-Col., and ceased to belong the Regular Army Reserve of Officers on 10 November 1932  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33893/page/8034

He retired from the T.A. Reserve of Officers on 20 August 1938 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34543/page/5358  and was made Hon. Col. in the Royal Corps of Signals on 18 November 1941 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37073/supplement/2475 (note: that he was being paid retired pay as a Bt. Maj.).

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casperdog
Posted (edited)

Thank you Harry Brook (as well as others). Lots of good detail here.

 

I did a short summary of Frederick's life below. I know little of his family. As Holeymoley RE mentioned, he had some brothers. I am not sure, but I think all or some were killed in WW1? He came from a military family.

 

Once again invaluable help and assistance by all.

 

Frederick Richard Gerrard Forsyth (1882 – 1962)

Frederick started his military career in South Africa, April 1901, just as Queen Victoria’s reign was ending. He saw active service in South Africa (the Boer War), then in India, the North West Frontier (now Afghanistan), France (World War One) and Salonika and finally in Ireland (1918 -19).

He retired from the army in the mid-1920s. He won a number of medals and was mentioned in dispatches. Wounded a number of times, he was gassed in Ypres. He won the Military Cross (M.C.) in 1915. In 1917 he was wounded in the Ypres salient and it appears his active war service was over. In 1926 he was placed on the retired list and resigned his Commission in 1928.

From a regimental perspective he was attached to the 4th Dragoon Guards, previously the Scottish Rifles, the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Seaforth Highlanders.

In World War Two (1941) he was made an Honorary Colonel in 51st/52nd Scottish Divisional Signals (November of 1941).

He died 80 years of age, Wandsworth, London.

His sword refers to his service in the 4th Dragoon Guards, a British Army cavalry regiment. The sword itself is the 1912 Cavalry Officer’s type and it would have been privately purchased by Frederick at the time he entered the regiment (1917).

P1030291.JPG

Edited by casperdog

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HarryBrook

He first held a commission in the Militia being gazetted 2nd Lt. in 3rd Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) on 2 April 1901 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27304/page/2530 He was then gazetted a Regular Commission in the Northumberland Fusiliers on 17 May 1902 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27434/page/3252

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