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Re: Help iwth identifying Medals

Replies: 2

Re: Help iwth identifying Medals

Posted: 12 May 2012 8:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
You should have created a new thread rather than adding to this old one.

I’ll deal with the medals first and then the soldier.


The left hand medal showing the head of Queen Victoria that you believe to be the Egypt Medal, my interpretation is it cannot be for the following reasons:

1) Wrong version of Queen Victoria’s head. On the Egypt Medal only the Queen’s veiled head and neck are shown and she is wearing a veil with a tiara or coronet, whereas the medal in the photograph shows a full bust of the Queen and on top of her veil she’s wearing the small diamond crown that was specially created for her in 1870.

2) Too many clasps. You quoted the Egypt medal being mentioned on the papers of soldier who served in the 96th Foot, according to the freely available medals of the regiments information on the North East Medals web site, with the Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-1889, soldiers of the 96th Foot (post 1881, 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment) only qualified for one clasp (Tel-el-Kebir); the one in the photograph clearly has 6 clasps.

3) Relative ribbon colours wrong. Variances in processing technique, lighting, shadows and age mean it will always be difficult trying to identify medal ribbons from black & white pictures, often coming down to comparing relative greyscale shades on the same image; it is not really possible to duplicate the greyscales in an early picture by converting colour pictures of medal ribbons to greyscale in a photo package. With that in mind, when one medal clearly shows a very pale (white or yellow) stripe, that is comparable with other pale areas on the picture, then anything significantly less bright is highly unlikely to be white or yellow. The Egypt Medal has 3 blue and two white stripes all 5 of equal width, whereas when compared with the obvious pale stripe in the centre of the other medal, this one has two darkish stripes, with 3 apparently darker ones and the centre stripe is wider (possibly double) than the others.


The other medal showing the bust of King Edward VII must be post January 1901 and I believe the only one to show that image of the King with a ribbon with a pale centre stripe of 3 equal width stripes, was the King’s South Africa Medal, that co-incidentally was invariably issued with two clasps.

As the King’s South Africa medal was NEVER issued without the Queen’s South Africa medal and although the greyscale shading is inconclusive, the Queen’s image, relative width of stripes and number of clasps are consistent with the first medal being the Queen’s South Africa Medal.

That being the case the picture dates post 1902 when the KSA Medal was instituted, but within a few years as that was also when khaki Service Dress began to be issued. Regiments abroad, part-time special reserve (former Militia) and volunteer battalions of line regiments were issued later.

Leading on from the medal identification, the most important thing for you to note is the soldier in the picture is not wearing the uniform of the pre-1881 96th Regiment of Foot or the Manchester Regiment. (Post 1881 the 96th became the 2nd Battalion, the Manchester Regiment.)

His collar dogs are the arms of the County of Essex (three Seaxes), and as the photograph is certainly post 1881 he is serving in the Essex Regiment (the pre 1881 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot & 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot became the Essex Regiment’s 1st & 2nd Battalions respectively).

A search of the actual QSA & KSA Medal rolls of the Essex Regiment freely available from the National Archives web site, for Wainwright soldiers who’s medal entitlement was a QSA & 6 clasps & the KSA with its usual 2 clasps revealed just one soldier.

WO 100/191 QSA Roll Oxfordshire Light Infantry & Essex Regiments (manual search of pdf file)
4958 Private Wainwright J; 1st Batt., Essex Regiment
6 Clasps: Paardeburg; Dreifontein; Johannesburg; Diamond Hill; Belfast & Relief of Kimberley

WO 100/335 KSA Roll Oxfordshire Light Infantry & Essex Regiments (manual search of pdf file)
4958 Lce Cpl Wainwright G; 1st Batt. Essex Regiment
2 Clasps: 1901 & 1902

A search of 1900-1913 Army discharge papers revealed:

4958 Private George Wainwright, born Aldershot, Hampshire (1879) attested age 18yrs 5 mths into the Essex Regiment, at Warley 27 Oct 1897, for 12yrs Short Service (7yrs with Colours, 5 with Army Reserve.)

Summary (not all dates listed)
Attested Depot 27 Oct 1897
Transferred to 1st Battalion 22 Feb 1898
Appointed Lce Corporal 22 Dec 1898
Deserted 9 Feb 1899
Rejoined 9 Jul 1899
Convicted & sentenced to 42 days HL + stoppages, forfeit all service to date.
In prison 24 Jul 1899
Released to duty 4 Sept 1899
Appointed Lce Corporal 2 Aug 1901
Transferred to Army Reserve 30 Oct 1905

Saw overseas service in South Africa & India.
Record confirms QSA & KSA Entitlement as above.
Next of Kin given as:
Father Thomas Wainwright; Mother Hannah; Brother Robert; Sisters Alice & Florence; all of 70 Magdalen St., Colchester Essex.

Ref WO 97/6141 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers Service Documents; discharge papers, arranged by range of surname; Waggett - Wainwright H; Discharges 1900-1913.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
JeffH01 12 May 2012 2:28PM GMT 
grahamfever 12 May 2012 4:21PM GMT 
JeffH01 13 May 2012 11:42AM GMT 
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