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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

unidentified WW1 medal to female Cordelia D. Monkhouse


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Hi folks, was wondering if anybody could please help to identify this unofficially issued WW1 medal.

For service with 1/1st Northumbrian Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. 1914 - 1915

It was awarded to a female - Cordelia D. Monkhouse (named around the rim). The 1901 UK census lists her as a 7 year old living near Newcastle-on-Tyne. Has anybody seen one of these medals before, or know what it was awarded for, or what the ribbon (missing) looks like. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thank you in advance, Andrew

p.s. I did post a similar thread on British Medals Forum, but I inadvertantly breached the rules by discussing an unofficial medal. My posting was quickly locked out by the BMF Medal Police!



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1/1 Northumberland Field Ambulance was part of the 50th Northumbrian Division which did not go overseas until April 1915. As the medal is dated 1914-1915 I would assume that it was given for services to the Field Ambulance while it was still in the UK. The fact that the 1901 census shows Ms. Monkhouse living at Newcastle-upon-Tyne reinforces that notion as the Northumbrian Division spent a portion of 1914 and 1915 garrisoning the Tyne Defences. I would guess that the medal was made locally for the Field Ambulance to reward local citizens who assisted the unit during that period of training. I can not find a Medal Index Card or service papers for Ms. Monkhouse.

Regards, Dick Flory, a moderator of the British Medal Forum who has hopefully made up for the fact that you were unable to post your unofficial medal on the BMF :blink:

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Is it possible to see a picture of the other side of this item?

Connaught Stranger. :D

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Hi Connaught Stranger, I have added an image showing the reverse of this medal, nothing too revealing I'm afraid and also the rim where the naming looks to be privately chisel engraved.

I'm interested if anyone else has one of these medals, is it named the same way, what does the ribbon look like and why / who were they awarded to. The assumption being of course (as Dick pointed out) that it's a nursing auxillary or civilian award for home services. I also wonder how many of these medals were produced and awarded in this way.

It's quite a small medal, the pictures are quite deceiving, inbetween a full size and a miniature size medal. It's about 1 inch or 2.5 cms in diameter, very nicely struck.

Hi Dick Flory, thank you for your thoughts and for looking up the 50th Northumbrian Div. Yes I forgot to mention that I had also checked to see if she had a medal index card or service papers, but nothing as you point out.

It would also be nice if I could find a living relative / descendent of this lady, perhaps obtain a photo and find out more about her WW1 involvement on the home front.

Always more questions than answers!



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Cordelia Dorcas Monkhouse's birth was registered in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the June Quarter of 1894. She was the daughter of Alfred H and Emily A M Monkhouse who in 1901 were living at 91 Meldon Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle. Her marriage to Arthur D Lowes was registered in Alnwick in the March Quarter of 1921.

Her husband might have been Arthur Donkin Lowes who was born in North Shields in 1896.


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Hallo sutton-in-craven, :D

Thanks for showing the other side and naming,

seems to be a quality made piece and I very much doubt if a one off.

Hopefully more will surface along with the relevant info.

Connaught Stranger. :D

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Hi Aled

Thanks very much for your response. This certainly gives me more to work on as now I have her middle name - Cordelia Dorcas Monkhouse, very unusual middle name.

Also the info’ you provided on her marriage to Athur Donkin Lowes in 1921 was excellent too, again a rare middle name I would suggest.

I tried looking up a WW1 medal index card for Arthur D Lowes, but nothing. Also checked the Registers of Seaman’s services but again nothing. Maybe he was already working in essential services such as mining.

So thanks to this new information I know I am probably looking for descendents / relatives with the surname Lowes in order to try and find out more about Cordelia’s WW1 contribution. Much appreciated, thanks again, Andrew

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I would say there's a strong possibility that she was a VAD, and if so the British Red Cross Society might have service details for her - address on this web page:

British Red Cross Society personnel records


Hello Sue, yes I think that is an excellent idea. Cordelia was more than likely involved in some sort of nursing role during WW1, possibly as a volunteer having being awarded the 'unofficial' medal for services to the Northumbrian R.A.M.C. 1914-1915

I have sent a written request to the British Red Cross as you suggested asking for any service information they may have on her. I have been advised via return email that it will take 2 to 3 weeks to deal with my enquiry. I will post any information that does come to light on this thread - fingers crossed!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It would appear that Cordelia Monkhouse had no further involvment in auxillary nursing during WW1. I have received the following email in response to my enquiry to the British Red Cross asking for any service details they may have on her. As usual there are always more questions than answers! I'll keep searching for clues.

Dear Andrew Monkhouse

Cordelia Dorcas Monkhouse

Thank you for your enquiry.

I have searched our Indexes of Personnel who served under the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross and Order of St John during the First World War but regret to tell you that we do not appear to hold any relevant information.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful. If you have not already done so you may wish to contact one of the addresses on the attached sheets for assistance with your enquiry.

With Regards

Emily Oldfield.

Information Assistant

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Hi Andrew

Tried to PM you but couldnt get through! just for info,

Theres a Cordelia Monkhouse listed on Genes Reunited by a Jeff Sechiari

If you would like me to get in touch with him let me know.


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Hey, is that my old mate Ady Lowe?

Thanks very much for your reply. Not sure why you were not able to PM me, I prefer to use my regular Yahoo email address but for whatever reason this web-site wouldn’t allow it, guess they’ve got their reasons.

Yes I would very much like to get in touch with Jeff Sechiari if he has some information on Cordelia Monkhouse, it’s very frustrating having a Monkhouse medal in my collection and not being able to find out anything about it !

Thanks Ady, I’ll drop you a Yahoo message soon

Cheers for now, Andrew

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  • 1 month later...

Nice wee family medal there! :thumbsup:

Keep asking and keep collecting, I'm sure you will find a lot of help here on the GWF and with luck some Monkhouse surname medals as well.

All the best.

Chris Neale.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi, I'm just bumping this thread to the top as it's been 3 years since the last posting and I'm still seeking information on this WW1 medal.

I'm hoping that somebody (perhaps new members since the last posting) may be able to shed some light on why this medal was issued. In the past 3 years I've seen just one other of this same medal on eBay which was an unnamed example, but that's all.

Also the recipient, I haven't been able to find out much about her at all including whether or not she had any children. Below is the extent of what I know, so if anyone has any more information I'd be very grateful. Thank you in advance:

WW1 1914–15 medal awarded to Cordelia. D. Monkhouse

Cordelia Dorcas Monkhouse was born in Heaton, Newcastle on Tyne on 1st April 1894. Her parents were Emily & Alfred Monkhouse and their address is listed as 91 Meldon Terrace, Heaton on the 1901 UK census.

She went on to marry Arthur Donkin Lowes (born 2nd April 1896) in 1921, their marriage was registered in Alnwick.

Cordelia died in the Jan/Feb/Mar quarter of 1974 in Northumberland South. Her husband Arthur died in the Jul/Aug/Sep quarter of 1971 in Northumberland South.

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Slick63, thanks very much for the image of the 2 medals. You say "Not much use I`m afraid", on the contrary! It nicely confirms which ribbon goes with the medal, because my medal came without the ribbon.

The only other example I have seen (listed on eBay - image below) had the same red ribbon, but I couldn't be certain based on one example only. Now I can be certain :D

The other interesting aspect is the size of this medal, it's not full-size (as in the standard 36mm) and it's not as small as a miniature. It is 25mm or 1 inch in diameter.

So thanks again, good stuff! Regards Andrew




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