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Are these a rarity? - Royal Fusiliers 25th and 26th Btns?


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Hi,

I like to think I know my way around Great War campaign medals awarded to men who served on the Western Front, but rapidly get out of my depth with the other theatres of war. Any help with this would therefore be greatly appreciated.

I have just got hold of a pair of medals (his full entitlement) to a Corporal in who served in the 25th (Frontiersmen) Btn of the Royal Fusiliers. There is no surviving service record, but his medal roll entry states:

served in East Africa (5a) from 14th July 1916 to 15th August 1917

served in Italy (1b) - with 26th (Bankers) Btn from 20th November 1917 to 1st March 1918

served on Western Front (1a) - also with 26th Btn from 2nd March 1918 to 18th December 1918

Having never sought them out previously, and having never come across this Btn before, knowing virtually nothing about the campaign in East Africa, or how rare it would be for a man to serve in both East Africa and Italy, the question I have is simply, how unusual are they?

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I have recently seen OR's medals listed by London dealers with a small price premium.

In your instance, this man was not of the original contingent (hence that date of entry into theatre and absence of the 15 Star). It is usually the 'originals' that attract the small premium in regards collectable infantry Battalions. There was an Original Battalion and Four reinforcements drafts after that. Your man was Draft 1 consisting of around 300 men. The original Battalion consisted of around 1141 men......more than what was required.

On a personal note, I always liked the Battalion because Indiana Jones was a member! According to George Lucas!

http://www.frontiersmenhistorian.info/index.htm

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Hi Yellow,

I am not so much interested in the value as the rarity, though I suppose the one will be linked to the other. Having never come across this unit before, and knowing nothing about either them or the campaign in East Africa, I thought they would make an interesting research project.

My sincere thanks for that link - a very good place for me to start.

Indiana Jones - I presume that would that be "Dar da da dar, dar da daar" Indiana Jones? :-)

Oh, and my lad (Cpl Wright Grimshaw - GS-36526) was from Bradford, so it must have been quite an experience for him.

Warmest regards,

Mike

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Won the MM with the 26th Battalion.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30830/supplement/9240/data.pdf

Lived 7 Springville Terrace Bradford - Enlisted 5th Dec 1915.

http://www.1914.org/projects/bradfords-first-world-war-roll-of-honour-on-flickr/

Interesting, I know of another medal group to a Bradford 25th man. Let me know if you decide to go the distance with the research and look in the local papers.

P.S. Yes, Indy helped them destroy a railway gun in EA!

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I don't believe that any Great War medals when your looking at Battalion level are rare. This is because there has to be 1000 of them to begin with. Scarce on the market because they are a popular collectors theme, yes, but rare as in the number awarded, no.

Look how us collects were mislead in regards units such as the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion. All my old publications seem to list them as rare yet there are over 1000 instances where medals were awarded to this unit on the medal cards. We just don't see them come up for sale often because collectors are hanging onto them.

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Hi Yellow,

That MM was something I knew nothing about. I had got as far as his MIC, and there is no mention of it on that at all. I can't thank you enough for that, and they are now indeed more of a rarity than I had previously thought.

The pair did actually come to me as a trio - but the third one was a Bradford peace celebrations medal !

I have also seen him on the 1911 Census where he was a Carter by trade, living with his parents (William and Minerva) at 355, Idle Road, aged 21

Prompted by your discovery of that other address, I took a stab at why he would have moved - and struck gold straight away.

Freebmd has a marriage record for him in the June 1/4 of 1913 - to an Eleanor Winterburn. I would never have made that discovery without you either!

He seems to have died in Sheffield - recorded in the register in Dec 1/4 of 1946.

I can't thank you enough - looks like the research has started!

Regards,

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

I like to think I know my way around Great War campaign medals awarded to men who served on the Western Front, but rapidly get out of my depth with the other theatres of war. Any help with this would therefore be greatly appreciated.

I have just got hold of a pair of medals (his full entitlement) to a Corporal in who served in the 25th (Frontiersmen) Btn of the Royal Fusiliers. There is no surviving service record, but his medal roll entry states:

served in East Africa (5a) from 14th July 1916 to 15th August 1917

served in Italy (1b) - with 26th (Bankers) Btn from 20th November 1917 to 1st March 1918

served on Western Front (1a) - also with 26th Btn from 2nd March 1918 to 18th December 1918

Having never sought them out previously, and having never come across this Btn before, knowing virtually nothing about the campaign in East Africa, or how rare it would be for a man to serve in both East Africa and Italy, the question I have is simply, how unusual are they?

FYI, "The Old and the Bold" website also has some useful info on the 25th (Frontiersmen). I've been in contact with the owner on a couple of things, he's been responsive and helpful.

WB

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wbremner,

Many thanks for the tip. I actually discovered the website for myself and the owner has been a great help to me. He has provided info about the gap in my man's service before joining the 26th, and informed me that my chap is one of only 4 to have served in the Frontiersmen and then gone on to Italy.

It has all helped to confirm that these medals are indeed a rarity, perhaps only marginally more desirable than a similar pair, but certainly most unusual. As I have said, I am not particularly interested in their financial value, as I have no intention of selling them.

It would be nice to get hold of that MM one day, but I am not holding my breath!

Thanks again WB,

Mike

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