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Help to ID Ribbons in Portrait (Royal Scots Greys Officer)


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GCCE1854

This is a portrait of the Earl of St. Germans, painted at the end of WWI. He served with distinction in the War, and I know that he was awarded the Military Cross. Any help IDing the other two ribbons here is most appreciated. Thanks!

 

image.png.993837b8bc87598aa021707ea19581fa.png

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear GCCE,

I would say it is a case of Artistic Licence, the portrait painter giving a somewhat Abstract Touch to the MC, British War Medal, and Victory Medal ribbons sported by the aristocratic sitter, Capt The Earl of St. Germans...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Andrew Upton

I would say those are a fairly accurate representation of the ribbons of the MC plus the Queen's and King's South Africa Medals for service in the Boer War:

 

Military CrossQSA KSA no bars Civilian Conductor - Liverpool Medals

 

 

 

 

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peregrinvs

The ribbon on the right looks like an upside down King’s South Africa medal and the one in the middle looks like an inversion of the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

 

As you say, probably artistic license.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Andrew,

Yes, you could be right, but more research needed to ascertain the Earl's military activities...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Which Earl of St. Germans?

 

According to Wikipedia

Henry Cornwallis Eliot, 5th Earl of St Germans (1835–1911)

John Granville Cornwallis Eliot, 6th Earl of St Germans (1890–1922)

Granville John Eliot, 7th Earl of St Germans (1867–1942)

 

I assume it's not the 5th Earl, and the 6th Earl was too young to have seen service in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. He did however win the MC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eliot,_6th_Earl_of_St_Germans

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Peter,

Well researched and what a story!

John Eliot, MC, 6th Earl, fatally injured in a point-to-point race (having survived the War!).

This rather points to my original theory of Artistic Licence: MC, BWM, VM.

Perhaps some clever GWF aficionado can prodice Eliot's Medal Index Card?

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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GCCE1854
Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the replies!

This is the 6th Earl, and I've so far not turned up his medal index card. The only record the family has mentions the Military Cross and nothing else. Never any mentions about the Boar War, as he would have been young . . . he was born in 1890. 

 

There is a photo of him wearing his Coronation Medal:

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Also, there is a photo of him wearing a pair of ribbons. This photo was taken about three years before the portrait was begun:

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Edited by GCCE1854
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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Ah, Coronation Medal: that changes everything!

I would now say the portrait painter documented quite accurately Eliot's MC, Coro, 1914 Star ribbons.

The BWM/VM were issued much later.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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GCCE1854

Thank you! 

He died in 1922, and the portrait was begun in 1918, though it took some time to complete. The 1914 Star would be for service in the Great War, correct?

Sarah

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Sarah,

Yes, correct.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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1 hour ago, GCCE1854 said:

This is the 6th Earl, and I've so far not turned up his medal index card.

 

I have just a free account with Ancestry so I can only source the MiC, not the associated Service Medal Roll.

 

1432845899_EarlofStGermansMedalIndexCardsourcedAncestry.jpg.3426649350c1bad94258c8abf219b8e0.jpg

 

(Image courtesy Ancestry - note address is the Cavalry Depot at Tidworth)

 

As an officer he had to apply for his service medals. While he appears to have applied for his 1914 Star, (but not the clasp), the Ancestry search facility only brought up one service medal roll. If there is only one, and it would therefore be the one for 1914 Star, he may not have got round to applying for his Victory Medal and British War Medal. My experience is that many such applications were made from mid-1921 onwards - so possibily around the time he was picking up the horse-racing injuries that would lead to his early demise. The various references online say that the next earl was a cousin, so probably applying for the 6th Earl's medals may not have been seen as a priority - speculation on my part but you can see the potential for it to pan out that way.

 

Our parent site, The Long, Long Trail, has this on the various service medals. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/the-british-campaign-medals-for-the-great-war/

 

I know you're aware of the family website as you have reproduced the picture of him with the Coronation Medal, but other forum members may appreciate the wealth of pictures on there.

http://www.eliotsofporteliot.com/eliots/eliot-john-granville.html

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

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George Rayner

Here it is

41803_626640_11999-00193.jpg.c92829b1cfbf9612f65251643c113800.jpg

 

Interesting to note that newspapers report him 'severely wounded in the face' in 1917. So the portrait may be inaccurate

 

George

 

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GCCE1854
Posted (edited)

@George Rayner @PRC

 

Thank you for this help! And thanks for the mention of the site. That's actually me, as I've been archiving the family for almost ten years now. It's an ongoing project here, and I'm always trying to add more information. 

 

I would be fairly certain that the family will never have gotten around to applying for the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. The cousin was not well and lived all his life as Earl in a Nursing Home, and I don't believe they would have applied anyway. 

 

As for the wounds, they were all around and above the eyes. And they must have healed quite well, because in all the many photographs showing the Earl after the War, you cannot see any large scars.  Here is a photo taken in Hospital while he was recovering.

 

Is there a way for the family now to apply for the missing medals?

Sarah

 

spacer.png

 

Edited by GCCE1854
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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Note '(1914) Star scrapped 22/2/1924'...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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GCCE1854
14 minutes ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear All,

Note '(1914) Star scrapped 22/2/1924'...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

What does that mean? The award was no longer considered good?

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Sarah,

Such 'Scrapped medals' were those not claimed by the recipients.

The Medal Office (which dealt with millions of claims) stored the unclaimed medals for a certain time.

Note also on the medal list that Lieut Pawson's 14 Star was also scrapped on the same date.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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6 hours ago, GCCE1854 said:

Is there a way for the family now to apply for the missing medals?

 

Not an area where I have any great knowledge, but as neither he or family \ legal executor appear to have made a claim for any of the medals, I believe the Ministry of Defence closed the door to new applications back in the thirties. If the medals had gone out to the wrong address and were returned or no current address was known so they couldn't be sent then possibly you could claim, but doesn't appear to be any evidence for that.

 

Probably worth doing a forum search to check the situation regarding claiming medals - there have been several threads over the years.

 

The Medal Ribbons themselves would have been available both from the Quartermaster and also all military outfitters, so if the Earl thought he was entitled to wear it, it would have been a relatively simple job to obtain it, particularly if he was ordering a new uniform from an outfitter. As you can see from the Service Medal Roll Page, all six officers on that page who landed on the 16th August 1914 were entitled to the 1914 Star, and all bar the Earl of St. Germans applied for and received the clasp.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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GCCE1854
39 minutes ago, PRC said:

 

Not an area where I have any great knowledge, but as neither he or family \ legal executor appear to have made a claim for any of the medals, I believe the Ministry of Defence closed the door to new applications back in the thirties. If the medals had gone out to the wrong address and were returned or no current address was known so they couldn't be sent then possibly you could claim, but doesn't appear to be any evidence for that.

 

Probably worth doing a forum search to check the situation regarding claiming medals - there have been several threads over the years.

 

The Medal Ribbons themselves would have been available both from the Quartermaster and also all military outfitters, so if the Earl thought he was entitled to wear it, it would have been a relatively simple job to obtain it, particularly if he was ordering a new uniform from an outfitter. As you can see from the Service Medal Roll Page, all six officers on that page who landed on the 16th August 1914 were entitled to the 1914 Star, and all bar the Earl of St. Germans applied for and received the clasp.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Thanks so much! Great answer. :) I will do some searching, and it's nice to know what ribbons he was actually wearing. I will update the webpage to list that.

It is just the sending out of the actual clasp that was scrapped, correct? He was still entitled to it as an earned award? I want to be sure to list it all correctly.

Thanks a lot for this help.

Sarah

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Sarah,

What was scrapped (probably having been returned unclaimed) was his 1914 Star which had his name and unit impressed on the reverse.

Yes, he earned the award. 

The clasps to the 1914 Star were a post-Great War afterthought, but presumably he would have qualified for a clasp, too (having been actually under fire).

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Sarah,

 

Have you tried checking out the 2nd Dragoons War Diary for mentions of him - may firm up dates for his extended leave in 1915, the winning of the MC and his wounding if nothing else.

War diaries for units serving in France and Flanders are among the many online documents at the National Archive that can currently be downloaded for free. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you don't already have one even that can be set up as part of placing your first order - just click "sign in" and follow the instructions. No financial details are required.

 

The War Diary for the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) for the period August 1914 to February 1919 can be found on the National Archive site here :- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351494

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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GCCE1854
On 07/06/2021 at 07:00, PRC said:

Sarah,

 

Have you tried checking out the 2nd Dragoons War Diary for mentions of him - may firm up dates for his extended leave in 1915, the winning of the MC and his wounding if nothing else.

War diaries for units serving in France and Flanders are among the many online documents at the National Archive that can currently be downloaded for free. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you don't already have one even that can be set up as part of placing your first order - just click "sign in" and follow the instructions. No financial details are required.

 

The War Diary for the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) for the period August 1914 to February 1919 can be found on the National Archive site here :- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351494

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

Thank you so much for this! I do have an account there, though I did not know about the War Diaries. I've downloaded them now and will have a look. Really appreciate the suggestion, as the family does not know very much about his time in the War, save for what was published in the papers. Any letters from that time seem to have been lost.

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