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Remembered Today:

RAMC VC & Iron Cross Winner


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I am researching the history of the RAMC in order to give a presentation to my unit. Have heard that a member of the RAMC won the VC & the Iron Cross!!

I have heard about this before so I am pretty sure it is true, however I have not been able to find much info.

Not even sure if this was a Great War incident or WWII

Any help greatly appreciated

Tim :D

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From memory this was pre-WW1, and I think the EK was for the Franco-Prussian War... Croonaert might be able to help on that one. Don't have my RAMC stuff to hand to let you know - have you tried emailing their museum?

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I've also heard of this , but put it down to another "urban legend" (such as Khudadad Khan VC's brother being awarded the Iron Cross II). I've just looked through all the RAMC VC's, but none were of the correct age to have seen any service in 1870-71.

There were quite a few British subjects involved in the 1870-71 war, but the main items I can find are letters relating to a medical volunteer named Thomas Trench, relating to his humanitarian work with Dr.Christopher James Davis. None of these refer to any mention of any VC winner (just in case he won it before these dates).As I mentioned, none of the RAMC VC winners are of the correct age for this war if they won it afterwards (the oldest having been about 12 years old during it). I've only looked at the RAMC, however. The mystery VC winner may have been in a different unit when he won it.

If it's of any help, he would have been awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class (EK II) as in 1871,it was (and, I think, remained throughout the 1914 and 1939 issues), a "progressive" award.There were approx. 42,000 awards of the 1870 EKII (and 1,360 EK I's), so it would be nigh on impossible to trace him from this end.

It could ,however, be awarded to foreign nationals as an "honorary" award, rather than having been "earned". Maybe this is what happened with our man?

Dave.

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I also recall reading an article about a VC winner who received the Iron Cross for his humanitarian services during the Franco-Prussian War. Naturally, when I looked for the article I couldn't find it!

I can't remember if it was someone who already held the VC at the time or earned it later.

On a similar note perhaps some of the Pals recall the British military doctor who earned (I think) an OBE in the Falkland War and later was decorated by the Argentinian government for his outstanding care of Argentine wounded in the same conflict.

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Found it!!

Surgeon General William Manley. Awarded the VC during the Maori War in 1864 as a surgeon attached to the Artillery.

During the Franco Prussian War he was in command of a British Field Ambulance Division supporting the Prussians and was awarded the Iron Cross as well as a host of other Prussian / Germanic decorations and a Croix de Guerre.

Terry - I believe the British Dr in the Falklands decorated by both side was Surgeon Cdr Rick Jolly. He was in charge of the Ajax Bay Field Hospital run by the 'Red & Green Life Machine'. I know he was awarded an OBE but as he also treated Argentinians it is probable he also received a decoration from them

Tim.

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During the Franco Prussian War he was in command of a British Field Ambulance Division supporting the Prussians and was awarded the Iron Cross as well as a host of other Prussian / Germanic decorations and a Croix de Guerre.

Tim.

When was he awarded the Croix de Guerre? It wasn't inaugerated untill 1915. ;)

Dave.

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It's not an urban myth (as shown) and his medals are actually in the Royal Artillery collection - as he was attached to a Gunner battery when he was awarded the VC - and the group is on display at "Firepower" - the RA collection museum in Woolwich. Well, they were last Thursday, when I was there...

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Tim,

Yes, it was indeed Rick Jolly. He was invited to Argentina for the presentation. I recall seeing a photo of him holding up his mounted UK group and the Argentine award, I think in a copy of Medal News.

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Thanks for the clarification Tim.

I thought it a little odd, what with Manley dying in 1901! :D

I'm intrigued by this guy now, and would like to find more about his service 1870/71. If you come across any specific details, could you let me know ,please? (I've seen the link, this is just in case you find out anything further)

Also (one for the medal experts), would he have worn the ribbon to the EKII on the end of his ribbon bar, or would he have worn it in the button hole as is traditional? And also (for those who've seen the medals), what colour is his EK ribbon? Would it be described as "Black stripes on a white background", or "white stripes on Black"? (I know it's an odd question, but it's quite important to me).

Thanks,

Dave.

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Croonaert;

I've seen photographs of Manley which seemingly have him wearing the 'reversed' EK ribbon (black on white non combatant) as part of his group, but the EK in the display case in Woolwich is definitely the usual subject. It is separated from the other medals (which are not mounted as a worn group) but shows signs that it was worn suspended from the ribbon.

Phil

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Thanks Phil.

With British involvement in the Franco-German war, I'd say that the photos have him wearing the correct ribbon. He'd have been regarded as a"neutral civilian" in the eyes of the Prussian military. A few workers for the Red Cross were also awarded the non-combatant EKII.

Dave.

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Further to our discussion of Surgeon Manley, I was browsing through some back issues of The Medal News, and in the March,1991 issue is an excellent account of his adventures, written by Alec Purves.

Manley must have had quite a chestful of medals, starting with the British and Turkish Crimea medals, then the VC, New Zealand Medal and Bronze Medal of the RHS; and then a treasure trove from the Franco-Prussian conflict - Iron Cross, German 1870-71 Steel medal for noncombatants, Bavarian Order of Merit, and French Geneva Cross. Then on to the Afghan War 1878-80 and Egypt 1882 (mention in despatches, Order of Osmanieh,Khedives Star). Later, he added a Knight of Grace of the Order of St.John, and then finally, in 1894 he was made a CB!

In the next issue was a letter about another Iron Cross winner - RSM and Hon.Capt. Chari Maigumeri, Nigeria Regiment. Apparently he served with the German forces 1913-1915, won the Iron Cross, and was later captured. He switched allegiances, won the MM, was the unit RSM in the twenties and thirties, and was awarded a BEM. He attended the 1935 Jubilee celebrations, the coronation of George VI, the 1945 Victory parade, the funeral of George VI, and the coronation of Elizabeth II.

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  • 6 years later...

I think this story has got mixed up somewhere along the way. According to "Askari und Fita-Fita" by Thomas Morlang Maigumeri was awarded the Kriegsverdienstmedaille for African soldiers, not the Iron Cross.

Cheers

Chris

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auchonvillerssomme

No. 10473 Warrant Officer Class I. BSM Chari Maigumeri, The Nigeria Regiment was awarded the MM in WW2 He wasn't commissioned until 1953 as Honorary Captain, I think the BEM was awarded in 1946 so he gave a lot of service to the British crown.

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