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Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff
Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff: 2/60th KRRC-Zungwini,Hlobane, Khambula, Ulundi [Mac and Shad] Isandula Collection
Anglo-Zulu War 1879 - Dr David Rattray
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 South Africa Medal Mystery

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mangelwurzel



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Join date : 2010-05-07

PostSubject: South Africa Medal Mystery   Fri May 07, 2010 8:54 am

Have just inherited medals which belonged to my grandfather. He was born in 1878, and fought in the Boer War, for which he was awarded the QSA, and KSA. No problem there, but there is a third medal, which is the 1877 - 1879 medal (remember he was only born in 1878). It has no clasp or ribbon, but his name and initials K.F.S. (for Kitchener's Fighting Scouts) is engraved on the rim. Obviously there is some discrepancy. Should I suspect skullduggery? Could he have had the original owner's name skimmed and his own added? He was wounded in action, mentioned in despatches and apparently recommended for the VC but awarded the DCM, although this medal does not appear in the collection sadly. His name is not on the list for recipients of the DCM either, just to add to the confusion. Can anyone out there help with suggestions?
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: South Africa Medal Mystery   Fri May 07, 2010 9:51 am

Hi ,from where do you have the info that he was awarded the DCM ?
I am no medal expert but i have years of experience of family history research and unfortunately most of the stories about what grandad did in the war have little or no basis in fact.
The fact you have no medal and no entry on the medal roll would lead me to be very dubious unless of course you have some documentary evidence like maybe a contempary newspaper clipping .

Have you got a copy of his service record for the Boer War ?

best regards , Gary.
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Pick

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Age : 62
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PostSubject: Re: South Africa Medal Mystery   Fri May 07, 2010 10:54 am

He certainly could have had it skimmed and renamed, you can measure the rim with calipers and generally find that it is smaller where it has been skimmed - often this is only .003-005". Compare the dimensions with the QSA, although it is best to compare with another Zulu medal.

I agree that often Grandad's heroics can get exagerated throughout the times, but can be based on some truth. He could have been in a VC action, where he was recommended for the DCM but didn't get it.

I am no army expert, but London Gazette http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/AdvancedSearch.aspx?GeoType=London is a wonderful place to start looking for despatches, names, wounded, etc. If you post your grandfathers name I may be able to help further.

Pick
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: South Africa Medal Mystery   Fri May 07, 2010 12:58 pm

Here is some info about how to find Boer War service records if you dont have them
http://www.sfowler.force9.co.uk/page_20.htm
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mangelwurzel



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PostSubject: Re: South Africa Medal Mystery   Sat May 08, 2010 9:36 am

Duh. I just realised that the links I have put down do not mean anything unless I tell you his name. Ernest Phillips Berlyn.

Cheers
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Pick

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PostSubject: London Gazette   Sat May 08, 2010 1:53 pm

Apparently family lore is almost right, maybe he did deserve a VC or at least a DCM - looks like he got wounded and promoted because of it. This by searching on last name in the LG. Very nice "mention in despatches" the price of the medals just increased.

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90th

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PostSubject: south africa medal mystery   Sat May 08, 2010 2:01 pm

hi Mangelwurzel.
You may find this interesting .

http://www.arcticmedals.com/page/page/3730587.htm

cheers 90th.
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mangelwurzel



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PostSubject: Re: South Africa Medal Mystery   Sun May 09, 2010 9:26 am

Thanks 90th,

Cost of the hat badge is a bit beyond me. Unfortunately his own has been lost over the years. Interesting nonetheless.

Cheers
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