16 Bolton St, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8BQ
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Lot 229, 26 Mar 09
DescriptionEight: Charles Bland, a long-served Life Guardsman who was later appointed a King’s Marshalman
Royal Victorian Medal, G.V.R., silver; Coronation 1902, bronze; Coronation 1911; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937; Royal Household Faithful Service Medal, G.V.R., suspension dated ‘1910-1930’, with “Thirty Years” Bar, the reverse of which is officially engraved ‘G.R. VI’ (C. Bland); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (1358 Pte. C. G. Bland, 2nd Life Guards); Italy, Royal Service Medal, Victor Emanuel III, bronze, new ribands but otherwise mounted court-style as worn (excepting the Italian award), together with a related tie-pin, in gold, with blue enamelled ‘F’ cypher with gilt crown above , contact marks and a little polished, otherwise generally very fine (9) £400-500
FootnoteCharles Garnett Bland was in Tynemouth, Northumberland in September 1865, where he found employment as a clerk and enrolled as a volunteer in the Tynemouth Artillery Volunteers. In December 1884, however, he enlisted in the 2nd Life Guards in London, his attestation papers recording his height at a little over six feet. He subsequently served in the U.K. for 21 years, latterly as an Orderly at Buckingham Palace, and was awarded the Coronation Medal 1902 and his L.S. & G.C. Medal in April of the following year (AO 68 of 1 April 1903 refers). Discharged in consequence of the termination of his second period of engagement in December 1905, he was quickly re-employed in the Royal Household as a King’s Marshalman, in which latter capacity he served until after the Coronation in 1937, a period that witnessed him being awarded the Royal Household Faithful Service Medal in 1930, the Royal Victorian Medal in silver on 3 June 1937, in addition to all of the above described Jubilee and Coronation awards - he was awarded the “Thirty Years” Bar to his Household Medal in May 1940. Bland died at his residence in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex in April 1945, aged 79 years; sold with related research and illustrations, particularly regarding the King’s Marshalmen, in addition to an original Player’s cigarette card of 1937, depicting a Marshalman in uniform
His Majesty’s Marshalmen were originally under the orders of the Knight Marshal, a Deputy to the Lord Steward, and were employed as far back as the reign of Henry VIII ‘to give attendance in the Court for the execution of all things as concern the office of the Marshalsea within the precincts of the verge’. For centuries they carried out ceremonial duties in connection with the Court, and by Bland’s period of employment were seen whenever the Changing of the Guard took place at Buckingham Palace or St. James’s Palace, in addition to Jubilee and Coronation processions - Bland and his fellow Marshalmen were six in number at the time of the 1937 procession, marching in their impressive scarlet and blue full-dress uniforms from the Palace to Westminster Abbey, each carrying a short gilt-mounted sword and black ebony baton, and topped by a splendid black-silk shako bound with gold lace; annual pay in 1937 amounted to £124.