Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (7 March 2007)

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Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £390

Estimate: £250 - £300

Six: Commissioned Engineer A. Park, Royal Navy

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, no clasp (269123 E.R.A 3 Cl., H.M.S. Naiad); Africa General Service 1902-56, 1 clasp, Somaliland 1902-04 (269123 E.R.A. 3 Cl., H.M.S. Naiad); Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Persian Gulf 1909-1914 (269123 Ch. E.R.A. 2 Cl., H.M.S. Philomel); 1914-15 Star (Art. Eng., R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (Art. Eng., R.N.), the first two official duplicate issues of the Great War period, or a little earlier, generally extremely fine (6) £250-300

Footnote

133 no-clasp Queen South Africa Medals were awarded to the ship’s company of H.M.S. Naiad.

Allan Park was born at Peterhead, Aberdeen in August 1875 and entered the Royal Navy as an Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class in October 1897. He subsequently served in H.M.S. Naiad from March 1901 to August 1904, during which period he qualified for his Queen’s South Africa and Africa General Service Medals. Further active service followed in the Persian Gulf in 1909-11, when he was employed as a Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class in the Philomel, and in August 1912 he was appointed an Acting Artificer Engineer.

Having been confirmed in the same rate in September 1913, Park served in the battleship Queen Elizabeth from November 1914 to January 1917, and was consequently present in the Dardanelles naval operations of 1915 when she flew the flag of Vice-Admiral J. M. de Robeck. Of all the capital ships employed in that theatre, the Queen Elizabeth was one of the most actively engaged. Carrying out a successful bombardment with her 15-inch guns of the Turkish Narrows forts from a position off Gabe Tepe in early March 1915, she went on to witness the famous landings in the following month, when Sir Ian Hamilton used her as his ‘mobile H.Q.’ off the beach heads. Off Helles, as evidenced by Hamilton’s own account, one of her shells saved an advancing British unit:

‘At a trot they came on ... their bayonets glittering and their officer yards in front waving his sword, Crash! and the Queen Elizabeth let fly a shrapnel [shell], range 1200 yards, a lovely shot; we followed it through the air with our eyes. Range and fuse - perfect! The huge projectile exploded fifty yards from the Turkish right and vomited its contents of 10,000 bullets clean across the stretch whereon the Turkish company was making its last effort. When the dust and smoke cleared away nothing stirred on the whole of that piece of ground.’

A superb painting depicting the Queen Elizabeth bombarding the Turkish Narrows forts in March 1915, by Norman Wilkinson, forms part of the Imperial War Museum’s collection.

Park subsequently removed to the destroyer Lydiard, in which ship he served from early 1917 until late 1919, and was placed on the Retired List in the rank of Commissioned Engineer in November 1924. He died in November 1950.