Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (24 & 25 February 2016)
Date of Auction: 24th & 25th February 2016
Sold for £950
Estimate: £600 - £700
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt; 1914-15 Star (Ft. Surg. J. Menary, R.N.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Ft. Surg. J. Menary, R.N.), together with a set of related miniature dress medals, enamel of reverse wreath on the first chipped in places, otherwise good very fine (8) £600-700
FootnoteC.B. London Gazette 1 June 1917. The original recommendation states:
‘Although holding no hospital appointments he has had a continuous good record of ship’s work since he entered H.M. Service. Commended for service in action from Vice-Admiral, Eastern Mediterranean (London Gazette 14 March 1916), and received special notice from Vice-Admiral Sir J. de Robeck for his interest in the health of the Squadron. His name is put forward for favourable consideration for a Military C.B.’
John Menary was born in January 1865, the son of a farmer from Blackwatertown, Co. Armagh. Educated at Mr. Gibson’s School in Armagh, he went on to study medicine at Queen’s College, Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin, and was registered as a Medical Practitioner in May 1886.
Entering the Royal Navy as a Surgeon shortly thereafter, he was employed in assorted depot and coast guard ships until joining H.M.S. Urgent on the West Indies Station in March 1889, in which capacity he was also employed in Jamaica Hospital from April 1891 to May 1892. Having then returned home, he served at Devonport before returning to sea with an appointment in the gunboat Swift on the China Station in early 1894, remaining similarly employed until May 1897 when he came home to Chatham Hospital. Next employed in the store ship Tyne in the Mediterranean, he was advanced to Staff Surgeon in August 1898 and, on removing to the cruiser Gladiator, to Fleet Surgeon in August 1902.
Menary continued to enjoy a spate of seagoing appointments in the period leading up to the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, by which time he was serving in the battleship Lord Nelson, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney. He remained similarly employed in the Dardanelles until November 1916, witnessing the bombardment of the inner forts in support of the initial landings in early March 1915 - the forts engaged the Lord Nelson heavily on 7 March and hit her several times. After swift repairs at Malta she returned to take part in the main attack on the Narrows’ forts on 18 March, in the landings on 25-26 April, and in the bombardment of the Ottoman field batteries on 6 May, prior to the second battle of Krithia; as cited above, Menary gained a commendation for his services in action from the Vice-Admiral, Mediterranean and, later still, the C.B.
Back home once again, he was employed at the R.M.A. Headquarters at Eastney until the end of the war, gaining advancement to Surgeon Captain in February 1919, the same month in which he was placed on the Retired List. He settled at Fareham in Hampshire and died in December 1941; sold with the recipient’s original C.B. warrant and a portrait photograph, together with copied research.