Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (17 & 18 May 2016)

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Date of Auction: 17th & 18th May 2016

Sold for £6,000

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

An outstanding C.B.E., R.R.C. & Bar group of seven awarded to Matron-in-Chief Beatrice Isabel Jones, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service - a recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal, who died in tragic circumstances in Mesopotamia, 14 January 1921

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 1st type lady’s shoulder badge, silver-gilt and enamel, mounted ‘bow and tails’ in Garrard, London case of issue; Royal Red Cross, 1st Class (R.R.C.), G.V.R., with Second Award Bar, silver-gilt, gold and enamel, on bow ribbon, in (damaged) Garrard London case of issue; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, no clasp (Nursing Sister B. I. Jones); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (A. Principal Matron B. I. Jones); Florence Nightingale Medal, silver, silver-gilt and enamel, reverse inscribed, ‘Miss Beatrice Isabel Jones, 12-V-1920’, in case of issue; together with a miniature of this award, in a case by Huguenin Frères & Co, Le Locle; Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Cape Badge, silver, unnamed, generally extremely fine (8) £3000-4000


C.B.E. London Gazette 3 March 1919. ‘.... for valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in Mesopotamia.’

London Gazette 3 June 1913. ‘Matron, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Service Service.’

Bar to R.R.C.
London Gazette 1 January 1918. ‘Matron, Q.A.I.M.N.S.’

London Gazette 15 August 1917; 12 March 1918 and 21 February 1919.’Matron-in-Chief.

Beatrice Isabel Jones was born on 21 September 1866, the daughter of William Bolton Jones and Alicia Jones, of Wallasey, Cheshire. She was educated at Wallasey High School and trained as a Nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, 1891-94. She was successively a Staff Nurse, Temporary Ward Sister, Theatre Nurse, Assistant Home Sister and Housekeeper and Night Superintendent, before finally leaving Bart’s in 1896. Whilst on the staff, she gained further training and experience in Massage, June-July 1894; Midwifery at Liverpool, November 1894; District Nursing Work, Liverpool, December 1894 and June 1895; and private nursing work in France and Italy, January-May 1895.

In February 1896 she was appointed Assistant Matron of the new infirmary at Birmingham where she remained until May 1897. She was then appointed Matron of the Victoria Park Hospital. On 10 January 1900 she joined the Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service Reserve, with the number ‘204’. She was called up for service in February 1900 and served in South Africa, February-November 1900 at General Hospital No. 1 at Wynberg; No. 2 at Pretoria and No. 5 at Wynberg, after which she returned to her position at the Victoria Park Hospital. Having obviously enjoyed the military life, she joined the newly formed Q.A.I.M.N.S. in February 1903 and was appointed Matron. For her services as Matron she was awarded the R.R.C. in 1913.

As a Matron in the Q.A.I.M.N.S., she entered the Mesopotamia theatre of war on 27 April 1916. She remained in Mesopotamia throughout the war and attained the rank of acting Principal Matron of the Q.A.I.M.N.S. For her great services there she was three times mentioned in despatches; awarded a Bar to her R.R.C. and awarded the C.B.E. In 1920 she was further honoured with the award of the Florence Nightingale Medal, for her services in Mesopotamia since 1916. In April 1920 she was seconded from the Q.A.I.M.N.S. for service as Matron-in-Chief with the Civil Administration in Mesopotamia.

Miss Jones died at the Isolation Hospital, Baghdad, on 12 January 1921. A Board of Enquiry held two days later, found that she had died by strangulation (hanging) which was self inflicted, being of unsound mind at the time. It was further reported that she had been severely depressed following an illness which would have caused her to be invalided away from her post to England.

With a quantity of copied research.