Long Service Medals from the Collection formed by John Tamplin

Long Service Medals from the Collection formed by John Tamplin

John Michael Alan Tamplin

I have in the past few years sold the majority of my collection. This is not because of lack of interest, but merely for two simple reasons - recent ill-health and advancing years. However, I still retain my long service awards.

The batch of medals in this auction are to civilians, and I note with interest that the earliest purchase was in 1950. I have always had an interest in awards to civilians even though they have never attracted the keen following that awards to servicemen do., but then again they are of course not so common; remember that over 500 men may have served in a battalion or on board a ship.

Many of the recipients were pioneers in their own fields. There are doctors, such as Ronald Ross, the Nobel Laureate of malaria fame; missionaries in the Church Missionary Society, such as George Pilkington and R.H. Leakey of East Africa; planters and settlers in East and West Africa; war correspondents, such as Sir Percival Philips, Angus Hamilton of the Black and White in the Defence of Mafeking, H.H.S. Pearse in Ladysmith and Joh Schonberg in Chine, 1900; political officers, such as E.C. Wilton in Tibet; T.J. Alldridge, an early settler in Sierra Leone, and H.B. Thomas, who went to Uganda on survey work in 1911 and was somebody who was personally known to me.

Moving further East, there is Fred Kennedy, who served with the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company for years and was General Manager when the fleet transported British forces in the Burmese was or 1885-7. Then we have R.B. M’Cabe, political officer in the North Lushai Hills, whose murder there re-started the war in 1892 (see Mayo, page 369), and on whose grave I have stood and paid my respects to his service; and Sir Pierre Louis Napoleon Cavagnari, whose murder in the Residency in Kabul on 3 September 1879 brought about the second stage of the war in that unhappy country.

There are medals to some of those who went from the UK to outposts of the Empire, did their duty and sometimes paid the price with their lives. They served in lonely positions, often by themselves, bringing medical assistance, law and order, justice and education.

They deserve to be remembered and honoured for their endeavours, humanity and service.

John Michael Alan Tamplin

This final part of the sale of my Long Service awards brings to a close the dispersal of my large and varied collection of medals, begun in 1943 when, as a schoolboy on holiday, bought a Territorial Force Efficiency Medal in Folkestone for the princely sum of 6s 6d.

Previously, my Peninsular Gold Cross with two clasps, my India General Service medal to Ronald Ross of malaria fame, my unique King's Police Medal and two bars, and the medals of other notable individuals have passed through previous DNW auctions. In March 2005 I donated my Victoria Cross, the award won at Givenchy in May 1915 by Lance-Cpl Leonard Keyworth, 24th (County of London) Bn, the London Regt, which I had acquired from the estate of Keyworth's sister 42 years previously, to the Queen's Royal Surrey Regt Museum. All my medals were all dear to me but, as I am now 81 years old, I believe it is time for me to bring my collecting to a halt. I have had a lot of fun and I would like to think I have enhanced each acquisition with much research and photographs of the recipient wherever possible.

What has also given me great satisfaction over the years are the several booklets on long service awards that I compiled. I owe a great deal to the late Howard Linecar, who took up my project. Other particular pleasures were researching my 1965 publication on my old TA regiment, The Lambeth and Southwark Volunteers: A Century of Voluntary Service in the Volunteers and Territorials 1860-1960, and working with my friend Peter Abbott on British Gallantry Awards, the first edition of which was published in 1971.
Lastly, I would like to thank Nimrod Dix and Christopher Hill for their collaboration over many years and for safely overseeing the dispersal of my collection under the hammer.