The Barrett J. Carr Collection of Boer War Medals

Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £480

Estimate: £250 - £300

Eight: Lieutenant-Commander W. J. Garrett, Royal Navy, who was recalled in 1939, aged 60 years

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902
, no clasp (Lg. Sign., H.M.S. Blanche); 1914-15 Star (184925 C.Y.S., R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (184925 C.Y.S., R.N.); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (184925 Yeo. of Sigs., H.M.S. Impregnable), contact marks and edge bruising to the earlier awards, particularly the first, this therefore nearly very fine, the remainder generally very fine and better (8) £250-300


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

William John Garrett was born at the Bar of Lough, Wexford in April 1879 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in June 1895. Joining H.M.S. Blanche in November 1900, he served off South Africa, and was advanced to Leading Signalman in March 1901 - in June of the following year, however, he was invalided with malaria.

Having been awarded his L.S. & G.C. Medal in July 1912, Garrett quickly saw action in the Great War, when, as a Chief Yeoman of the Signals in the cruiser Falmouth, he was present at the engagement in Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914. Coming ashore to an appointment in Vivid in March 1916, he returned to sea on one more occasion prior to being pensioned ashore in June 1919, namely in the cruiser Calypso in September-October 1917.

Garrett next joined the Coast Guard, gaining advancement to Chief Officer while stationed at “The Needles” in March 1929, but was shortly thereafter posted to the Shore Signal Service as Chief Officer, Cape Wrath and was commissioned as a Lieutenant, R.N. in April 1934. Retiring again in the latter year as a Senior Chief Officer - the only man so listed - he was recalled to Cape Wrath on the renewal of hostilities in 1939, aged 60 years, and afterwards served in a similar capacity at Rame Head before being advanced to Lieutenant-Commander in August 1942. Shortly thereafter, he took up another appointment at Londonderry and it was here, presumably, in one form or another, that he qualified for his 1939-45 & Atlantic Stars. Garrett died ‘in service’ in June 1945.

Sold with the recipient’s original R.N. parchment certificate of service; Coast Guard certificates of service (2); and R.N. Petty Officer’s education certificate, dated 2 March 1909.