The Barrett J. Carr Collection of Boer War Medals

Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £230

Estimate: £180 - £220

Five: Engine Room Artificer 1st Class C. Ffrench, Royal Navy

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902,
no clasp (E.R.A. 4 Cl., H.M.S. Forte); 1914-15 Star (269789 E.R.A. 1, R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (269789 E.R.A. 1, R.N.); Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 2nd issue (269789 E.R.A. 1 Cl., H.M.S. Titania), the third with minor official correction to surname, minor contact wear, very fine or better (5) £180-220


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

Charles Ffrench was born in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire in September 1875 and entered the Royal Navy as an Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class in July 1899. Joining H.M.S. Forte in April 1902, he served briefly off South Africa during that ship’s second Boer War commission, and was present in her when she collided with the S.S. Nautilus in thick fog in Lambert’s Bay in the following month - one rating was injured.

By the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Ffrench was serving in the King Edward VII, aboard which battleship he was advanced to Engine Room Artificer 1st Class and remained employed until February 1915. Then, in November of the latter year, following a period of attachment to Pembroke II, he joined the newly commissioned submarine depot ship Titania at Blyth, in which capacity he served until April 1920. He was awarded his L.S. & G.C. Medal and pensioned ashore in the following year.