An Old Collection of Medals Relating to The Great War

Date of Auction: 19th June 2013

Sold for £720

Estimate: £600 - £800

Three: Second Lieutenant F. M. Hardman, Royal Fusiliers, who was killed in action near Neuve Chapelle on 27 October 1914

1914 Star, with clasp (2. Lieut., R. Fus.); British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut.) nearly extremely fine (3) £600-800


The following is extracted from The Durnford Memorial Book:

‘Lieutenant Frederick McMahon Hardman, the son of the late Capt. ].W.]. Hardman, the Royal Dragoons, and Mrs. Hardman, O.B.E., of the Lattice House, Castleton, Dorset, was born 1st September 1890. He was at Durnford from 1899 to 1904, and it was while he was there that his father was killed in action in South Africa. From Durnford he went on to Eton as an Oppidan (though he had gained an Entrance Scholarship), and reached the Sixth Form, and thence by natural sequence to King's College, Cambridge, in 1909. He was a Scholar of King's, and obtained not only First Class Honours in the Classical Tripos, but remaining up a fourth year he read Economics and took a Second Class in the Economic Tripos. In 1912 he obtained a Special Reserve Commission in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and thus proceeded to France as early as September 1914. His career at the Front was tragically brief, for on 27th October 1914 he was killed in action near Neuve Chapelle, and his body was never re-covered. Freddy Hardman had ability far beyond the average as the brief record of his scholastic achievements shows, but he was no mere book-worm. Endowed with a sparkling sense of humour and an attractive lisp, he carved a niche for himself from the very outset of his school career. With an air of extreme ingenuousness he would apparently allow himself to be "drawn" by older boys, and it was only after the incident was over the latter discovered that it was they who were being made fools of, and that their apparently simple-minded victim was, intellectually speaking, making rings round them and leading them from one absurdity to another. At Cambridge he found himself launched into a singularly brilliant society. The Junior Fellows of King's had been recruited from amongst the ablest of the younger generation of Cambridge men, and several of them, such as Keynes, were destined to make a reputation far beyond the University. Rupert Brooke, if not actually in residence, was at Grantchester, and his influence in his college was at its height. Freddy Hardman seized with both hands his opportunities. While still a freshman he was absorbed into what may be called the inner circle of King's, and though he found time for reading, he never, to quote an American Professor, let his studies interfere with his education. Endowed with abilities of no mean order, buoyant spirits and personal charm, he would, but for the War, almost inevitably have made a name for himself in after life, but the lines of his fate were written otherwise, and when the call to action came, he followed proudly and gallantly in the traditions of his family.’