A Collection of Medals to Offices and Ratings of H.M.S. Penelope

Date of Auction: 4th December 2008

Sold for £220

Estimate: £150 - £200

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, dated reverse, 1 clasp, Alexandria 11th July (J. Symes, Ch. Off. C.G., H.M.S. Penelope) name and rate with official corrections, good very fine £150-200


John Symes was born in Dorchester, Dorsetshire in June 1829 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in June 1846. Having then gained advancement to Yeoman of the Signals in H.M.S. Diamond, in which ship he served from September 1853 to February 1857 - and most likely qualified for the Baltic Medal - he transferred to the Coast Guard as a Boatman in the latter year. And he was one of eight Chief Officers of the Coast Guard to be borne on the books of the Penelope during the Egypt operations of 1882, being mentioned in despatches for having ‘charge of the steam pinnace at the occupation of the north end of the Suez Canal’. Pensioned ashore in May 1885, Symes died in Lowestoft, Suffolk in December 1918; sold with a file of research, including copied service record.