An Extensive Collection of Medals for Long and Meritorious Service

Date of Auction: 25th June 2008

Sold for £1,700

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,600

A rare Victoria Royal Marine M.S.M. dated ‘1848’ on obverse awarded to Serjeant J. Ford, R.M.

Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal, V.R., dated ‘1848’ below bust (J. Ford, Serjt., R.M. Plymouth Divn. 32 Years) officially engraved naming, contact marks and some edge bruising, nearly very fine £1400-1600


One of probably only 39 Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medals issued with the ‘1848’ dated obverse.

Joseph Ford was born in the Parish of Wimborne (?) near the town of Bridgewater in Somerset in about 1804. He was 20 years of age and a Labourer by occupation when he attested for the 23rd Company, Plymouth Division, of the Royal Marines at Batcombe near Shepton Mallet, Somerset on 11 March 1824.

He served as a Private until 6 December 1835 (11 years 271 days), Corporal to 29 January 1841 (5 years 54 days), and Sergeant to 13 January 1858 (16 years 349 days) for total service of 33 years 309 days. During this period he served aboard Harlequin, November 1824-January 1829; Druid, January-October 1829; Champion; St. Vincent; Alfred and Britannia, September 1832-February 1835; Comet for Spain, December 1837-August 1840 (Carlist War), and Cornwallis, April 1841-August 1843, for total service of 12 years 142 days Afloat and 21 years 167 days On Shore. He was awarded the Long Service Medal (wide suspension) with a gratuity of £15 in January 1852. It is uncertain if Ford received this medal but had to return it when he was awarded the Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal and an Annuity of £10 from 13 January 1857. He was discharged on 13 January 1858 due to length of service.

Joseph Ford would have participated in the Carlist War (British Involvement, 1835-1839) aboard the Comet but he is not included among the Roll of 123 Royal Marine N.C.Os and Men who received the Silver Cross of the Order of Maria Isabella Louisa, mainly for the prelude to the assault on Irun in 1837. He was also awarded the First China War Medal 1841-42 for his service aboard Cornwallis and there is a China medal named to Sergeant J. Ford, Royal Marines, in the R.M. Museum collection at Eastney. Sold with copied service papers and other research.