An Extensive Collection of Medals for Long and Meritorious Service

Date of Auction: 25th June 2008

Sold for £620

Estimate: £450 - £550

Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal, V.R. (George Hancock, Sergt. Major, R.M.L.I. 9th Decr. 1903) officially impressed naming, official corrections to rank and subsequent naming, with silver buckle on ribbon, very fine £450-550


Ex Douglas-Morris Collection, B.D.W. 12 February 1997.

Complete records cannot be found of awards of the Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal from 1874 onwards but the total excluding the ‘1848’ obverse medals is likely to be no more than 100. This medal was the last or penultimate issue (prior to Colour Sergeant John Cree R.M.L.I.) of the M.S.M. with the Victorian Young Head Obverse. The date ‘9th Decr 1903’ impressed on the edge of Hancock’s medal marks the day on which the Admiralty approved and despatched his medal with its annuity ante-dated to commence on 19 November 1903.

George Hancock was a Weaver prior to enlisting at Lisburn on 26 of July 1847 aged 18 years, and was born in Hillsborough, Co. Down. He joined the Chatham Division as a Private, and was promoted to Corporal on 8 August 1852, to Sergeant on 22 July 1853, to Colour Sergeant on 10 September 1858, to Drill Sergeant on 6 June 1864, and ultimately to Sergeant Major on 12 September 1866, in which rank he was pensioned with slightly less than 22 years service on 30 March 1869. He served three full commissions at sea aboard the Racer, 1849-52; Dauntless, 1854-57, and Hecate, 1860-64. It was whilst aboard the Dauntless that he saw action in the Baltic Campaign during the summer of 1854, and in September of that year his ship was transferred to the Black Sea to be engaged before Sebastopol and at Fort Kinburn. He is recorded as receiving his L.S. & G.C. medal as a Sergeant Major with £15 gratuity in January 1869 while serving with 4 Company at Woolwich with 21 years service.