Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £500 - £700

Five: Colour-Sergeant G. Luscombe, Royal Marine Artillery

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, 1 clasp, Suakin 1885 (Bmbr., R.M.A., H.M.S. Condor); British War Medal 1914-20 (R.M.A. 1729 Cr. Sgt.); Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., V.R., narrow suspension (Sergt., No. 1729, R.M.A.); Royal Marines Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., coinage head (R.M.A. 1729 Cr. Sgt., R.M., 10 Nov. 1935); Khedive’s Star 1884-6 the Victorian awards with contact wear, good fine or better, the remainder generally very fine, the coinage head M.S.M. extremely rare (5) £500-700


George Luscombe was born at Branston, near Barnstaple, Devon in February 1864 and enlisted in the Royal Marines in February 1882. Joining H.M.S. Condor as a Bombardier, R.M.A. in December 1883, he went on to witness action in the Suakin operations of 1885, and was wounded on 4 December.

Enjoying a spate of seagoing appointments over the next 15 years, he gained rapid advancement to Corporal in March 1886, to Sergeant in April 1888 and to Colour-Sergeant in October 1894, in addition to being awarded his L.S. & G.C. Medal in May 1892, after just 10 years. Luscombe was clearly a good shot, passing his Musketry Drill on 16 occasions between his enlistment and discharge to the R.F.R. in February 1902, seven times as a Marksman and three times as a 1st Class Shot.

The outbreak of hostilities witnessed his immediate return to the Colours and between August 1914 and October 1915, he served with the Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, in Egypt, as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, but not in a frontline capacity. Invalided home with dysentery, on recovery he was appointed a Musketry Instructor in January 1916 and remained so employed until the end of the War. Luscombe was discharged in March 1919 and was awarded his M.S.M. and annuity sixteen years later, one of only 19 R.M. coinage head M.S.Ms. He died in August 1948, aged 84 years; see Ian McInnes The M.S.M. to Naval Forces for further career details and photograph.