Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £680

Estimate: £400 - £500

Four: Captain and Quarter-Master J. H. B. McFatson, Royal Artillery

India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (66564 Sergt., No. 7 Mtn. By. R.A.); Delhi Durbar 1903 (66564 B.S.M., 7 Mtn. Bty. R.A.), privately engraved naming; Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (66564 Coy. Sjt. Mjr., R.G.A.); Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue (66564 B. Sjt. Mjr., R.A.) the first with minor official correction and the first two with single initial ‘H.’, contact wear, edge bruising, generally very fine or better (4) £400-500


James Henry Banham McFatson was born at Bekestown, near Canterbury, Kent and enlisted in the Royal Artillery in March 1888, aged 20 years, following brief service with the 2nd Brigade, Cinque Ports Battery, R.A.

Posted to India as a Bombardier, he ran into trouble with an early conviction, but was lucky to have his sentence remitted. By 1894 he had attained the rank of Sergeant, and he served with No. 7 Mountain Battery in the operations on the Punjab Frontier between 1897-98. Remaining in India, McFatson was advanced to Battery Sergeant-Major in 1900 and received the Delhi Durbar Medal in 1903, one of 672 such awards to Europeans, but one of only 128 to N.C.Os. His L.S. & G.C. Medal followed in 1906 and he was discharged back in the U.K. in 1912, following service as a Permanent Staff Sergeant-Major in the Argyll and Bute Volunteer Artillery. He was recommended for his M.S.M. and annuity in May of the latter year, an award that was finally granted in Army Order 121 of July 1943.

The Great War witnessed his return to uniform when he was commissioned in July 1915, but he did not serve overseas and spent most of the War at Chapperton Down Artillery School. He was finally discharged in the rank of Captain and Quarter-Master; see extensive biographical article, Pride of the Indian Army, in Medal News, September 1988, for further details, and Ian McInnes’ The Annuity M.S.M. 1847-1953 for relevant photograph.