Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

Date of Auction: 19th September 2003

Sold for £450

Estimate: £450 - £550

Three: Colour-Sergeant John Tarpey, Royal Garrison Regiment, late Manchester Regiment

India General Service 1854-95, 1 clasp, Samana 1891 (1402 Lce. Corpl., 2d Bn. Manch. R.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (3665 C. Sjt., R. Garr. Regt.); Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue (Col/Sjt., R. Garr. R.) nearly very fine, the last extremely fine and unique to this regiment (3) £450-550


John Tarpey was born at Bilston, Staffordshire, in May 1867, and joined the Manchester Regiment in 1886. During the next nine years he was promoted to Lance Corporal four times, reverting to Private each time, and took part in the Miranzai Expedition of 1891. He was promoted to Corporal in 1895 and, after another five years in India, was transferred to the Army Reserve, when he was temporarily an Instructor of Volunteers. He re-enlisted into the Royal Lancashire Reserve Regiment in 1900, and transferred to the Royal Garrison Regiment on 5 October 1901 as No. 3665, Colour-Sergeant.

The Royal Garrison Regiment was formed in 1901 to garrison home and overseas posts to alow Regular troops to proceed to South Africa, and Tarpey served in Nova Scotia during that war. Tarpey received his L.S. & G.C. medal in in October 1910, one of only 29 to the regiment. He was discharged at Gosport in May 1912, having served at Halifax, Nova Scotia, for three years, and in South Africa for six years, being Club Steward the last three years. His M.S.M. was announced in Army Order 205 of 1941, and is the only such award to the Royal Garrison Regiment. He died at Chelmsford, Essex, in April 1946, aged 80.