Long Service Medals from the Collection formed by John Tamplin

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £400 - £450

Eight: Gabriel ‘Chummy’ Tschumi, a Chef in the Royal Household for 22 years and afterwards Queen Mary’s Chef at Marlborough House

Royal Household Faithful Service Medal, G.V.R., suspension dated ‘1910 1930’ (G. Tschumi); Royal Victorian Medal, Silver, G.V.R.; Coronation 1902, bronze; Coronation 1911; Portugal, Coronation Medal of Carlos I, silver; Spain, Order of Military Merit, 5th class, silver; Russia, Medal for Zeal, Nicholas II, silver; Italy, Royal Service Medal, Victor Emanuelle III, silver, mounted court style, good very fine £400-450

Footnote

Gabriel Tschumi was born in about 1883, in Moudon, Switzerland, where his father was a professor of languages but who was killed in an accident three days after his birth. At the age of 16 in 1899, he was appointed an apprentice in the kitchens of the Royal Household through the good offices of his cousin, Miss Louise Tschumi, one of Queen Victoria’s Dressers. He was successively promoted 2nd Assistant Cook in 1905; Assistant Cook in 1906; 6th Chief Cook in 1911; and 5th Chief Cook 1918-19. When he received his Long and Faithful Service Medal in 1930, he was 3rd Chef. Members of the Royal family apparently insisted on calling him ‘Chummy’.

Tschumi retired on 1 July 1932, and on his retirement was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal in Silver. He then worked for the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey, as Chef from 1 July 1933. Here, he and his wife had pleasant quarters; Mrs Tschumi’s father had been Head Keeper at Windsor Great Park under Queen Victoria, and had completed almost 50 years’ service. He stayed with the Duke of Portland until the Duke’s death in 1943, but he still helped the new Duke and Duchess, and the Dowager Duchess, for 5 or 6 months of each year. In August 1946 he was asked to assist for six weeks at Sandringham in Queen Mary’s Household; and in October 1947 he was invited to become Chef to Queen Mary at Marlborough House, which he did formally from January 1948 until October 1952, when he retired from ill health. He went to live in Wimbledon and wrote his memoirs,
Royal Chef: Recollections of a Life in Royal Households from Queen Victoria to Queen Mary, which was published in 1954. Gabriel ‘Chummy’ Tschumi died on 27 April 1957.