Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

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Date of Auction: 26th September 2018

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £400 - £500

The official replacement Gallantry M.S.M. and Second Award Bar group awarded to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant J. Elliott, 1/1st Northumberland Hussars Yeomanry

Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue, with Second Award Bar (H/270001 RQM Sjt J Elliot 1/1st North’d Hrs Yeo); 1914 Star, with clasp (23 RQMS J Elliot Northld Hrs); British War and Victory Medals (23 WO2 J Elliot Northld Hrs); Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, E.VII.R., name erased, the first four all stamped ‘R’ for replacement, note spelling of surname which is ‘Elliott’ in all official records, nearly extremely fine, the last very fine (4) £400-500

Footnote

M.S.M. (Gallantry) London Gazette 29 June 1918.

Bar to M.S.M. London Gazette 29 August 1918. One of only 7 bars ever awarded to the Meritorious Service Medal in the period 1916-28.

M.I.D. London Gazette 22 June 1915.

Although Elliott’s M.S.M. was gazetted without any of the usual preambles, along with three others, it is clear that all four awards are recorded as “for gallantry” in Ministry of Defence records. Of the total of seven bars awarded, two were for a second act of gallantry and four were for the first act of gallantry when the medal was already held for meritorious service. Uniquely Elliott’s bar appears to have been awarded for valuable service after the medal had been awarded for gallantry.

Details of Elliott’s gallantry are published in the Regimental History of the Northumberland Hussars Yeomanry:

‘On the morning of 19th March 1918 at La Neuville-en-Beine, a limbered G.S. wagon with two horses broke away from the driver and went full gallop through the crowded streets of the village. This W.O., though nearly 60 years of age, seeing that a terrible accident was about to happen, flung himself at the rein of the near leader as the limber dashed by, and, by good fortune, caught it. He held on, allowing himself to be dragged, thereby bringing his full weight onto the bit, with the result that the horses were brought up. That anyone should attempt to stop a runaway pair of horses in this manner (and succeed) shows remarkable bravery and resource. This act diverted a very serious accident at the risk of great personal injury to the above W.O.’

Sold with copied M.I.D. card and M.S.M. ‘Gallantry’ card both of which spell his surname with two ‘t’s. The M.S.M. card records the issue of a replacement medal in February 1979 and it is probable that his trio was replaced at the same time.