A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the Lincolnshire Regiment
Date of Auction: 17th July 2019
Sold for £110
Estimate: £140 - £180
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Civil) Member’s 1st type breast badge, silver, hallmarks for London 1919; British War and Victory Medals (Capt J. V. J. Merchant.) very fine or better (3) £140-£180
FootnoteM.B.E. London Gazette 30 March 1920: ‘Captain John Victor Jabez Merchant. Honorary County Secretary, Lincolnshire Branch, British Red Cross Society.’
John Victor Jabez Merchant was born in Cirencester in 1864, the son of David and Hester Merchant. He attested for the Lincolnshire Regiment on 25 June 1883 aged 18 years and was advanced through the ranks to Colour Sergeant by 1890. After the outbreak of the South African War he became Sergeant Instructor for the newly formed 2nd Volunteer Battalion and served in South Africa with them from 21 March 1901 to 25 June 1902 receiving his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in July 1902 and the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 3 clasps. He continued serving in the regular forces until 1908 after which he was discharged from the 4th Battalion, his conduct and character with the colours having been ‘exemplary, no offence in whole service of 25 Years and 98 days’. He then served a further 4 years with the Territorials and took on the role of County Secretary to the British Red Cross Volunteers.
On 19 January 1916 Merchant was commissioned Second Lieutenant and instantly promoted Temporary Captain in the 5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (Territorial Force). His medal index card also records prior service with the Durham Light Infantry. Notably, his son, Francis Victor Merchant, was awarded the M.C. and D.C.M. while serving with the Royal Engineers in the Great War. Merchant retired from the Army in 1920 with the rank of Captain, resumed his work for the Red Cross and was awarded the M.B.E. and British Red Cross War Medal in 1920. He died in Skegness in 1932.