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Unexpected result from medal find.

Article about: I recently turned out a few old things from my drawers in a tidying up exercise. One envelope contained some old medals which I had acquired years ago forgotten about. Having no special reas

  1. #1

    Default Unexpected result from medal find.

    I recently turned out a few old things from my drawers in a tidying up exercise.

    One envelope contained some old medals which I had acquired years ago forgotten about.

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    Having no special reason to keep these I put them up for sale on a a well known worldwide site and got reasonable interest.

    But something was nagging away at me so I did a little bit of research.

    The first world war medal was inscribed to Captain CGV Wellesley and had come to me with the two South Africa medals. I was originally aware of the name but thought nothing more about it.

    Although the medals had always been together I did not link them to one individual because the WW1 medal was not on the medal bar.

    Now I think I know why.

    It was issued to the widow of Captain Wellesley who died on 14th March 1915 at Neuve Chappell and as such was never added his miniatures.

    A little bit of basic research (which is all I have access to) showed me that indeed Captain Wellesley served in the South Africa Theatre and was awarded the South Africa medal with three bars and (I think) the Boer War medal with two bars.

    At this point I decided to pull the medals from auction on the basis that they were being sold as separate items and would be separated for ever. I felt this to be the wrong thing to do.

    I have also located his grave site in france.

    But the really interesting thing for me is this officers lineage. He seems to have been related to not a few English dukes and other peers of the realm; and specifically The Duke of Wellington who was his great grandfathers brother.

    I am surprised at how these small bits of metal have affected me now that I know more about the history behind both them and the brave man they were awarded to.

    The story has another twist for me. When this officer died his widow married one of his fellow officers who survived the war and whom he had served with starting out in 1898 in the South African Campaign ( 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment).

    The first surprise for me was that I had actually met this lady in the 1980's when she was in her 90's.

    The second was that I understand that Neuve Chappelle was were my grandfather was seriously wounded, won an MM and his brother was killed.

    All this emotion just from tidying up a few draws.

    Last edited by aemt; 03-22-2015 at 10:43 PM.

  2. #2
    MAP is offline


    Wow. That's great. What a story. Thanks for sharing
    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #3


    doe's that mean you will keep them,I would.?

  4. #4


    I haven't thought that far.

    Just amazed at the coincidences - and how complicated something so simple can be.

    We have plenty of medals groups - but they are all family.

  5. #5


    I have now located a photograph of Captain Wellesleys grave, a good photograph of him; and have read an account of his death from the regimental journals.

    I now need to find a copy of his service record. 13 folders of his letters home are in the IWM archive.

    Another - to me - strange quirk of fate is that next Sunday is the centenary of his death. He may have been forgotten as an individual for generations; but this year he will not be forgotten.

  6. #6


    A good job you pulled them from sale!

    Very nice.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  7. #7


    Well done! Fascinating history and coincidences. I'd gave a tough time parting with this grouping.

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