rank question on Ashanti Star

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rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby MarkMcM » 27 Jun 2011 14:58

Hello All,

I recently acquired a named miniature Ashanti Star medal. The rank is shown as follows: S.I. Off. I suspect this to be an abbreviation for Senior Intelligence Officer, but of course I could be way off. Any ideas??

Thanks in advance & congrats on a superb forum!

Mark ~
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby Mark A. Reid » 27 Jun 2011 19:02

Hi Mark;

Welcome to the Forum, I'm sure you will find it both entertaining and informative.

Regarding the initials on the miniature Star, if you tell us the name of the recipient then we could check the medal roll and see what appointment he held during the campaign. That might confirm, or identify, the abbreviation for you perhaps?

Look forward to hearing more from you!

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby MarkMcM » 27 Jun 2011 20:15

Hi Mark,

That certainly sounds reasonable. The recipient is H. T. Farr and the regiment is WAFF. Hope this helps narrow it down. :)
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby Mark A. Reid » 27 Jun 2011 22:32

Hi Mark;

Thanks for the information. I'm a bit puzzled as I'm afraid that I can't find him in either the Army List ( 1893-1902 ) or in the excellent medal roll published by Ian McInnes and Mark Fraser. There are a few explanations for this;

1) I missed him on the roll.
2) He was a civilian, an NCO or OR who was later commissioned and chose to put his new rank on all of his miniature medals.
3) He chose to award himself the medal for some reason, perhaps he actually served there but didn't qualify for the medal.
4) His name was missed on the roll or was on a special roll that has not survived.
5) The miniature medal has been spuriously named for some reason.

I hope that this news doesn't cause any distress? I will have another look through the roll this evening and see if I can spot him. Perhaps some of the other medal collectors on the Forum have other ideas to explain this mystery?

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby MarkMcM » 27 Jun 2011 23:55

Hi Mark,

Thanks a million for all your efforts! And believe me, it's no distress at all! The medal was obtained innocently enough, from a vintage ephemera dealer for the princely sum of US$25. After examining the engraving under 7x magnification, it appears to be period with all surfaces evenly toned and even the ribbon is original. Given that the surface area available for engraving is so small, I wonder if his name was intentionally abbreviated? Perhaps the key is focusing on the H. T. part of the puzzle? Grasping at straws, I know, but at least there's a straw or two left! :) In any event, it's all part of the thrill of the hunt, eh?
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby Mark A. Reid » 28 Jun 2011 01:19

Hello again;

Phew! I'm glad to hear that, I was afraid that you were going to announce that you had just spent a fortune on the medal(s)

Coincidentally, I have an Ashanti Star that has been privately engraved to an officer in the Royal Horse Guards. However, he doesn't appear in any Army List either so I suspect that it was named by someone wanting to be someone he wasn't. " Further research required " as the catalogues say!

I'll let you know if I unearth anything more on your man.

Best Regards,

Mark
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby Waggoner » 28 Jun 2011 01:26

Mark and Mark,

I went through the roll and the only Farr that I could find was 9688 Pte. E.H. Farr of the Medical Staff Corps. Not your man! A bit of a puzzle, eh?

All the best,

Gary
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby MarkMcM » 28 Jun 2011 02:16

hi Mark & Gary,

Thanks again for the ongoing efforts!! Just out of curiosity, Is there a definitive regimental history on the WAFF?
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby Jonathan » 28 Jun 2011 02:22

I am not sure if there is more recent scholarship, but there is The History of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Austin Hubert Wightwick Haywood and Frederick Arthur Stanley Clarke (Gale & Polden, 1964). It is available at Abe Books but is quite expensive. Maybe inter-library loan is the way to go.
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Re: rank question on Ashanti Star

Postby MarkMcM » 28 Jun 2011 12:52

Thanks, Jonathan. At around US$250 a copy, it's not too bad - and Lord knows we sword-types have spent a buck or two on a book! But inter-library is the way to approach this one.
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