Saturday, 29 April 2017

The King's Certificate

I have four variations of this certificate handing on walls at home, and am looking for more. Designed by Bernard Partridge (later, Sir Bernard Partridge) this certificate was awarded to soldiers, sailors and later, airmen, who were disabled in the Great War. The example above, which is certainly the most common version seen, was awarded to British Army NCOs and men. In this particular case, the recipient was R/33979 Rfm Frank Guest of the King's Royal Rifle Corps who had previously served with the Gloucestershire Regiment (15855). Frank had enlisted on the 8th September 1914, arrived overseas on the 9th August 1915, and was discharged on the 9th May 1918.

This was the version issued to Royal Navy ratings, in this case to J46338 Arthur Newell Hercock, born in 1896, who was "slightly wounded", according to his service record, in Mesopotamia. He died in 1974. 

Harold Butler presumably coloured this certificate himself. He was a career soldier who originally joined the Northumberland Fusiliers (3722) in January 1914.and arrived in France on the 6th March 1915. His name appeared in a Times casualty list on the 6th August 1915 and after recuperating he was transferred to the Labour Corps (256342). He was discharged from 499 Company on the 14th November 1917 aged just 21.

This last certificate, poorly rendered in this image, is for an officer, Lieutenant Charles Wilfred Elliott of the 5th Leicestershire Regiment. Officers' certificates were different from those of other ranks and had the words "Invalided from the Service..." rather than "Honourably discharged on..."

I research soldiers!

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