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№ 589


6 July 2004

Hammer Price:

An outstanding Union of South Africa M.S.M. and campaign group of nine awarded to Squadron Sergeant-Major F. K. ‘Paddy’ Ryan, South African Mounted Rifles, a Jameson raider and defender of Kimberley

Cape of Good Hope General Service 1880-97, 1 clasp, Bechuanaland (Pte., Spl. Pol.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Defence of Kimberley, Orange Free State, Transvaal (531 Corpl., Cape Police) last two clasps loose as issued; King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (531 Serjt., C.P. Dist. 2); 1914-15 Star (S.S.M., 5th S.A.M.R.); British War and Victory Medals (2nd C/W.O., 5th S.A.M.R.); Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (No. 1805 S.S.M., S.A.M.R.); Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas L.S. & G.C., G.V.R. (No. 1805 Sqn. Sgt. Maj., 3rd Rgt. S.A.M.R.) Mayor of Kimberley’s Star, reverse hallmark with date letter ‘a’, complete with top suspension brooch, all with tatty original ribbons including the special Union of S.A. M.S.M. ribbon; together with two regimental prize medals: Griqualand West Brigade 1896, silver cross pate, the reverse hallmarked Birmingham 1896 and inscribed ‘G.W.B.S. 97 Sword Exercise won by E Troop D.F.H. Tr. K. Ryan); the second an ornate shield shaped medal in silver and gilt, the obverse scroll inscribed ‘“Q” C.M.P. Rifle Club’, the reverse hallmarked Birmingham 1905 and inscribed ‘2nd Aggte. Score, No. 58 Sgt. Ryan, Dec. 1905, Score 96’, generally good very fine (11) £800-1000

M.S.M. Union of South Africa Government Gazette 25 August 1922.

One of only 46 awards of the Union of South Africa M.S.M. gazetted between October 1918 and August 1952. According to the article
The Meritorious Service Medal in South Africa 1896-1952, by Dr F. K. Mitchell and J. M. A. Tamplin (O.M.R.S. Journal Winter 1975) there were only 30 awards of this type and issue. The medal is identical in all respects to the standard U.K. issue but is worn from its own special ribbon, which is that of the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas L.S. & G.C., with the addition of a navy-blue stripe at each edge.

The group is accompanied by the Africa Service Medal awarded to his younger son (ACF F. K. Ryan), a contemporary group photograph of Ryan seated with other officers, and another of him wearing the first three medals, together with a manuscript obituary notice written by himself which reads:

‘Late Francis Kearns Ryan. Born 8th March 1869 [Dublin, Ireland]. Served in the following Corps:- 3rd Prince Wales Dragoon Guards. British Bechuanaland Border Police. Mashonaland Police. Diamonds Fields Horse. Cape Police D2. Cape Mounted Police. South African Mounted Riflemen (Permanent Force). During the Anglo Boer War took part in the siege of Kimberley, Relief of Mafeking, also saw service in the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Was wounded and taken prisoner whilst taken part in the Jameson Raid, was attached to the South African Police (Natal Division) that proceeded to Bulhock C.P. to quell the native disturbance. Retired on pension 1921 with an Exemplary Character and the rank of Warrant Officer. Was the holder of the Meritorious Service Medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Cape General Service Medal, King’s and Queen’s Medal South African War, 1914 Star, Allies and Victory Medals for the Great War. Leaves wife, two sons and daughters, Eric, Frankie, Kearnsey and Patsy. Send a notice to the Natal Mercury, Natal Witness & Nongu Police Paper. FKR 8/2/38.’

Paddy Ryan died at the Sanatorium, Pietermaritzburg, on 14 October 1949.