Special Collections

Sold between 19 July & 1 March 2017

3 parts


The Julian Johnson Collection

Julian Johnson, FRGS

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№ 236


10 May 2017

Estimate: £800–£1,000

An interesting Great War group of five awarded to Sergeant J. E. Beswick, Royal Army Service Corps, who was the grandson of the founder of Beswick Pottery. He expanded his family business including securing the rights to produce Beatrix Potter character figurines, for which the company became famous. Despite contracting Malaria and Bronchitis during his military service, Beswick went on to make 58 appearances for Stoke City in the Football League

British War and Victory Medals (M2-121934 Sjt. J. E. Beswick. A.S.C.); Special Constabulary Long Service Medal, G.V.R. (Ewart Beswick [sic]); Serbia, Oblitch Bravery Medal, 30mm., bronze-gilt, unnamed; Serbia, Medal for Zeal, bronze-gilt, unnamed, nearly extremely fine (5) £800-1000

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Julian Johnson Collection.

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Serbia, Oblitch Bravery Medal London Gazette 31 March 1925.

Serbia, Gold Medal for Zeal
London Gazette 26 February 1920.

John Ewart Beswick was born in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1897. He was the grandson of James Wright Beswick, the founder of Beswick Pottery. The latter manufacturer became particularly well known for their production of farm animals and Beatrix Potter characters in porcelain. John expanded the company after the death of his grandfather in 1921, including securing the rights to reproduce the Beatrix Potter figurines in 1948. The firm was sold to Royal Doulton in 1969.

John Beswick enlisted in the Army Service Corps (M.T.) at Stoke-on-Trent in September 1915. He served with the 708th Mechanical Transport Company in the Macedonian theatre of war, July 1916 - February 1919. He contracted Malaria in August 1917, and also suffered from Bronchitis. Having advanced to Sergeant, Beswick was discharged 24 April 1919.

Despite the limitations placed upon him by bouts of poor health, Beswick still managed to make 58 appearances for Stoke City in the Football League. Playing for the club over two spells (between 1921 and 1926) he helped them to win the Third Division North. He retired due to injury, and concentrated fully on the family business. He died in 1978.