A Royal Naval M.S.M. pair awarded to Chief Writer Edward Harding, Royal Navy
Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (158571 Edward Harding, Ch. Writer, H.M.S. Victory); Royal Navy Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., Admiral’s bust (158571 E. Harding, Ch. Wtr. “Victory” Service During War.) the first with slack suspension and polished, good fine, the second very fine (2) £360-400
Edward Harding was born at Portsea Island, Hampshire, on 5 May 1876, and joined the Royal Navy from school as a Boy Writer, aged 14 years 8 months, aboard the base ship H.M.S. Wildfire at Sheerness on 16 January 1891. Interspersed with various shore bases he served many periods at sea aboard different ships, including the battleship Invincible, armed cruiser Australia, ironclad Alexandra, survey vessel Clyde, armed cruiser Imperieuse, and battleships Exmouth and Prince of Wales. Having been advanced to Chief Writer in May 1906, the outbreak of war in 1914 saw him serving aboard the armoured cruiser Drake which, in October 1914, sailed to Archangel, North Russia, to take on board $39m in gold bullion in security for loans to finance the war. The ship lay 30 miles out to sea off Archangel while the gold was taken aboard at night. Harding was posted to Victory I at Portsmouth for the remainder of the war. He was promoted to the rank of Acting Warrant Writer on 2 November 1917, but this was cancelled on the 25th of the same month. He received his L.S. & G.C. medal on 8 May 1909, and was awarded the M.S.M. in Admiralty Order 2089 of 1919. Harding was posted to Victory III on 1 July 1919, and was demobilised on 28 June 1921. Sold with copied record of service.