5 September 2015
42138 Sgt Frederick Hussey, MM
I picked up this MM for a couple of hundred euros at a brocante in France the other week. Nothing wrong with the medal itself which appears to be genuine, it's the naming and the entitlement which is questionable.
The medal is named to 42138 SGT F. HUSSEY 2/4 D.W.R
Therein lies the first problem. There is no 42138 Sgt Hussey. I checked the usual medal rolls and service records and came up with 42168 Sergeant Frederick Hussey. He has surviving service papers and he did serve with the 2/4th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), albeit not until 1919 after he had volunteered for a year's service with the Army of Occupation:
There is no mention on his service papers of an MM award and his name does not appear in "For Bravery in the Field" or in the London Gazette. At this point in time then, I suspect that for whatever reason, a genuine MM was obtained and re-named (although I have yet to measure the medal with calipers to confirm this).
Hussey himself had a long service history having originally joined the Leicestershire Regiment in 1886 (having seen prior service with the Royal Berkshire Regiment militia). His First World War attestation papers note 24 years' service with the 1st Leicestershire Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers and record his age in May 1915 as 44 years and six months (although according to his original 1886 papers he was born around July 1878 and therefore would have been closer to 47 years old). He saw service with the 12th, 16th and 22nd battalions of the Durham Light Infantry as well as the Training Reserve and the 53rd (Young Soldiers) Battalion of the KOYLI. He was, it would appear, a soldier through and through and so whilst the provenance of the MM may be questionable, I'm still pleased with the purchase. If anyone can add to Frederick Hussey's story, please drop me a line.
Service record screenshot courtesy of The National Archives.