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A positively attributed pair of miniature Great War Medals to a Submarine Service Commander: Commander John 'Jack' Lionel Fletcher, Royal Navy
The lot comprises:
- British War Medal. Silver miniature medal. Swivel suspension
- Interallied Victory Medal
Sold together with;
- Royal Navy Gilt Officers button (solid). With kings crown. With reverse shank
- Army Form B.2067 (Parchment). Fletchers service with Machine Gun Corps (Motors)
The Great War miniature medals mounted as-worn in the swing style. The reverse of the mounting bar retaining the original long hinged pin and clasp fittings
Reverse: Circular legend 'South Eastern District Rifle Association'. In centre 'School Cadet Corps Challenge Cup', and below engraved 'Cadet J.L. Fletcher'
Attribution: The recipient of this lot became a Commander in the Royal Navy - John 'Jack' Lionel Fletcher - a veteran of the Great War, who in the inter-wars became a 'Submariner' & served in the China Fleet / Hong Kong Colony in the 1930's, and who had previously served with the 22nd Submarine Flotilla (see other offerings on the website for items from the estate of Commander J.L. Fletcher, R.N.
John 'Jack' Lionel Fletcher son of Frank Edward Fletcher (Organist & Teacher of Music) and Elizabeth Stringer Fletcher (nee Procter) was a native of Folkestone, Kent, England, where he was born on 16 April 1898. While a schoolboy, 'Jack' was a keen member of the Cadet Force Shooting Team, his prowess in shooting, especially 'Revolvers' was something he carried forward during his Royal Navy career. During the Great War 'Jack' Fletcher enlisted firstly in the British Army, when he joined the armoured cars of the Machine Gun Corps (Motors) on 18 June 1915. On being posted to the armoured cars 'Jack' was a Gunner and held the regimental number 1643. He served a total of 1 year & 2 months with the MGC (Motors), taking his discharge from the British Army on 31 August 1916, in order that he could proceed to accept an officers commission and serve in the Royal Navy (ref Authority of the Secretary of the Admiralty, No. C.E. d/ 24-8-16). 'Jack' Fletcher was commissioned and appointed Midshipman, when he joined the Royal Navy on 15 September. Prior to joining the Royal Navy, Jack, had not served overseas, he did however subsequently experience active service with the Royal Navy, when he served aboard H.M.S. New Zealand (one of three Indefatigable-class battlecruisers) on which he was posted between 3 February 1917 - 28 June 1918, including being present at the 'Second Battle of Heligoland Bight' on, 17 November 1917. Promoted Sub-Lieutenant on 15 May 1918, 'Jack, then served aboard H.M.S. Primrose (one of 24 x Acacia-class single-screw fleet sweeping vessels (sloops) that entered service in 1915) that was deployed on convoy escort duties, and on which ship he was posted between 28 June 1918 to 6 February 1919. 'Jack' is confirmed as having received the British War & interallied Victory Medals for his services in the Great War, the medals awarded to him as a Sub-Lieutenant, R.N., and sent to him at H.M.S. Maidstone (ref ADM 171/89). Post war promotions included; Acting Lieutenant, 15 May 1920; Lieutenant, 15 February 1920; Lieutenant Commander, 15 February 1928. A tall man, Jack measured just 'under' 6 feet & 2 inches in height - there are some extremely fine portrait photographs of him accessible on the 'Ancestry' genealogical website showing 'Jack' Fletcher in full dress Royal Navy officers uniform, wearing his Great War medal ribands, including photograph taken at his wedding to, Margaret 'Mollie' Mary Vaughn Sprague, at Edinburgh, Scotland, on 11 August 1923 (Mollie's brother, Dennis Vaughn Sprague, was also a Submarine Officer 'who later Died-of-Wounds serving with H.M.S. Thames, on 4 July 1940). After the Great War, 'Jack' Fletcher was assigned to the Submarine Service of the Royal Navy, and is known to have served on the following submarines during the inter-war years (the list is not exhaustive); H.M.S. Universal (P57) in 1919; K14 in 1921; H22 in 1922-24; L69 in 1924-26; H34 'In Command' between 1926-27, and L54 'In Command' from 15 November 1929. Lieutenant-Commander Fletcher served in Hong Kong Colony circa 1932-1934. UK Immigration & Passenger Manifests show that the Fletcher's left Hong Kong Colony in 1934, when they sailed aboard the P & O liner the S.S. 'Rawalpindi' for return to the United Kingdom, arriving at London on, 9 November 1934. Jack was promoted to Commander on 16 April 1943, on which date he was posted to the Retired List (Age) but still continued to serve during the Second World War. He was finally reverted to Retired List on 29 April 1948. Commander John 'Jack' Lionel Fletcher, R.N., is recorded as having died at Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on 26 August 1987