A Great War Gunner Casualty group of 4 including a rare Borough Polytechnic Fire Brigade 1911 Coronation Medal: Bombardier Hedley George Wood, 'D' Battery, 156th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, late Section Officer, Borough Polytechnic Fire Brigade
- 1914-15 Star (21655 Bmbr. H. G. Wood. R.F.A.)
- British War Medal 1914-20 (21655 Bmbr. H. G. Wood. R.A.)
- Interallied Victory Medal 1914-19 (21655 Bmbr. H. G. Wood. R.A.)
- Borough Polytechnic FB: Coronation Medal 1911. (Section Officer H. G. Wood.)
Casualty: Hedley G. Wood's extant service records (held and accessible at The National Archives) confirm that he was firstly 'Kicked by a Horse & Gassed' on 6 June 1916, and later, on 2 September 1917 was severely 'Wounded-in-Action' by Gunshot & Shrapnel (GSW) wound to 'Back & Kidney's' - and evacuated thereafter to the United Kingdom
The Great War Medals verified as entitled per the respective Great War medal rolls:
- 1914-15 Star: Reference WO 329/2593
- British War & Interallied Victory Medals: Reference WO 329/444
Hedley George Wood, son of Frederick Edwin Wood (who in 1915 was living at, 6 Ossory Road, Old Kent Road, London ) and Ada Wood (nee Tucker), was a native of Borden, Kent, England, where he was born circa 1892. As a student, Hedley attended the Borough Polytechnic Institute (now called the London Southbank University), London, where he was an active volunteer member of the private Borough Polytechnic Fire Brigade. In 1911, Hedley was serving as a 'Section Officer' with the Borough Polytechnic Fire Brigade, being awarded the rare 1911 Coronation Medal issued by the Borough Polytechnic Institute Fire Brigade. Albeit Hedley's occupation group code was '26' (reserved for Engineers) at the time of his enlistment into the British Army, for 'Duration of War', at Camberwell, London, on, 11 May 1915, he declared his occupation to be that of 'Tobacconist', and was 23 years of age. On 12 May 1915, at East Dulwich, London, Hedley was posted to 'D' Battery 156 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Hedley embarked for overseas service at Southampton on 12 December 1915, and disembarked at Le Havre, in theatre of war, France, on 13 December 1915. The recipients service papers record that he was 'Kicked by a Horse and Gassed' on 6 June 1916 (sent to 101 Field Ambulance, Amines and thence to No 1 New Zealand General Service Hospital) , and later, on 2 September 1917, received Gunshot & Shrapnel Wounds (GSW) to his 'Back & Kidneys'. Hedley married Bessie Isaac, in London on 30 March 1918. Prior to being discharged from the British Army, Hedley Wood was latterly serving with the Royal Engineers (holding regimental number 364682) when he was discharged on transfer to the 'Z Class' Army Reserve on 10 April 1919. Unfortunately, and despite having survived the horrors of the Western Front where he had been gassed and survived severe wounds, Hedley, was not destined to live a full life as his father reported his death to the Army Records Office, in 1923. Hedley George Wood, died in London, England, on, 7 August 1923. At the time of his death, at 5 Brunswick Square, London, Hedley had been employed as a Tobacconist, and prior to his death had resided at, 43 Albany Road, Old Kent Road, London, where he had lived with his wife and widower father
Note: The rare Borough Polytechnic Institute Fire Brigade Coronation Medal was struck by the well known London Medallists 'Elkington' (the obverse has the makers logo beneath the conjoint royal busts) - the firm, best known for their striking's of the Edward Medal for Mines, and the 1902 Coronation series of medals. Details of the medal are:
Dimension: Approx 38mm
Obverse: Conjoint busts of King George V and Queen Mary, beneath the designers marks 'Elkington', surrounded by legend 'Georgius V D.G. Rex. Et Imp Et Maria. Regina'
Reverse: In centre the seal badge of the Borough Polytechnic Institute (comprising beneath a spread leather hide with the 'Bridge House' emblem of the City of London on top and below the date 1892) with biblical quote 'Do It With Thy Might' (from Ecclesiastes 9.10) on either side, surrounded by legend 'Borough Polytechnic Institute. Fire Brigade.'
Suspension: Claw with swivel ring
Riband: Same as 1911 Coronation Medal for the civilian uniformed services
The Borough Polytechnic Institute Fire Brigade - a private Fire Brigade - was established in 1893. Its members were drawn from amongst Volunteers (students and staff) of the Borough Polytechnic Institute, which institute offered a scientific study in 'Fire Engineering'!
The origins of the Borough Polytechnic Institute, courtesy of 'Wikipedia':
London South Bank University was founded in 1892 as the Borough Polytechnic Institute. It has since undergone several name changes, becoming the Polytechnic of the South Bank in 1970, South Bank Polytechnic in 1987, South Bank University in 1992 and London South Bank University in 2003. The university has also merged with a number of other educational institutions.
In 1888, Edric Bayley, a local solicitor and member of the London School Board, set up the South London Polytechnics Committee whose members included the Lord Mayor of London, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery and Sir Lyon Playfair. The committee was successful in persuading the Charity Commissioners to pledge to match whatever could be raised from the public, up to the sum of £200,000 to establish polytechnics in South London. A public meeting at Mansion House kick-started the public appeal and by 1891 enough money had been raised to establish polytechnics at Battersea and at Borough Road, Southwark, now LSBU
During 1890, the former buildings of Joseph Lancaster's British and Foreign School Society were purchased for the Borough Polytechnic Institute. In May that year, the South London Polytechnics Institutes Act was passed, so that by June 1891 the governing structure and general aims of the new Institute had been created. These aims were "the promotion of the industrial skills, general knowledge, health, and well-being of young men and women" and also for "instruction suitable for persons intending to emigrate". W. M. Richardson was chosen to be clerk to the Governing Body, C. T. Millis was appointed as Headmaster, Miss Helen Smith was appointed Lady Superintendent and Edric Bayley was appointed the first Chair of Governors.
On 30 September 1892, the Borough Polytechnic Institute was officially opened by Lord Rosebery, with a remit to educate the local community in a range of practical skills. The Polytechnic was given a seal based on the Bridge House emblem of the City of London and a motto taken from Ecclesiastes — "Do it with thy Might". A gala event was held to mark the occasion which was widely reported in the press because of Lord Rosebery's speech on the banning of smoking in the new Institute. One of the speeches made included the hope that "the Polytechnic would do its share towards perfecting many a valuable gem found in the slums of London"
The Polytechnic specialised in courses that reflected local trades including leather tanning, typography, metalwork, electrical engineering, laundry, baking, and boot & shoe manufacture. Instruction was also given in art, science, elocution, literature and general knowledge and the Polytechnic held public lectures by the likes of George Bernard Shaw, J. A. Hobson, Henry M. Stanley, and Ralph Vaughan Williams
The medals mounted in the swing-style suspended from their original silk ribands the reverse of the mounting bar with brass blade fittings
A rare grouping including the private Fire Brigade medal
Condition: Mostly about EF