Africa General Service Medal, bar Somaliland 1902-04, C. Downard, Chief Stoker, HMS Merlin
Charles Henry George Downard was born on 10th February 1870, in Rochester, Kent.
He first joined the Royal Navy on 1st November 1888 onboard HMS Pembroke as Stoker 2nd Class. Joining HMS Australia for 4 years from 19th November 1889 until 7th June 1893, during which time he was promoted to Stoker 1st Class on 2nd June 1890.
He was again promoted to Leading Stoker 2nd Class at HMS Pembroke on 11th November 1895, followed by Leading Stoker 1st Class on 11th November 1896 during his time on HMS Goldfinch (11th April 1896 – 22nd December 1899), being again promoted to Acting Chief Stoker on the Goldfinch on 13th July 1899.
Whilst at HMS Pembroke II on 13th July 1900 he was promoted to Chief Stoker.
When he earned this Africa General Service Medal for the Somaliland Operations, he had joined HMS Merlin as Chief Stoker from May 1903, serving on board until 18th February 1905.
He continued his further sea service all the way until 5th August 1914 when he was discharged to his pension having served 26 years and found medically unfit for further service, likely being excused further service in the upcoming War.