Queen’s South Africa Medal, Alexander McDougall Ferrier, Ordinary Seaman HMS Monarch, From deserted from HMS Africa at Queenferry, spending 6 months on the run.
Officially impressed: “A.M. Ferrier. Ord. H.M.S. Monarch” Some edge bruising, display mounted.
RN Service Number 199050
Musselbergh News, 23rd October 1908:
“A NAVAL DESERTER – At Musselburgh Police Court on Wednesday, before Bailie Tomlinson, a Young Man named Alexander M’Dougall Ferrier was charged with having deserted from the Royal Navy.
The accused left H.M. Ship Africa on 21st April and was apprehended in Musselburgh on Tuesday, where he had been working for some time. He admitted the charge and was ordered ot be detained until the Naval Authorities had been communicated with.”
The cause of his desertion is unknown, for a year years he had maintained a “Very Good” character and was only 2-3 years off a discharge to pension, being already 10 years into his Navy Service.
Alexander McDougall Ferrier was born on 5th November 1881, in St Giles, Edinburgh, Scotland. The son of Robert Ferrier and Catherine McDougall.
He began his Naval Career at the age of 16 as a Boy 2nd Class on HMS Caldonia, 27th April 1898.
Saw service on HMS Monarch between 16th October 1900 until 9th December 1902.
During the Boer War he served 2 terms of 14 days in the ship’s “Cells”.
He saw further sea service until joining HMS Africa on 6th November 1906.
Suddenly on 21st April 1908, HMS Africa was stationed at Queensferry in his Home Town of Edinburgh, when he “Ran”, deserting his ship and the Royal Navy.
Queensferry is just a few miles west of Edinburgh City Centre, he had not made it so far, stopping off in Musselburgh, which is just East of the City Centre.
He was found to have been living and working in Musselburgh for 6 months he was finally caught on 22nd October 1908.
It was noted on his papers that he was “Recovered from desertion and not claimed for further service.”
As a deserter he was dismissed, being close to earning his 12 year pension. Fortunately for him not joining the Fleet Reserve means he was not recalled for service in WW1.