Royal Marines Meritorious Service Medal, Victoria, 1st Type, dated ‘1848’ below bust, Provost Sergeant Joseph Ford, Royal Marines.
Officially engraved as issued; “J. Ford. Sergt. R.M. Plymouth. Div. 32 Years”
Accompanied by a wealth of comprehensive research into the recipient.
One of only 44 of this 1848 type awarded of the Royal Marines M.S.M. including both types of the Victorian R.M. M.S.M. only 98 were awarded to the deserving N.C.O.’s of the Marines, 45 are known as extant and 10 of which are held by the R.M. Museum.
Born in Wimbdon near Bridgewater, Somerset during 1804.
He joined the 23rd Company, Plymouth Division R.M. aged 20 at Shepton Mallet in Somerset on 11th March 1824.
He served as a Private RM for nearly 12 years until 6th December 1835, being promoted to Corporal.
5 years later he was promoted to Sergeant on 29th January 1841.
He would serve an additional 16 years 349 days as Sergeant ending his RM career having served 33 years 309 days.
He first served on HMS Harlequin from 9th November 1824 until 9th January 1829 (4 years 62 days.
Then HMS Druid from 10th January to 5th October 1829 (269 days), Followed by ships Champion, St. Vincent, Alfred & Brittania form 9th September 1832 until 14th February 1835.
On 22nd December 1837 during the middle of the First Spanish Carlist War, he departed for Spain aboard HMS Comet, until 18th August 1840.
He does appear to have served during the war in Spain, but unfortunately is not among the 123 Royal marines NCO’s and Men who were awarded the Silver Cross of Maria Isabella Louisa, for the prelude to the assault on Irun.
His next posting was HMS Cornwallis from 11th April 1841 until 30th August 1843, when he took part in the First Opium War in China earning the China Medal for 1842, this medal is now in the collection of the Royal Marines Museum, who hold a China 1842 to “Sgt. J. Ford. R.M.”
In January 1852, Provost Sgt Joseph Ford was awarded the Wide Suspender LS&GC medal with the 23rd Company, Plymouth Division RM with a gratuity of £15 but had to return the medal in when he received his Meritorious Service Medal, on 13th January 1857, with £10.
He was shortly afterwards discharged from Length of Service, he had spent 12 years 142 days afloat and 21 years 167 on shore.
Listed as still receiving his life long annuity in 1884.
Provenance, Ex Sothebys 1988 & DNW 2008.