Tibet Medal, bar Gyantse, Silver, 7015 Pte T. Frampton 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers, for many years the station master at Roslyn in Australia and claimed that he was the only man in Australia to claim the distinction of having been inside the Forbidden City of Lhasa in Tibet.
The medal has a very old length of frayed silk ribbon & still with the medal after all these years is an original Australian newspaper clipping from a letter of his being mentioned in the newspaper countering the claim that no ‘white Christians’ had entered the Forbidden City of Lhasa, when he states he had assaulted it with the Royal Fusiliers during 1904.
The medal is correctly named with the Initial “T”, during his letter to the Newcastle Morning Herald he signs off as “F.W. Frampton”, most likely as a result from the transcription of the handwriting from his letter they thought the T was an F, similarly he is called “J. Frampton” in the various articles relating to his time in Tibet which all appear to have stemmed from one source.
However a further Newspaper entry from the Goulburn Evening Penny Post on 1st March 1934 mentions his correct name “Railway Staff Transfers…. Mr T. Frampton, S.M. at Roslyn, has been transferred to Dorrigo and will be succeeded by Mr C.H. Whybourne, of Urana.”
Goulburn Evening Penny Post 17 June 1932:
IN LHASA WITH YOUNG HUSBAND
Mr J Frampton, the railway station master at Roslyn, is perhaps the only man in Australia who has been inside of the walls of the “Forbidden City” of Lhasa.
Before 1904, no foreigner had ever penetrated the surrounding walls, and many bold explorers who made the attempt had either been drive off or killed.
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and the headquarters of Lamaism, the national religion. Is one of the highest cities in the world, the mean altitude of the entire tableland of Tibet is 15600 feet. It is a barren, windswept, rocky land that unarches upward from the Himalayas toward Central China.
In 1904, Colonel F.E. Younghusband led and armed British Expedition to Lhasa and forced the Tibetians to discontinue hostile demonstrations against the India Frontier.
ONE OF THE COMPANY
Mr J. Frampton was one of that company and was one of the first to enter the “Forbidden City”. He carries many interesting recollections of the 1500 mile march through the inhospitable country, the strange customs of the inhabitants, and the hardships encountered by the expedition.
A fine medal struck to commemorate the campaign shows in relief the mysterious palace of the Dalai Lama with its three flights of steps. Around the edge is engraved ‘7015 Pte. T. Frampton. 1st Bat. Royal Fusil.’ THe medal carries on bar ‘Gyantse’.”
It is noted later on this page “According to Mr Frampton, Roslyn in mid-winter feels quite warm when he thinks of Tibet. Lhasa has an altitude of 21,500 feet.”
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 2 April 1936:
“Pota’la at Lhassa
Sir – With regard to your issue of March 28 and the Pota’la at Lhassa. I would like to inform you that the statement that as far as is known only two white Christians have seen the Pota’la is not quite correct. I have not only seen the Pota’la, but have been inside as well. I believe I am the only person in Australia who can claim that distinction. I was serving in the British Army at time, and there were 500 British troops at Lhassa in August and September 1904, under Colonel Younghusband, and I was one of the 500.