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eMedals-A Queen's Own Busby to Commanding Officer A.J.E. Kirkpatrick

consignment #35

Item: C3178

A Queen's Own Busby to Commanding Officer A.J.E. Kirkpatrick consignment #35

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A Queen's Own Busby to Commanding Officer A.J.E. Kirkpatrick consignment #35

A Queen's Own Busby to Commanding Officer A.J.E. Kirkpatrick - Exterior sides of the Busby in braided black lamb's fleece over a cork frame, the top in black felt, featuring a 56 mm x 67 mm blackened bronze cap badge on the front, the oval centrepiece with a red enamelled background fronted by a brass number "2". Blackened silver five petal rose cockades on either side, both held firmly held in place with their original rivets and support plates on the underside. The cockades support a blackened bronze chain link chin strap with a brown leather backer, the upper of which is dyed in black, looped to the cockade on the left side, fed through a hook on the right cockade and terminating above, the chain looped around a hook protruding from a silver Foot Guards insignia, matching the one on the left side. Two-level black and red horsehair plume protruding from a blackened bronze ball and multi-rayed base, the ball encasing a long brass tab, which slides into the black and red embroidered cockade above the cap badge on the front, the cockade prominently displaying a silver Victorian crown and hold firmly in place via a wingnut on the underside. Wrapped and sewn in place around the circumference of the busby is a two-row black cord, knotted around the hooks on both sides and at the rear. The rear of the busby features a lion's head insignia with hook, the hook housing the aforementioned knotted black cord, with the nose of the lion with a protruding ring. Clipped to the ring is a bronze clip, attached to a full-length two-row black cord with two adjustment sliders at the end closest to the busby, the other end incorporating both cords that are braided in the appropriate style and terminating with two aiguillettes, one at each end of the cords. Interior is lined in a maroon silk, with a 63 mm wide leather sweatband, the ends stitched together at the rear, the edge of the Busby trimmed in a strip of black patent, with slight separation evident in places the cloth trim and the leather sweatband, along with light soiling on the sweatband. It is maker marked in gold-coloured ink "HOBSON & SONS Military Tailors, Outfitters & ARMY CONTRACTORS" with the Royal coat-of-arms above and the company's London address below in the dome, the Busby measuring 180 mm x 210 mm x 130 mm in height overall. Accompanied by its japanned hat storage tin, the top of which features a brass maker's plate in the form of a shield surmounted by a crown and inscribed "HOBSON & SONS MILITARY OUTFITTERS" with the company's London address, in addition to a brass name plate engraved "A.E. Kirkpatrick" / Q. O. Rifles of Canada" in running italic script and held in place with brass rivets in all four corners. The tin has a fold over latch closure that guarantees a secures fit, measures 200 mm x 300 mm, the height rising from 140 mm at the front to 207 mm at the rear, exhibiting multiple contact marks, scuffing and paint chipping on the exterior from frequent tours of duty, protecting its valuable cargo inside. Extremely fine.Footnote: Arthur James Ernest Kirkpatrick was born on April 29, 1876 in "Coolmine", York (later Toronto), Ontario, the son of George Brownly Kirkpatrick and Mary Frances Kirkpatrick (nee Morris). He attended Upper Canada College from 1885 to 1890. He joined "K" Company (Old University Company) Queen's Own Rifles as a Private in 1893. He was promoted, first to Corporal, then to Sergeant, and finally, to Colour Sergeant of "K" Company. He was later promoted to Lieutenant in 1897, First Lieutenant in 1900 and appointed Captain of "E" Company in 1904. He was gazetted a Brevet-Major in 1914 and a Major in 1915. In his civilian life, Kirkpatrick was employed as the General Manager for Canada for The United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co. of Baltimore, Maryland and was the husband of Ethel M. Kirkpatrick (nee Mulock). Upon the outbreak of war, he was appointed in command of No. 1 Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Toronto Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Kirkpatrick signed his Officer's Attestation Paper on September 22, 1914 at Valcartier Camp, at the age of 38, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Ethel, stating the he had twenty-one years' previous service with the Queen's Own Rifles, that he was Married and that his trade was that of Insurance Company Manager. He was tall at 5 feet, 11 inches and while at Valcartier, he was appointed Junior Major of the 3rd Battalion. The Battalion was raised in Toronto with mobilization headquarters at Camp Valcartier, Quebec under the authority of P.C.O. 2067, August 6, 1914. After training at Valcartier outside Quebec City, the Battalion sailed October 3, 1914 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel R. Rennie with a strength of 43 officers and 1,100 other ranks. Upon arrival in England, his unit was sent to Salisbury Plain for additional training and as an officer, Mrs. Kirkpatrick had gone to England with him in 1914. Kirkpatrick left for the French theatre with his Battalion and shortly after their arrival in France, he was appointed Battalion Second-in-Command. During the Second Battle of Ypres, he was in command of "C" and "D" Companies, taking up an advance position on the left of St. Julien and earned the title of "Hang-on Kirkpatrick", owing to the fact that he held the position until entirely surrounded by the Germans, and was taken prisoner with what were left of his men. After twenty-two months as a prisoner in Bischofswerda, Saxony (Germany), he was transferred in December 1916 to an internment camp at Murren, Switzerland owing to bad health. Mrs. Kirkpatrick then joined her husband in Switzerland in February 1917. He was well treated in Switzerland, however, as he was not making sufficient progress with his health, he was subsequently invalided to England in October 1917, then returned to Canada with his wife in January 1918. Before his departure to Canada, Kirkpatrick was named Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel effective December 3, 1917, as mentioned in the Supplement to the London Gazette 30882 of Tuesday, September 3, 1918, on Wednesday, September 4, 1918, page 10489. Upon his arrival in Canada, he took the train to Toronto, where he joined friends and family at his house at 99 St. Clair Avenue, which had been closed since 1914. There, he talked to reporters, with an article published the following day in the Toronto Star. He related his accounts at St. Julien and as a Prisoner of War: "All the men from the Canadian front I met in England are full of 'pep' and eager as can be for 'Fritz' to come out. Conditions on the western front are somewhat different now from what they were in the spring of 1915." He briefly described how his unit had been outflanked by superior forces near St. Julien. He related how his men had moved up to fill a gap across a flat field in broad daylight on that fateful day, April 26, 1915. "Toronto need never be ashamed of how her sons went forward on that day. We had already dug in the day before. Later in the morning, Colonel Kirkpatrick was killed. I sent word to Captain Streight to get in touch with St. Julien. We found that St. Julien was battered to pieces, and although we couldn't see the Germans just then, we knew they were sweeping through St. Julien. A little later I saw them enter our trenches and sent a report that we were outflanked on our right, but thought we could hold. About two o'clock we got orders to retire, and as order came from the left, by the time it reached us we found ourselves utterly cut off. A portion of a company on our left was completely wiped out by a machine gun barrage fire. The enemy then covered us with such a preponderance of fire that he finally came in on our left. There was only a hundred or so of our fellows left, and it was only a question of whether these men would be uselessly sacrificed." Kirkpatrick went on to explain that when the only machine gun left had been destroyed, there was one one course of action remaining: "We were immediately placed under guard by Saxon troops and marched to Staden. I remember at the time that we considered ourselves fortunate to fall into the hands of Saxon troops if we had to be taken at all. From Staden we were taken to Roulers and then across Germany to Bischofswerda, near Dresden. The only food given us for the first two days was 'substituted' coffee, which I believe is made from dried acorns. We also received with it small chunks of black bread. This food supply certainly seemed unnecessarily insufficient at that time." He also commented on the treatment of prisoners: "There was improvement in our treatment after we reached Saxony. We were then allowed to buy ourselves a meal, and wash our hands and faces. At that we fooled them a little bit because we managed to shave on the train with a safety razor and a cup of water. Bischofswerda camp, in comparison with other prison camps, was then considered one of the best in Germany. Outside of the overcrowding, the treatment was, from a German standpoint, good. The food received until the end of 1915 was I think sufficient if rather unpalatable. We received our parcels with rather exceptional regularity as well as our letters. At our own expense we were allowed to construct tennis courts on the parade ground. The greatest suffering among the officers was mental rather than physical. Being forced to live in the same company and within narrow confines seemed to make a very depressing influence on the mind. For three months I was in one room with eleven officers, the next twelve months there were four in a room and the balance of the time with three. A Swiss medical board, composed of Swiss officers, finally visited the camp to look over the prisoners. On their first visit I was not accepted. The second time they came -- six months afterwards -- I was taken but, not before a very strict examination had been made. They found I was suffering from neurasthenia and recommended me for internment in Switzerland. From my personal experience, no officer could possibly get out of Germany unless really suffering from some illness or disability. I say this because at Constance we were again subjected to a very stiff examination by a body of German officers who rejected about fifty per cent of both officers and men. Our treatment in Germany, with the exception of some unnecessary insults, was possibly better than in the case of some other officers whom I have met. I wouldn't designate it as exactly chivalric. The treatment in Switzerland was all that could be desired. Officers were billeted in good hotels and the nourishment was good. My experience was that Swiss officers generally treated us as guests and wished us to forget the word 'prisoner'. The day before I left Switzerland a convoy of prisoners reached that country and their condition was excellent. Captain J.E.L. Streight and Captain "Len" Morrison came to Switzerland just before I left. I spoke to them over the telephone and they were both cheery. In fact all the Toronto officers who were there were in good health." For his First World War service, Kirkpatrick was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In addition, he was awarded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration and the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal. After the war, Colonel Kirkpatrick VD, ADC went on to become Commandant of the Queen'sOwn Rifles for three years, its thirteenth Commanding Officer, from April 9, 1922 to April 8, 1925 and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, from 1936-1946. The original oil painting of Kirkpatrick by Lieutenant (Robert) Allan Barr, hangs in theQueen’s Own Rifles Officers’ Mess. Kirkpatrick also served as President of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, from 1928 to 1929 and President of the Empire Club of Toronto in 1926. He died on October 26, 1955, at the age of 79. As a side note, his nephew was Alexander Douglas Kirkpatrick, the son of Alexander M.M. Kirkpatrick and Caroline A. Kirkpatrick of Toronto, who was born on January 1, 1891, and had served for four years with the Governor General's Foot Guards, was transferred to the Queen's Own Rifles. It was here that he was made a Lieutenant in the 3rd Infantry Battalion under his uncle, Major Arthur James Ernest Kirkpatrick, also serving in "C" Company. He survived St. Julien and was not captured along with his uncle on April 26th, however, he had been Killed in Action at Langemarck three days earlier, on April 23, 1915, at the age of 23. The young Kirkpatrick is remembered with honour on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial in Belgium, Panel 18-24-26-30 and is commemorated on page 23 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. (C:35)
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