Posts Tagged ‘medal’

Long and Loyal Service

March 17, 2015

Back in Victorian times, the Loyal Volunteers were ready to serve their country as armed soldiers if need arose. They practised regularly and certainly had skills as marksmen. We have seen a couple of pictures of the men on this blog and also buttons found by a local metal detectorist.

Loyal Volunteers were able to earn long service awards and today we show one such award.

Medal 'For long service in the Volunteer Force'

Medal ‘For long service in the Volunteer Force’

Nobody is named on this medal and we do not know who it belonged to. But many local men served lengthy periods in the Volunteer Force.

The other side has an image of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is on the other side

Queen Victoria is on the other side

This is a fairly elderly looking queen and that suggests the medal was awarded, perhaps in the 1880s or 1890s.

It’s a lovely item but it would be good to know more about it.


RAOB medal

November 9, 2014

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes was quite a big group in Market Lavington. The Enterprise Lodge used to meet in the Kings Arms where, no doubt, the men had a good time as they decided how to spend such money as there was on worthy causes. The Buffs, as they called themselves, had been founded in 1822 so it was a fraternal society of long standing.

In 1935, Reginald Chapman acquired a Silver Jubilee medal.

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes medallion from 1935

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes medallion from 1935

We know nothing about this medal. It may have been something purchased as a show of royal loyalty but it is engraved on the reverse.


It belonged to Reginald Alfred Chapman of Market Lavington

There we have Brother R A Chapman of Enterprise Lodge, number 3599. Brother Reginald Alfred Chapman lived at 21 Spin Hill. We have documentary evidence for him being there between 1939 and the early 1960s.

We THINK Reginald may have been born in Cheverell in 1905 but by 1911 his widowed mother was in the London area. He may have died in 1991.

Alan Baker – fireman

May 31, 2014

Earlier this month we featured a badge that had belonged to a fireman. That’s a fire fighter, rather than a man who managed the fire on a steam locomotive.

That fireman was Alan Baker, known as Shuner. We have now been given a bit more of Shuner’s memorabilia..

Let’s start with his service certificate.

Alan Baker's fire service certificate

Alan Baker’s fire service certificate

This document tells us that Alan joined up as a part time fireman on 16th February 1934 and he left at his own request on 13th September 1945. We know he was attached to the Market Lavington brigade although the certificate does not mention this. It does indicate that local authority brigades were, in effect, nationalised into a single service in 1941.

Shuner, as an established fireman, was not called up for army service during World War II. But a grateful country recognised his service (and others like him) with an award of the Defence Medal.

The medal was posted to Alan in a small brown package.

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

The package certainly told anyone who saw it what it contained.

The package contained a Defence medal

The package contained a Defence medal

Inside there is a duplicated ‘letter’ from the Home Secretary. That would have been James Chuter Ede at the time.

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

The medal itself has no recipient name on it.


Medal and ribbon


The reverse side of the medal

The reverse side of the medal

We’d like to thank Shuner’s son for donating these items to the museum.

Banksian Medals

September 30, 2013


The Royal Horticultural Society issue Banksian medals to worthy horticulturalists. One is awarded each year to the person who gets most points in the local show’s horticulture classes – the fruit, flowers and vegetables. This means there is nothing particularly rare about them.

But one of them, in the museum, was awarded to James Lye, the Market Lavington and Easterton based fuchsia breeder. That one is special to us at Market Lavington Museum.

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

A Banksian medal at Market Lavington Museum

One side has a profile of the man the medal is named after – Joseph Banks. We can’t do justice to Joseph here. He was a top botanist of his day, was on Cook’s first voyage of discovery and is very much numbered amongst the great and the good.

The other side of the medal (more like a crown sized coin) is engraved with the winner’s name and the reason for the award.


The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

The award was to James Lye and was awarded by the Bath Horticultural Show in 1878 for fuchsias.

I wonder if James was annoyed that the engraver got the spelling of Fuchsias wrong!

In 1878 when this medal was awarded, James was the gardener at Clyffe Hall for Louisa Hay.

The other day our curator met Kristopher Harper who holds the National Fuchsia Collection and is actively involved in researching everything to do with James Lye. Kristopher hopes to trial some fuchsia growing at Clyffe Hall to test his theory that James Lye cultivars were fairly hardy plants that could survive the winter. That will be interesting to report on.

But as this post is really about Banksian medals, let’s see a recent one – not in the museum – as issued to a flower show winner.


Well, it isn’t the same material, but no real change in design.


It looks as though the engraving is not as classy these days – but the spelling is correct.


National Rifle Association Medal

April 30, 2013

This medal is something we know little about. It is a medal issued by the National Rifle Association (of the UK).

The obverse or front shows the logo of the organisation.

National Rifle Association Medal at Market Lavington Museum

National Rifle Association Medal at Market Lavington Museum

The bowman on the left is dated 1300-1500 and the rifleman on the right at 1860. The motto at the bottom is ‘sit perpetuum’ which translates roughly as ‘for ever’.

On the reverse there is a simple message in a laurel wreath.

The reverse of the medal

The reverse of the medal

This simply says, The National Rifle Association 1860.

We think the date 1860 refers to the founding of the association. Regular competitions were held and we have no knowledge as to when this medal was won, or by whom. It came to the museum from our founder, Peggy Gye, in 1985 but has no further information.

Can anyone out there tell us any more?

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes

February 3, 2012

In times past, the society oddly known as the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes was active in Market Lavington. The name is odd, because the society has, and never has had royal patronage. Neither is it antediluvian in the sense of Noah’s flood. The first branch was formed in 1822. It is also hard to know what it had to do with buffaloes. It is one of those vaguely closed societies who look after the interests of members – but also do all sorts of charitable work.

Today we look at a medal – one of a number we have in Market Lavington Museum.

Medal belonging to a Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes member. It can be seen at Market Lavington Museum

On this medal and ribbon we see a monogram – RAOB and also the letters GLE – Grand Lodge of England. There are clearly some buffalo horns.

For us, it is the back of the medal which provides more interest, for this names the recipient.

The medal belonged to T Gye of Cemetery Lane, Market Lavington

We can se this medal was awarded to Brother T Gye by the Enterprise Lodge number 3599, for attendance.

We think this medal dates from about 1930.

So who was T Gye? Clearly, he was not ‘our’ Tom Gye, widower of our founder curator Peggy, for he’d have been only a lad at the time. We know that the medal was given to us by a daughter in law of ‘T Gye’ and her name and relationship proved enough to identify the medal owner. T Gye was actually William Thomas Gye. He was a market gardener who lived at Homestead Farm, Cemetery Lane – now called Drove Lane. You can click here to learn more about the farm and the family.

A Market Lavington invention at the Crystal Palace

January 13, 2011

The nineteenth century was a time of invention. It was also a time when Britain ruled the waves and had its huge empire. The Great Exhibition  of 1851 was an opportunity to show off just how great the country and its empire was.

And it seems that Market Lavington was represented at the exhibition which occupied Paxton’s huge glass pavilion in Hyde Park. Our curator has recently come across these documents. The first extract is taken from a book which was produced for The Great Exhibition of 1851.

A report written for The Great Exhibition of 1851

text about the invention of Mr Chandler of Market Lavington

Mr Chandler of Market Lavington invented this water/seed drill

So it would seem that a Mr Chandler of Market Lavington invented a system for delivering a suitable dose of water with a seed so that germination could occur and be followed by good growth of the new plant.

Another book also has an extract about Mr Chandler’s water drill.

This book has much the same article but a different picture of Mr Chandler’s drill.

A different immage of Mr Chandler of Market Lavington's seed and water drill

Unfortunately, at the moment we can find no trace of Mr Chandler in Market Lavington. Can anyone out there help us?

But now a little extra. Many years ago the current curator found a medal buried in the ground at his Market Lavington home. It was in shocking condition even then but it appears to have a picture of the Crystal Palace on one side and a head on the other. The word ‘exhibition’ may be written around the edge of the medal.

The 'heads' side of the medal

Is that the Crystal Palace? This item has never reached Market Lavington Museum. It's condition is flaky, to say the least.

One imagines that exhibitors’ medals were better quality than this base metal item. Maybe this was a cheap souvenir for a Market Lavington visitor to the exhibition who, sadly, managed to lose it.

Tom Haines of Market Lavington

May 31, 2010

Market Lavington’s Last Town Crier

Tom Haines may have earned his keep, at one time, as a tobacconist on High Street in Market Lavington but he was also, officially, the last town crier.

A photo held by Market Lavington Museum shows him in full cry as he neared retirement in the 1930s.

Tom Haines - last Town Crier of Market Lavington in about 1936

This picture is at the crossroads in Market lavington, sometimes known as Lamb Corner. The house behind the people was demolished many a year ago and the red telephone box stands there now. Signposts on the house tell us that you can go to West Lavington and Westbury along Church Street (to the left) whilst Potterne and Devizes can be reached along Parsonage Lane.

Let’s zoom in on Tom and the cheeky chappies around him.

Close up on Tom Haines from a photo at Market Lavington Museum

There’s Tom, with top hat, cravat style tie and war medals displayed.

Tom Rogers Haines was born on 20th May 1872 and baptised at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 18th August of that year. His parents were John and Adelaide. John Haines was a policeman and the family moved around. In 1881 they were in Tilshead, the first village to the south of the Lavingtons but from the birthplace of Tom’s younger brother it looks as though they also spent time at Tinhead to the west.

In 1891 young Tom was an attendant at the Devizes lunatic asylum, later Roundway Hospital.

Tom married Amelia Whiting from Little Cheverell in the early part of 1895. The couple lived on High Street in Market Lavington in 1901 and Tom was a tobacconist.

In 1911 this family lived on Church Street in Market Lavington.

Last names First names Sex Birth year Age in 1911 District County
HAINES AMELIA F 1870 41 Devizes Wiltshire
HAINES TOM R M 1873 38 Devizes Wiltshire
HAINES TOM H W M 1905 6 Devizes Wiltshire
HAINES WINNIFRED A F 1906 5 Devizes Wiltshire

Sadly, young Tom Henry Whiting Haines died the year after the census. He is buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington.

Tom died in 1939. He, too, is buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington.  Amelia died in 1944 and joined her husband at St Mary’s.

Alfred Potter

April 8, 2010

Sadly, Alfred Potter was killed in the First World War. His grieving widow received this medal which is now in Market Lavington Museum.

Alfred Potter's First World War memorial Medal at Market Lavington Museum

The medals are all too common for so many people lost their lives in Flanders, on the Somme and elsewhere. Many families will have just such a medal commemorating a lost relative.

So who was Alfred Potter? The Commonwealth War Graves site is a good starting point when trying to find information about people killed in the war. In this case we find that A Potter, a Private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 15th February 1917 and he is buried in the Eclusier Communal Cemetery, Eclusier-Vaux, on the Somme. He was the husband of Mrs K Potter of White Street in Market Lavington.

Alfred was the son of Edwin and Ann Potter and was born around 1879. Edwin, his father, ran a horse bus service between Market Lavington and Devizes. You can see the Potter’s Bus on this web page. This was a family photo and Alfred will be one of the lads on top of the bus.

Edwin, no doubt, had a comfortable enough childhood. In 1901 he was a servant in Cheshire but in 1911 he was back with his parents in Market Lavington.

He married Kate Burgess towards the end of 1915. It was to be a short marriage. His widow stayed in the area and was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington in 1951.

James Lye

April 7, 2010

James Lye is one of the better-known inhabitants of Market Lavington in times past. He earned renown as a gardener at Clyffe Hall where he worked for the Hon Louisa Hay. No doubt at some time we’ll return to the source of his fame, which was fuchsia growing.

James Lye also won an award for a new variety of potato, which he developed. The medal, awarded to celebrate three hundred years of the potato, is now at Market Lavington Museum.

Reverse of medal won by James Lye for his potato variety, 'Clipper'

Obverse of James Lye potato medal in Market Lavington Museum

His potato variety was called ‘Clipper’ and if anybody knows anywhere to obtain any, we’d love to grow them at Market Lavington.

But what about James Lye’s life? He was born in 1830 in Market Lavington and baptised at the village church on 22nd August. His father, Richard was a labourer and he and his wife, Ann, had a large family.

Inevitably, we know nothing of his early life. He may have been a boy servant at Cornbury Mill in 1841 but as a word of warning for family researchers, the 1841 census for Market Lavington and Easterton has not survived.

By 1851 James was married to his wife Maria (née Smith) and a daughter had been born. The young family lived on Northbrook in Market Lavington and James was earning his keep as a gardener.

In 1861 James was listed as ‘Gardener to the Hon Mrs Hay’. The growing family lived on White Street in Market Lavington

In 1871 James was living, no doubt very conveniently, at The Lodge, Clyffe Hall – on the spot for his gardens and greenhouses. He was there for at least the next twenty years but by 1901 James had retired and he and Maria had moved to Oak Lane in Easterton.

Both James and Maria died during the reign of King Edward VII. They are both buried in Market Lavington churchyard.