|Above: The Edward VII Army type Long Service and Good Conduct Medal presented to No. 2442 Colour Sergeant Wilfred Henry Hobson in
1907. While an unremarkable example of the type it does bear two interesting personal touches. The ribbon while appearing correct in color is a
bit too wide for the suspender. Additionally the sides of the ribbon have been neatly sewn together probably to help the medal hang more neatly.
One can picture Hobson's wife Mary doing the stitching after dinner one evening long ago. The medal also has a very old and probably original
silver plated brooch attached.
When I came across this Edward VII type Long Service & Good Conduct medal it did not seem to be drawing much attention from other
prospective buyers. I remember a time when even Victorian LS&GC medals did not have the “star power” that campaign medals did and
could be purchased relatively cheaply even if unlike a single campaign medal a LS&GC medal actually represented a soldier’s entire
military career and not just one single campaign or battle in which he may have taken part. Even though good conduct medals from the
reign of Edward VII lack the cache of a Victorian type to many collectors any soldier being awarded such a medal would out of necessity
have to have served a god portion of his career during the time that Victoria was Queen. This medal to No. 2442 Sergeant Wilfred Henry
Hobson of the Gordon Highlanders proved a worthwhile if easily purchased investment.
According to the 1871 Census for Birmingham, Warwickshire, Wilfred Henry Hobson was born in Birmingham around 1869 one of
thirteen children of William Matthew and Esther Hobson. William Hobson was employed as the manager of a brass foundry.
At the time he attested with the Gordon Highlanders on 11 February, 1887 Hobson was already serving with the 3rd Volunteer Battalion
of the Middlesex Regiment and he had also be previously rejected for regular military service for “under chest measurement”. His
attestation also states that he was employed as a plumber and that he had been born in Aberdeen, Scotland a fact that differs from that
of the above mentioned census.
Hobson’s Statement of Service outlines the following:
Private: 11 February, 1887 – 10 February, 1889
Good Conduct Pay: 11 February, 1889 (now serving with the 1st Battalion)
Appointed Lance Corporal: 15 April, 1889
Appointed Paid Lance Corporal: 1 June, 1890
Promoted Corporal: 15 April, 1891
Entitled to 2 Good Conduct Badges: 11 February, 1893
Promoted Sergeant: 19 December, 1893 (post-dated to 16 January, 1893)
Extended service to 12 years: 16 October, 1894
Extended service to 21 years: 1 August, 1896
To 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders: 29 March, 1898
To 3rd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders: 26 December, 1898
Promoted Colour Sergeant: 16 June, 1900
To 6th Volunteer Battalion, Gordon Highlanders: 10 April, 1902
Prolonged service beyond 21 years: 11 July, 1907
Discharged having claimed 3 months notice: 10 September, 1908
Colour Sergeant Hobson’s postings included:
Home: 11 Frebruary, 1887 – 5 December, 1888
Ceylon: 6 December, 1888 – 16 January, 1892
India: 17 January, 1892 – 29 March, 1898
Home: 30 March, 1898 – 10 September, 1908
Hobson saw all of his active service on India’s Northwest Frontier. Seeing action at the Relief of Chitral and with the Tirah
Expeditionary Force. He was entitled to the 1895 India General Service Medal with the clasps “Relief of Chitral”, “Punjab 1897-98” and
“Tirah 1897-98”. Colour Sergeant Hobson was presented with his Long Service & Good Conduct Medal in 1907 along with a £5 gratuity.
Wilfred Henry Hobson married Miss Mary Josephine Rolston on 29 October, 1900 and at the time of his discharge the couple had two
sons: Wilfred Francis (b. 19 October, 1901) and Harold Arthur (b. 15 August, 1905).
As required with the award of the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Hobson’s career conduct was listed as “exemplary” along with
the note: “No incidence of drunkenness during whole service of 21 years, 213 days.”. He took his discharge at Perth, Scotland with his
intended place of residence being London, England. Bank Messenger was mentioned as a special qualification for employment in civil life.
The 2 September, 1910 edition of The London Gazette lists Hobson has having been appointed without competition to the position of
Messenger for the India Office. Hobson remained a messenger with the India Office for the rest of his life and died on 18 June, 1932 at
Peterborough. He left his son Wilfred Francis and estate worth some £1959 - a not inconsiderable sum in 1932.