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Gunner E. Armstrong - Welland Canal Field Battery

This is a rare Fenian Raid medal group that includes the CGS Fenian Raid medal with 1866 bar and the silver Welland County medal named in the recipients honor. The grouping includes copies of news paper clippings, the original box for the CGS medal, a veterans medal and a funeral ribbon worn for one of the Gunner's comrades.

Gunner Edward Armstrong served under Maj RS King March to June 1866 at Fort Erie. He was in battle at Fort Erie and was taken Prisoner by the Fenians. His medal #14147 was sent to his Address in Port Colbourne June 19, 1902. Includes his Commemorative Veterans medal.

Everyone looks for the Ridgeway medals, but few know about the Fort Erie engagement. During the raid the Fenians set up base camp and HQs in what is today Fort Erie. From there the main column marched Northeast and ran into the Canadian Militia Column at Ridgeway. Along the Niagara River a gunboat manned by the Dunnville Naval Company and members of the Welland Battery travelled to Fort Erie gathering POWs along the banks. The little force of 77 soldiers and sailors had captured about 54 and soon entered Fort Erie running right into the retreating Fenian Column from Ridgeway. A massive firefight ensued and the little force found itself up against 400 plus Fenians. After making a controlled withdrawal from the town into a small wooden building they fought off the Fenians until they ran out of ammunition and were taken prisoner. The small force suffered 4 dead, 16 wounded and 54 were captured.

The Fenian were soon routed by Peackocks Column coming from the East, with the Fenians scrambling across the river, only to be arrested on the opposing shore by US authorities. Those captured by the Canadian Militia were sent to Toronto and put on trial. The Veteran Fenian leadership latter praised the Welland and Dunnville force for the stellar stand they made being out numbered by close to 800 Fenians.
The local community was so proud of the little force, they commissioned a silver medal under the Welland County name for presentation to all 73 survivors. They were issued as medals with red ribbons. This example offered here was converted into a broach.

The CGS is a fine example, with good patina, the Welland silver medal broach pin is broken, but the medal is named. A rare find for a very hard fought engagement by a brave little force of Canadian Militia from the local area.

Code: 50307


Staff Sergeant W. F. Stewart - Midland Battalion

The medal offered here to S/Sgt Stewart is unique in that it has etched on the rim after the unit title the words "Batoche". This is done after the fact and does not match the original etched letter. This has been found on other examples, and is a rare addition applied by the owner probably through a local jeweler.

Stewart was present at Fish Creek and Batoche and is therefore eligible for the Saskatchewan Bar. An original medal, bar and ribbon, it comes with numerous sports badges and commemoratives, and his photograph of him in his older years. A fine example with a nice patina.

Code: 50306


Seaman S.J. Byewater - Toronto Naval Brigade

The Toronto Naval Brigade was Canada's first Naval force. Joseph Byewater served under Capt W.F. McMaster from May 3, 1866 to August 10, 1866 on board His Majesty's Gunboat, Rescue and then Magnet. They patrolled Lake Erie between Welland Canal and Windsor. HMS Rescue was the first Naval vessel purchased by the Canadian Government.

Medal 6576 was sent out January 17, 1900 to Mr Byewater at 43 Darcy St Toronto. Condition is fine.

Code: 50305

1800.00 CAD

Pte J. Algie - Elora Rifle Company Fenian Raids 1866

This is a father son set, with Pte Algie's Canadian General Service Medal and his son, Pte J.N. Algie (CFA), WWI War Medal.

Pte James Algie left Elora for Chatham April 2, 1866, returning May 17, 1866, Then served Point Edward, June 2, 1866 to July 5, 1866 under Captain C. Clark. Medal 6980 sent to Guelph, Ontario, January 17, 1900. Served 30th Wellington Bn.

Original ribbon, nice grey patina, with correct clasp and lettering. Fine condition. WWI medal requires further research, suffers a nick in the rim, grey patina and has its original ribbon.

Code: 50304

840.00 CAD

LCol HJ Grasett 10th Royal Grenadiers

Lieutenant-Colonel Henry James Grasett CMG (June 18, 1847 – September 30, 1930) was a Canadian army and militia officer, and a Toronto police chief. He is the longest-serving police chief in the history of the Toronto Police, having served for 34 years from 1886 to 1920 as Chief Constable.

Grasett was the third son of the Reverend Henry James Grasett, the Rector of St. James Cathedral in Toronto, and Sarah Maria Stewart. He was educated at a Toronto private school and at Leamington College for Boys in England. At 19, he returned to Canada and joined the Canadian militia. He fought on the Niagara Peninsula during the Fenian raid of 1866 with the 2nd Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Toronto (QOR), In 1867, he joined the British Army serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment 100th Foot in Canada and England and rose to the rank of lieutenant by the time he retired to Toronto in 1875, where he became a partner in a firm of shipping and commission merchants. In 1885, he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel in the militia and put in command of the 10th Battalion Royal Grenadiers which fought in several battles during the North-West Rebellion of 1885, including the charge at Batoche.

On December 1, 1886, Grasett was appointed Chief Constable of Toronto. During his command of the Toronto Police he saw the force grow from 172 to 662 men. Under Grasett, the police remained largely British and Protestant in composition. Patrolmen were armed for the first time under Grasett. He also oversaw innovations such as the institution of an electric call box and signal system, patrol wagons, bicycles, motorcycles and ultimately police cars and also reorganized the morality squad and department of detectives. Training and promotion was modelled on the military.

Grasett served as vice-president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1902 and as president of the Chief Constables' Association of Canada in 1906. Unlike previous Toronto chief constables, Grasett largely refrained from making controversial public statements except during World War I when he spoke out against foreigners in Toronto and banned outdoor anti-conscription meetings. He was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George in 1916 for his contributions to the war effort.

In 1918, dissatisfied with wages, discipline and work conditions, Toronto police constables unionized, joined the Toronto Trades and Labour Council, and went on strike. At the provincial commission that was created to investigate the unrest, Grasett expressed his opposition to one of the union's key demands, promotion by seniority.

Grasett retired as chief constable in 1920, at the age of 73. He died of pneumonia at his home in 1930 and was buried in St James' Cemetery.

This group is very rare and important group with significant history both military and police regarding Toronto and its contributions to service and growth as a city. The medals are very fine condition and the CMG comes with its original case.

Code: 50303


3rd Battalion CEF - HQ Flag or Pennant

This flag is in rough shape and looks like it had a lot of field time marking a Battalion or Company HQ command post. A simple cotton square with felt cloth stitched on to indicate the Battalion and Division in location. The red 1st Division rectangle patch and the green triangle patch of the 3rd Bn CEF centered both sides of the cloth indicate the unit. Not sure what the blue stripe indicates, maybe a Company colour.

The flag is torn from wind, maybe even tears from shrapnel, hard to say, but it has seen extensive use and weathering. It was no doubt in the field with these particular markings. A cool find to a really well known and respected Toronto Battalion, just needs to be framed to preserve it and enjoy the history it represents.

Code: 50302


WWII Machete

During WWII Canada had a large war production industry. Many civi industries would change over from making things like refrigerators to machineguns. However, the Government had contracts with US and British firms as well to assist with production of all kinds of sundry items to pick up the slack in material production for needed tools for combat. Britain also relied on the US industrial juggernaut for supplies. This Machete is an example of such kit produced in quantity as a baseline tool for soldiers in the field.

Every combat vehicle and platoon needed a machete for cutting brush for camouflage and other practical reasons. This model of machete with its original leather scabbard is a common item among all allied forces. The blade, in fair condition, is marked Made in USA and is dated 1945. It still has its paper label. Examples exist with broad arrow markings, but not always. Every Sherman tank would have one of these in their tool bin. A nice example of one of the many tools used in the field.

Code: 50301

150.00 CAD

1856 Pioneer Sword

Offered here is an original British Army 1856 Pioneer Sword worn by Infantry Pioneers. This was a weapon and tool in one. It is not a bayonet, but a sword hanger worn by other ranks with the role of pioneer in an Infantry Battalion. The saw back was considered a proper tool for cutting, but such a tool could cause horrific injury to an enemy. In World War one the German soldiers had saw back bayonets and anyone found with one were given a good work over if taken prisoner. No one could survive a thrust with such a weapon.

This particular example is in great condition with its proper black leather scabbard and brass fittings. The blade is in good condition well marked and undamaged. The blade is etched Firmin & Sons, London. The brass hilt is in good condition and firm. A great example of a specialist weapon/tool, used by Canadian Militia as well.

Code: 50300

600.00 CAD

1845 Infantry Officer Sword - Canadian Militia

We offer here a fine example of a standard model 1845 Infantry officer sword with a beautiful hilt, a good blade and decent scabbard. Hard to find these in this kind of condition today, and a must have for a Canadian collection.

The blade includes a really nice silver sword knot from the period. The scabbard has all of its parts and has a clean finish. The blade has a dull patina, but not damaged, pitted or chipped. The etching is clean, sharp and includes the beaver and title Canadian Militia with the VR Crown on the obverse side. The hilt has some gilding still intact in areas, but like most, the finish is mostly brass with no dents, missing parts or loose sections. It is a classic example of the basic officer sword.

Code: 50299


1803 Light Infantry Sword

For the most part the British Infantry used a blade known as a Spadroon. The first of these to be an established pattern was introduced in 1788 and its design was further refined to the pattern 1796 Line Officer Sword. These were not government issue, but an approved pattern of sword by the Army used by the Infantry and Foot Artillery and were purchased from well established blade smiths in England by the officers themselves. The pattern remained in service until 1821. However, during the Napoleonic wars Officers of the Flank Companies of British Line Regiments often purchased their own unapproved curved sabers for use in battle. As a result the Government approved the pattern 1803 saber for Grenadier and Light Infantry within the line regiments. The blade shape can vary in curvature, length, grip and refined details, but for the most part were based on the standard model offered here with a shorter blade than the Cavalry version.

This example has its original leather scabbard with brass gilt fittings, two strap rings and leather scabbard stud. The gilt has worn off the fittings and the frog stud has broken off, the leather was at some point treated with a wax to protect it leaving a milky white discoloration on some areas of the black leather. The leather seam is still closed and the leather supple, the internal wood sleeve still functional.

The blade has a wonderful steep curve to it and retains it's blue and gilt finish, has obvious signs of oxidation and grey patina spotting with mild pitting and a few minor chips in the blade. The brass hilt has lost most of its gilding and the leather grip is in good condition with its wire wrap. The blade has the usual GR with crown and coat of arms on the opposing side without maker marks. A classic sword of the period that would have been carried by British regular Flank Officers during the War of 1812.

Code: 50298

2800.00 CAD