|ROYAL NAVY L.S. & G.C., V.R., engraved, narrow suspension
(HY WILLIAMS GUNNER RMA H.M.S. VANGUARD)
Henry Williams was born in the parish of Dowlais in Glamorgan in May 1842.
He enlisted in the RMLI on February 9, 1861 at Chepstow with a bounty of 4
pounds and a free kit. Five months later, he was transferred to the artillery
division and became part of the 6th Company, Plymouth Division
HMS Vanguard (1870-75) was the 7th RN vessel to bear that name. The first
Vanguard was a 32-gun galleon of the English Royal Navy and was launched in
1586 from Woolwich. She played a key part in the action against the Spanish
Armada in 1588. She was commanded by Martin Frobisher in 1594 and by Sir
Robert Mansell in 1596.
HMS Vanguard was an audacious class ironclad which sunk off the coast of
Ireland when her sister ship HMS Iron Duke's underwater ram tore open
Vanguard's hull near her boilers. Underwater rams had developed as an
important weapon as the iron clad hulls appeared ever more resistant to
damage by shelling. The ram fell out of favour within a decade of the
Vanguard's sinking as the same effect could be achieved with less
vulnerability using torpedos.
HMS Vanguard was built by Laird, Son & Co., Birkenhead. She was launched
on 3 January 1870 and was sunk in accident on 1 September 1875. She had
a complement of 450 (351 on board on the day of the collision) She sunk
within 70 minutes and lies on the seabed 50m below the surface. She was
rediscovered in 1985 and the wreck is now protected under the Irish
National Monument Act,
The short life of HMS Vanguard coupled with the narrow range of dates for
the engraved narrow LSGC results in a very limited number of medals named
to this ship.
|Approximately 4,500 engraved |
medals were issued between
March 1875 and March 1877. The
were engraved by Hunt and
Roskell at a price of one shilling
a piece. John Pinches took over
the contract using a machine to
impress the naming at a cost of
sixpence a piece.