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Category Archives: Orders & Decorations

Orders & Decorations

The Decorated Dr. Watson of the 2013 Sherlok Kholms Russian Television Series

The Decorated Dr. Watson of the 2013 Sherlok Kholms Russian Television Series

“The campaign brought honours and promotion to many …”

– A Study in Scarlet (STUD)

Dr. Watson hanging up his uniform in the first episode of Sherlok Kholmes

In November 2013, Russian television aired eight episodes of Шерлок Холмс, translated as Sherlok Kholms. The series starred Igor Petrenk as Holmes as Andrei Panin as Watson. This would be Panin’s last acting role, as he died before production finished. Some of his lines had to be spliced in from other recordings or by another voice actor.

In the first episode, 221B Baker Street, we are witness to a scene where Watson is hanging up his military uniform in a closet. Three decorations appear on his uniform

The first is the Second Anglo-Afghan War Medal.

Watson’s service in Afghanistan makes him eligible to receive the Afghanistan Medal, a 36mm round, silver medal (some examples are known in bronze), with a 33mm wide dark green ribbon with crimson on both edges. The medal hangs from a plain suspender that has a double toe claw to hold the medal.

A left-facing bust of Queen Victoria is on the obverse (or front) of the medal.  The legend of VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX is around the border of the design. This profile of Victoria was designed by Joseph Boehm.

The central design of the reverse (or back) of the medal features an elephant carrying a cannon, with soldiers, marching and on horseback Below this is the dates 1878-79-80. In the upper left, above the design, is the word AFGHANISTAN. This design was done by Randolph Caldecott, an illustrator of children’s books.

The medal was engraved by Leonard Wyon of the British Royal Mint.

The second decoration is the Kabul to Kandahar medal.

     

Measuring 62mm by 48mm, the medal is a five pointed star which is suspended by an imperial crown. Queen Victoria’s monogram is the central design, encircled with the words “KABVL TO KANDAHAR” and date of 1880. The  reverse of the medal would be engraved with the recipient’s name and regiment assignment.

As we have discussed previously, I hold the theory that Watson was ineligible to receive this honor.

The third decoration on Watson’s uniform appears to be the Abyssinian War Medal.

A left-facing bust of Queen Victoria is on the obverse (or front) of the medal. A stylised border with indentations, with the letters spelling ABYSSINIA between the indentations. The reverse has a blank central shield, for stamping the recipient’s name and unit, surrounded by a laurel wreath.

This 32mm silver medal was designed by Joseph and Alfred Wyon, and struck at the Royal Mint. This medal is unique in that the recipient’s name and unit were embossed on the reverse of the medal. This feature required that the dies for the reverse had to have a removable center so each recipient’s name and unit could be impressed, with each medal minted individually.

The medal is held by a suspension ring attached to a crown at the top of the medal. The medal hangs on a crimson, with white border, ribbon that is 38mm wide.

This medal was issued to British troops that participated in the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) between October 4, 1867 and April 19, 1868. Approximately 14,000 medals were issued.

Since this action was 12 years prior to the Battle of Maiwand, it is highly unlikely that Watson would have been eligible to receive this campaign honor.

So it would appear that the producers of this series only got one of the three campaign medals correct. What do you think?

 

Faces of Mycroft: Hugh Laurie

Faces of Mycroft: Hugh Laurie

“If you have a fancy to see your name in the next honours list…” – The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (BRUC) Prince Charles presents Hugh Laurie with his CBE, November 21, 2018 We share the following report from the BBC: Hugh Laurie made a CBE by Prince Charles Actor Hugh Laurie has been made a… Continue Reading

Faces of Holmes: Peter Cushing

Faces of Holmes: Peter Cushing

“… this man here – is an actor.” – The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place (SHOS) John Mills as Watson, Peter Cushing as Holmes in The Masks of Death (1984). This would be Cushing’s last role as Holmes. My first introduction to Peter Cushing was as Grand Moff Tarkin in a 1976 movie Star Wars. I would later become familiar… Continue Reading

The Kabul to Kandahar Star That Dr. Watson Didn’t Earn

The Kabul to Kandahar Star That Dr. Watson Didn’t Earn

“… succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety…” A Study in Scarlet (STUD)       Photos source: Wikipedia In our previous post on Dr. Watson’s Afghanistan Campaign Medal, we briefly discussed the Kabul to Kandahar rhar Star (also known as the Robert’s Star). This medal was awarded to the troops under General Frederick Roberts’ command, who participated in… Continue Reading

The 2014 BSI Trust Benefactor Medal

The 2014 BSI Trust Benefactor Medal

“… I should have had a medal the size of a soup plate.” – The Adventure of The Three Garridebs (3GAR)       We published a HolmeWork Assignment regarding the BSI Trust Benefactor’s Medal in January 2016. This medal has only been awarded twice – first, in 2012, to Glen Miranker, and then again in 2014… Continue Reading

The Dog and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2000)

The Dog and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2000)

A recent NI BULLETIN article (Smith, 1998) considered the copper fulus produced during the British occupation of the city of Qandahar during the Second Afghan War, and an unusual footnote is now added. It was mentioned that in the final phase of the war, on 27th July 1880, Ayub Khan “…defeated a sizeable British force… Continue Reading

Faces of Lestrade: Frank Finlay

Faces of Lestrade: Frank Finlay

“… besides being an incomparable actor. “ – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) Frank Finlay, clockwise from upper left, as Lestrade in A Study in Terror (1966); as Lestrade in Murder by Decree (1979); as Professor Coram in The Golden Pince-Nez (1994); and as Arthur Conan Doyle in The Other Side (1992) Charles Prepolec, the 75th Garrideb, posted the following item… Continue Reading

The Decorated Captain Tommy Gregson of the NYPD

The Decorated Captain Tommy Gregson of the NYPD

“Gregson is the smartest of the Scotland Yarders” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) Screen Capture from the October 30, 2016 episode of Elementary ~ S05E04 “Henny Penny, the Sky is Falling” If you were to poll the membership of our group about the CBS television series Elementary, opinions would vary wildly. There are those of you… Continue Reading

The Ottoman Grand Sultan Decorated Both of the Doyles in 1907

The Ottoman Grand Sultan Decorated Both of the Doyles in 1907

“I had also a commission from the Sultan of Turkey…” – The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (BLAN) Clipping from the December 1, 1907 edition of The Baltimore Sunday Sun On September 18, 1907, Arthur Conan Doyle married for the second time, wedding Jean Elizabeth Leckie. From September 21 through November 14, Conan Doyle and his… Continue Reading