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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 162

The British War Medal awarded to Gunner T. Twigg, Royal Garrison Artillery, a member of 78 Company who were present in putting down the Singapore Mutiny in February 1915

British War Medal 1914-20 (129318 Gnr. T. Twigg. R.A.), extremely fine

Thomas Twigg was a native of Birmingham and served with 78 Company, Royal Garrison Artillery, which was based at Singapore from 1 July 1913.

At 3.30 p.m., 15 February 1915, 815 members of the 5th Light Infantry, Indian Army and 100 men of the Malay State Guides mutineed in central Singapore. They initially broke barracks, firing upon five British Officers and killing three of them, before the surviving two could raise arms to force them off. Around 100 moved onto the Tanglin Barracks where 309 German prisoners were held, including some off the Emden. They killed the guards and attempted to persuade the Germans to assist - who refused on the grounds of dishonour. Other mutineers went on a killing spree at Keppel Harbour and Pasir Panjang, where the white women and children were rowed out to boats as protection. A radio message was sent to India and any allied warship for help.

In the meantime, the mutineers were laying siege to the bungalow of the commander, Colonel Martin, which was effectively blocking the way into Singapore Town. The Colonel and some men held out all night until they were relieved at daybreak by armed volunteers and civilians. On Wednesday 17th February, the French cruiser Montcalm and smaller Russian and Japanese warships arrived. They landed Marines who immediately advanced on the mutineers.

After five days, the final mutineers were rounded up on 20 February. 51 people were killed, including Gunner J. Barry, one of Twigg's comrades of 78 Company. It led to the compulsory military training of all Britons aged 18-55 in Singapore. Confirmed as sole entitlement; sold with the named card box and envelope of issue and copied MIC.

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