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Following my research into Major Richard Josiah Smyly, a Loyal North Lancashire officer and recipient of the Turkish Liakat / Liyakat medal, I have trawled through the newspaper archives and medal auction catalogues in an attempt to identify other British recipients of this Turkish award and have come up with the following list of names.

You will notice that several other men received awards in connection with reforming the Macedonian Gendarmerie, as Major Smyly did in 1908.

Turkish Liakat Medal, silver.

This list may not be complete but I have found no other attempt elsewhere online to identify the British recipients who received the award before the Great War. There is plenty of information about Turkish & German officers (including the Red Baron and his brother) receiving awards during the war, but very little (if anything) about the Brits beforehand.

The Liakat Medal (Turkish: Liyakat Madalyasi) translated as “Medal of Merit,” was a decoration of the Ottoman Empire established in 1890. It could be awarded in two classes, gold or silver. The medal was a common military decoration of the late Ottoman Empire, through the end of the First World War. The medal could also be awarded to civilians for general merit to society. In 1905, women were allowed to receive the medal for charitable work, and other civilian merit. The medal measured 25 mm in diameter came in both gold and silver classes. It was suspended from a red ribbon with narrow green side stripes. During World War I a clasp of two crossed swords was attached to the ribbon with the date AH 1333 (1915) inscribed upon them.

If you have any further information about other British recipients I would be very pleased to read your comments below.

– Sir Vincent Henry Penalver Caillard. For increasing silk production. Date October 1892.

– Gen. Sir Julius Augustus Robert Raines G.C.B. For recognition of his services with the Turkish Army in the Crimea, decorated by the Sultan of Turkey. Date 1899. Army & Navy Gazette believed him to be the first British Army recipient of this award.

– All officers (besides the Captains who received the Imtiyaz medal in either gold or silver) who were present at a dinner held by the Sultan in Constantinople in honour of Admiral Sir Charles Drury Lowe. Date September 1907. Number of recipients unknown.

– Commodore B. K. Boase, R.N. For service on C-I-C yacht Hussar between 1907-09. Poss awarded at dinner in September 1907 (above). Group sold DNW September 2011.

– Major General F.G. Anley, C.B., C.M.G. Served with the Macedonian Gendarmerie from April 1904 until April 1906. Award date 1906. Group sold Spink auction 5005, lot 547.

– Mr. Marc, British Vice-Consul in Samos. For recognition of the humanitarian services rendered during recent disturbances. Date July 1908.

– Major Richard Josiah Smyly, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. For services rendered in connection with the reorganisation of the Macedonian Gendarmerie. Date November 1908.

– Lieutenant-Colonel G. L. Bonham, Grenadier Guards. Attached Chief Staff Officer, British Section, Ottoman Gendarmerie in August 1907. For services during revolutionary period in 1908. Group sold DNW May 2017.

– Major Martyn, Royal West Kent Regiment (50th Foot). For services rendered in connection with the reorganisation of the Macedonian Gendarmerie. Date November 1908.

– Commander A. T. Taylor, R.N. When in command of H.M.S. Imogene at Constantinople, decorated by Sultan Abdul Hamid. Date unknown but prior to September 1910.

– Rear Admiral H. P. Williams (and other unnamed members of the British Naval Mission) who did much useful work in improving the organisation and training of the Ottoman Fleet, decorated by the Sultan who also gave Williams a signed photograph of himself framed in gold. Date 29 April 1912.

– Commander Ian Laughlan Mackinnon. For services as Officer Instructor in Gunnery with the Turkish Fleet. Date between 1912 – 1913.

– Lieutenant-Colonel A. E. S. Clarke, Scots Guards. Seconded for duty with the Macedonian Gendarmerie, 1904-07, during the civil unrest. Group sold DMW March 2017.

– Colonel Sir Edward Grogan, The Rifle Brigade. For duty with the Macedonian Gendarmarie until September 1908. Group sold DNW December 2002 & March 2017.

– Sir Edgar Vincent Ex-Coldstream Guards. For the great improvement introduced to Turkish finance. Date 19 April 1892.

– Surgeon Captain Richard Cleveland Munday, R.N. Date 1908. Group sold DNW (minus Liakat medal) in December 2001.

– Staff Surgeon Commander L.F. Cope, R. N. Date unknown. Miniature group sold Spink auction 7029, lot 473.

Paul McCormick
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