The fascinating cased 1923 Royal Tournament Prize Medal in Bronze for the Royal Navy Chatham Foil versus Foil Officer’s competition award to Lieutenant later Captain C.A Kershaw, Royal Navy, who having served aboard submarines in the Baltic and been apparently awarded the Order of Saint Stanislaus, went on to be twice Mentioned in Despatches during the Second World War, the first time for his service in command of the troop carrier Queen Emma for the Lofoten Raid in February 1941, and the second time for his command of the armed merchant cruise

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Product ID: CMA/25699
Condition: Good Very Fine
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Description:

The fascinating cased 1923 Royal Tournament Prize Medal in Bronze for the Royal Navy Chatham Foil versus Foil Officer’s competition award to Lieutenant later Captain C.A Kershaw, Royal Navy, who having served aboard submarines in the Baltic and been apparently awarded the Order of Saint Stanislaus, went on to be twice Mentioned in Despatches during the Second World War, the first time for his service in command of the troop carrier Queen Emma for the Lofoten Raid in February 1941, and the second time for his command of the armed merchant cruiser Bulolo for the Normandy landings in June 1944. It was however in the field of sport, namely rugby and fencing, that Kershaw particularly distinguished himself, as a half-back, he play rugby for the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, the United Services, Portsmouth, Blackheath, the Royal Navy, and England between 1920 and 1923, being capped 16 times, he also fenced in the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, and played against the USA in 1921.
Royal Tournament Prize Medal in Bronze, reverse engraved: ‘Royal Navy Chatham Foil v Foil Officers Lieut. C.A. Kershaw R.N. 1923’. Housed in its fitted presentation case.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Cecil Ashworth Kershaw was born on 3rd February 1895 at Dacca, Dhaka, Bangladesh, the son of Sir Lewis Kershaw K.C.S.I. Educated at Wharfedale School in Ilkley, followed by the Royal Naval College at Osborne, he distinguished himself in rugby, and would later play for the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, the United Services, Portsmouth, Blackheath and the Royal Navy.
Commissioned as a Midshipman on 15th January 1913, with the outbreak of the Great War he was appointed to Acting Sub Lieutenant on 15th January 1915, and promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 15th November 1915. Seeing service aboard submarines in the Baltic, he was appointed to Acting Lieutenant on 15th May 1917, and then promoted to Lieutenant with his seniority backdated to 15th February 1917. For his services aboard the Baltic submarines, Kershaw was apparently awarded the Imperial Russian Order of Saint Stanislaus, though this does not appear to have been gazetted.
It was really however as a rugby player in the position of half-back that Kershaw particularly distinguished himself, and he played rugby for England from 1920 to 1923, being capped 16 times, he distinguished himself in partnership with W.J.A. Davis for both the Navy and England, and in their 14 matches together for England, they never finished on the losing side.
It was as a fencer that he also showed himself to be one of the very best, and he appeared for Great Britain in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, and then competed against the USA in 1921, and only lost one bout. He was also a distinguished hockey player and cricketer.
Continuing with the Royal Navy, Kershaw was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 15th February 1925, and to Commander on 31st December 1930. Kershaw retired at his own request on 14th July 1933. With the outbreak of the Second World War he was recalled with the rank of Captain on 3rd February 1940, and after service with the training establishment Collingwood, was then appointed to command the troop carrier H.M.S Queen Emma, aboard whom he then landed commandos for the Lofoten Raid in February 1941, for which he was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette for 12th August 1941.
Appointed to the command of the armed merchant cruiser Alaunia in February 1943, he was posted to the Royal Indian Navy in June 1943, and then joined the Combined Operations Base H.M.S Salsette at Bombay in December 1943, before being appointed the commanding officer of the armed merchant cruiser H.M.S Bulolo in June 1944. Aboard her he then took part in Operation Neptune, the Normandy Landings, and was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette for 14th November 1944. Kershaw died in Worthing, West Sussex on 1st November 1972.