Scarf presented to Sergeant Clay by Queen Victoria


(one of eight presented in the Boer war)

An unusual award, in the form of a long scarf crocheted by Queen Victoria, was made to selected servicemen during the South African War. It was apparently worn over the shoulder, passing under the shoulder strap, across the chest and buckled on the right hip. The description of the scarf is given as "..crocheted in Khaki-coloured Berlin wool, approximately nine inches wide and five foot long, including a four inch fringe at each end, and bears the Royal Cipher V.R.I. (Victoria Regina Et Imperatrix)..."

At one time even the number of scarves was in doubt, but it has been confirmed that a total of eight were awarded, four to British servicemen.
The recipients were required to be chosen by a vote of the NCOs and men of each unit, and approved by the Commanding Officer. The four scarves awarded to the British Army went to men of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, under the command of Sir Henry Hildyard. These were:
    Quartermaster Sergeant Henry George Clay, DCM, 2nd Bn The East Surrey Regiment.
    Colour Sergeant William Colclough, 2nd Bn, The Devonshire Regiment.
    Colour Sergeant Thomas Ferrett, DCM, 2nd Bn The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.
    Colour Sergeant Frank Kingsley, DCM, 2nd Bn The West Yorkshire Regiment.