The QSA to Pte 4885 FC Froggatt 7th Hussars is currently offered by London Medals (this link will break when someone buys the medal). Froggatt earned the classic "state and date" combination of clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. On the surface this is an "ordinary" medal, very common for the War and without a battle bar to give any indication of what action Froggatt saw. Additionally there are no service papers, a dull medal then?
However by looking around and delving deeper we can construct a story of "the man behind the medal".
There is a WW1 Medal Index Card for a Pte FC Froggatt, 18th Hussars (5401) and 14th Hussars (4/47513). The card is stamped "1914 Star" and contains the remarks that Froggatt's application was forwarded by the OC Reserve Regiment of Cavalry (India) with a disembarkation date in 1916. The MIC also shows the application was turned down. Curious. But, is this the same FC Froggatt as fought in the Anglo-Boer War?
Additionally in The Royal Tank Corps Enlistments on FindmyPast there is an entry for Pte 19139 Frederick Charles Froggatt. This shows he transferred to the Tank Corps on 22-05-1919 from the 14th Hussars number 47513. We have a link to the MIC, but of the link to the QSA?
The Enlistment shows Froggatt enlisted into the army on 16-10-1899 at Great Yarmouth age 19 years 6 months, a clerk. So, he is old enough to have fought in the Anglo-Boer War, but what is the connection between the QSA and the MIC? The MIC and the Tank Corps enlistment make no mention of the 7th Hussars, the regiment Froggatt fought with in the War.
Using the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 blog we can estimate the year and month of entry just using a service number. Looking at the two four digit numbers for the 7th and 18th Hussars, the five digit 14th Hussars number was issued from 1916 onwards.
Number 4885 7th Hussars was issued October 1899, number 5401 18th Hussars was issued October/November 1900. The enlistment date into the 7th Hussars number 4885 matches the enlistment date given on the Tank Corps enlistment. We now have a link between the QSA and the Tank Corps.
How can we explain the MIC, which does not mention the 7th Hussars and the four digit number for the 18th Hussars which was issued in 1900 when Froggatt was with the 7th Hussars and remained with them until after the Anglo-Boer War. The QSA medal roll does not contain any remark to show Froggatt came from or joined the 18th Hussars.
From January 1907 all service numbers for hussar regiments were issued centrally, number 5401 was issued in March 1910.
Putting all this information together gives us the following outline of Froggatt's military career:
Enlisted 1899 into the 7th Hussars for 12 years, fights in the Anglo-Boer War, transfers to the 18th Hussars March 1910 and is given a new number 5401. Froggatt's service expires 1911, he is either allowed to extend or joins the Reserves. At the outbreak of WW1 Froggatt is with the 18th Hussars, takes his discharge "time expired" and rejoins or is conscripted in 1916 into the 14th Hussars and is assigned to a Reserve Cavalry Regiment, presumably in India. Returning to the UK he is transferred to the Tank Corps in 1919. In January 1920 he is discharged and elects to join the 47th bn Royal Fusiliers who are stationed in Germany, and there the trail goes cold.
While we don't know what happened to Froggatt after 1920 the Tank Corp enlistments gives us vital and really interesting biographical data. Froggatt was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the son of RW Froggatt who was living there in 1919; great start for more research.
A humble "state and date" QSA now jumps to life with a little research and use of underused tools like enlistment dates. And of course we need to discover what the 7th Hussars did during the Anglo-Boer War - that's another blog.
If you have any Research Puzzles you need help with - please email me.