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They Gave Us Each A Medal

The Collected Works of Captain Tim Ash M.B.E.


Edited by
Tom Donovan


 They Gave Us Each A Medal… contains sixty-six articles written by Tim Ash (1933-2012) over a period of some thirty years. These articles relate numerous historical incidents – some so obscure that without Tim having teased them out through dedicated research into the recipients of medals he acquired – they would probably remain unknown. The author was very well known in medal collecting circles for his ability to identify seemingly ordinary medals and through diligent and thoughtful research to bring their recipients to life. He was a gifted storyteller and his articles never failed to capture the imagination of his readers. Above all, Tim Ash wished to pass on the lessons of his own research forays, mainly in the India Office Library and Records, and in the course of relating the personal stories that he uncovered he delighted in explaining his research methodology, hoping that his readers would then have in their own research the same pleasure and success he had had in his.


While most of his articles contain tips and guidance that even experts will find beneficial, others were specifically written as research aids, patiently listing the various sources at the India Office Library (now incorporated in the British Library). Of much interest are the articles written about civilians caught up in the horrors of the Indian Mutiny, and the author’s guides to researching those unsung stalwarts and their long-suffering families.Anyone with an interest in the military affairs of the British Empire in Victorian times, particularly where they relate to India and the East India Company, will find this book rewarding and informative. Medal collectors, in particular, will approach their interest with renewed vigour having gained an appreciation of the enormous research potential of even relatively humble recipients.

Tim Ash was born in 1933 and joined the Royal Signals in 1951. He had already served in Germany, Libya, Malta and Egypt before volunteering for the Trucial Oman Scouts. Arriving in the northern Emirates in the early sixties for a supposedly eighteen-month posting, he eventually stayed for twenty-two years.

In 1968 Tim was appointed Desert Intelligence Officer for the Scouts in Ras al Khaimah. There he won the confidence of the mountain tribes and was able to mediate in inter-tribal disputes and gather intelligence leading to the acquisition of guns and ammunition. The award of the M.B.E. in 1971 was the result of Tim’s substantial contribution to the security of a frequently turbulent region.

  Following Tim’s subsequent posting to Oman, he often returned to Ras al Khaimah at the personal invitation of the ruler, and subsequently took up military service there, also pursuing his interest in archaeology.

  During retirement Tim dedicated much of his spare time to the study of military history. He regularly published articles for the O.M.R.S., the I.M.H.S and Medal News.

  He was ever willing to impart his knowledge, and this could not be better exemplified than by this collected edition of his published work.




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