Distinguished Service Medal, awarded to Leading Seaman J. E. Knights during the Great War
Obverse, a bust of King George V
Reverse, a laurel wreath around the inscription with a crown above
Distinguished Service Medal, 1914-1918
The Distinguished Service Medal was instituted in 1914 at the same time as the Distinguished Service Cross; like that award it recognised conspicuous gallantry at sea in the face of the enemy, but was awarded to those below the rank of officer. In 1993 this distinction was erased and the DSM discontinued.
This example was awarded to Leading Seaman J. E. Knights of the Auxiliary Patrol. He served aboard HMS Erna, a drifter taken up as an anti-submarine patrol vessel at the start of the Great War of 1914-1918. She continued in service for a few years after the War, but as the Auxiliary Patrol did not, Knights's award was presumably made, as is almost required for the issue of the medal, in war service.
Lester Watson purchased the medal from the London dealers Baldwin at some point before 1928.