Skegness Man’s Rare Mons Star Honour from British Government

We’ve been trying to find out more information about a mystery photograph we have of Rosa Stillings of Skegness, so we were excited to find this article which explains who she is:



We have just received the ” Washington Courier,” U.S.A., which contains a photograph of Sergt. Major Wilfred D. Jefferies, decorated with the Mons Star.

Wilfred, who is well-known to many Skegnessians, is the son of Mrs. H. Stillings, Ivel Cottage, Grosvenor Road, and he joined up with the Royal Flying Corps about twelve months before the war, and was one of the first to go to France after war was declared.

He had a strenuous time during the winter season and was discharged unfit early in 1915. Shortly afterwards he went to Canada and joined up in the Colony. During the visit of the Prince of Wales to the Dominion of Canada, Sergt. Major Jefferies was chosen as one of the Guard of Honour composed of British veterans as an escort to the Prince at North Philadelphia Railway Station.

The following is an extract from the Washington paper:
“Sergt. Major Wilfred D. Jefferies, veteran of the first British Expeditionary Force, the  Old Contemptibles, which met the shock of the German legion in the dark Autumn of 1914 -the opening days of the War.
He has just been decorated by the British Government with the Mons Star, a rare honour.”

Source: Skegness Mablethorpe and Alford News 7th January 1920

Wilfred Jefferies’ medal certificate is shown above. Click to enlarge. Notice that the medal was dispatched to Ivel Cottage, Grosvenor Road, Skegness, but was returned by the postal service, marked “Gone away”.

Immediately I read the name Stillings in this article, my mind jumped to the studio portrait I have of a “Rosa Stillings of Skegness”. After some investigations, I discovered that the Mrs H Stillings refered to in the story was in fact a Mrs Harry Stillings, who married Rosa Jefferies locally in 1910.

As Rosa’s name is Stillings, and her son’s name is Jefferies, it is obvious that the son was born before her marriage to Harry Stillings, who, incidentally, died in 1926.

According to the 1901 census, Rosa, aged 35, is living on Wainfleet Road, Skegness, with her parents, John Robert Jefferies and Fanny, nee Bond. Rosa’s full name is Rosa Bond Jefferies.

John Robert Jefferies married Fanny Bond in 1854 in the Biggleswade District.


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