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Wallace is awarded the Order of Merit medal

Full transcription

Dec[emb]r. 17th                               Old Orchard,
1908                                                    Broadstone,

My dear Will

The ceremony is over, very comfortably. I am duly "Invested", and have got two engrossed documents both signed by the King - one appointing me a member of the "Order of Merit" with all sorts of official and legal phrases - the other a "Dispensation" from being personally "invested" by the King - as Col. Legge explained to safeguard me as having a right to the Order in case anybody says I was not "invested".

The "Insignia" consists of a very handsome cross in deep blue & red enamel mounted in gold with a handsome gold crown on top - weighing a little over an ounce. It is 13/4 in. wide and 21/2 inches high. The centre has on one side the Royal Monogram on the other the words "Order of Merit" There is a gold ring and clasp at top, to which is attached a thick ribbed, crimson and blue ribband, long enough to go round the neck and hang in the centre of the shirt front -to be seen by all observers! It fits in a double morocco case lined with white satin & velvet of this shape -

[sketch of the shape of the medal with the following text]



[written vertically at the left hand side of the page]

61/2 inches

Colonel Legge was a very pleasant jolly kind of man, & he told us he was in attendance on the German Emperor when he was staying near Christchurch last summer, and went for many drives with the Emperor only, all about the country, and he is quite sure the Emperor loves England and the English people even more than his mother did
Col. Legge got here at 2.40 - & had to leave by 3.20(at Station) so we got a carriage from Wimborne to meet the train &take him back, and Ma gave him some tea, & he said he had got a nice little place at Stoke Poges but with no views like ours, - & he showed me how to wear the order & was very pleasant: and we were all pleased.

    Your affectionate Pa
[signed]      A.R.Wallace

[written vertically at the left hand side of the page]

I think the Order will have to be kept in its case & the Medals have a glass covered tray to themselves.

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Letter to Alfred Russel Wallace from the Royal Society, about his Darwin Medal award

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