Territorial Force Efficiency Medal
Unfortunately we don't know this man's first name or anything about his early life and family.
As well as his civilian job, this man was a member of the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This was based on Burlington Street in Manchester. We don't know exactly when he enlisted, but it must have been before 1898. Volunteers kept their civilian jobs and homes. They trained as soldiers during evenings and weekends, as well as an annual training camp lasting around 2 weeks.
The Volunteer Force had been formed to defend the UK against an invasion. They were not intended to serve abroad with the Army. During the Boer War, fought in South Africa between October 1899 and May 1902, individual members of the 4th Volunteer Battalion helped form 6 Volunteer Service Companies of the Manchester Regiment. They fought in South Africa as part of the Regular Army.
The Boer War had shown that the Volunteer Force was not particularly useful to the Army. Additionally, by 1907 it was in financial difficulties. On the 1st April 1908 the Volunteer Force became the Territorial Force. This was much more closely linked to the Regular Army. The 4th Volunteer Battalion became the 7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This man continued to serve in it, with the service number 388.
Between 1908 and 1910 this man was awarded the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal. This recognised 12 years total service in the Territorials and Volunteers.
The rest of this man's life remains a mystery. His medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in April 1963.