Orders, Decorations and Medals (21 September 2007)

Date of Auction: 21st September 2007

Sold for £800

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

An impressive inter-war M.B.E. group of twelve awarded to Commissary & Major E. W. Newman, Indian Army, late Dorset Regiment, who was awarded an immediate M.S.M. in 1917 and thrice mentioned in despatches during his long and distinguished career (1895-1944): one of the latter distinctions was for the South Persia operations 1918-19, ‘though he was suffering from an old wound obtained in France’

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
, M.B.E. (Military) Member’s 1st type breast badge, silver, hallmarks for London 1932; India General Service 1895-1902, 2 clasps, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (4639 Drmr., 1/Dorset Regt.), single initial ‘E.’; India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (Sergt., S. & T. Corps), single initial ‘E.’; 1914 Star (S./Sergt., S. & T. Corps); British War Medal 1914-20 (Condr., S. & T. Corps). single initial ‘E.’; Victory Medal 1914-19 (Condr., S. & T.C.), single initial ‘E.’; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, S. Persia (Condr., S. & T. Corps); War Medal 1939-45; India Service Medal 1939-45; Delhi Durbar 1911; Army L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (S./Sergt., S. & T. Corps); Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (S. Sjt., S. & T.C.), together with official duplicate issue 1914 Star (4639 S. Sjt., Dorset R.) and British War Medal 1914-20 (4639 C. Sjt., Dorset R.), the second and third renamed in small impressed capitals, generally very fine or better (14) £800-1000


M.B.E. London Gazette 4 June 1934.

Eugene William Newman was born in Oatacomand, India in December 1881 and enlisted in the Dorset Regiment as a boy recruit in January 1895. Standing a little over five feet, he was appointed a Drummer in the 1st Battalion and quickly witnessed active service in the Punjab Frontier operations of 1897-98, when his battalion formed part of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division in the Tirah Expeditionary Force.

Clearly a gifted linguist, Newman went on to pass at the higher standards in Tamil and Hindustani, as well as the lower standard of Persian, 1900-03, and gained advancement to Lance-Corporal in February 1904. Shortly afterwards, in a deliberate career move, he transferred to the Supply & Transport Corps on the Punjab-Bengal Unattached List and was advanced to Staff Sergeant in November 1905. Further active service followed in the Zakka Khel operations of 1908, when he won a “mention” from the G.O.C., Mohmand Field Force, and in 1911, having passed the Warrant Officer’s examination, he was awarded the Delhi Durbar Medal, his C.O. in the 2nd Rawalpindi Division reporting that he did ‘exceedingly good work at the Durbar Coronation deserving of special notice’ - the award of his L.S. & G.C. was announced in IAO 85 of 1913.

Then in early November 1914, as a Staff Sergeant, he was embarked for service in France and Flanders, where he was attached to the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade and was wounded on 26 May 1915, his C.O. noting in an official report submitted in the following year, ‘Recommended for a Commission. One of the best N.C.Os in the Army.’ Little else is known about his time on the Western Front, other than the fact he served as an Acting Conductor - he was advanced to substantive Sub. Conductor in July 1917 - and was awarded an immediate Meritorious Service Medal ‘In recognition of services rendered with the Armies in the Field during the present War’ (London Gazette 9 July 1917 refers), in addition to another “mention” which appeared in the Gazette of India on 27 March 1920; as a result of the fact he was “on the books” of the Dorset Regiment, he was also erroneously issued with a brace of 1914 Star trios (his MIC entries refer).

Newman, who returned to India in November 1917, was posted to Persia in June 1918, where he served as Acting Commandant of 145 Supply Tally Section, Bushire Field Force, from February until June 1919, and was brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services during the period April 1918 to March 1919 (London Gazette 3 February 1920 refers). This latter “mention” undoubtedly stemmed from an official report submitted by his C.O., which stated that Newman had proved ‘invaluable at the Base Supply Depot though suffering from an old wound obtained in France.’

Having then enjoyed extended leave back in the U.K., he returned to India, where he held a string of appointments in the 1920s and 1930s at such locations as Calcutta, Jalapahar, Barrackpore, Bannu and Bombay. Commissioned as an Assistant Commmissary & Lieutenant in May 1928, he was advanced to Deputy Commissary & Captain in May 1931 and to Commissary & Major in May 1934, in which latter year he was awarded the M.B.E. and placed on the Retired List.

Recalled in his original rank on the renewal of hostilities, Newman served as the O.C. of a supply company at Karachi until October 1941, when he assumed similar duties at a P.O.W. camp at Bangalaore. Here he remained actively employed until August 1944, when he reverted to the Retired List, thereby adding the 1939-45 War and India Service Medals to the India General Service Medal he had earned nearly 50 years earlier.