Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £6,200

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The outstanding D.C.M. and Bar group of seven awarded to Sergeant Stima, 1st King’s African Rifles, who won his first award at Kasoa, Nyasaland, in September 1914, and the Bar at Tandala in February 1917 when he was one of two survivors from two Maxim machine-gun teams which were attacked by four hundred enemy; the recipient of one of only eight Bars to the K.A.R. D.C.M., he was also twice mentioned in despatches

King’s African Rifles Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (18 Cpl. Stima, 1/K.A.R.); Ashanti 1900, no clasp (389 Pte. Steamer, 2nd C. Africa Regt.); Africa General Service 1902-56, 3 clasps, Somaliland 1902-04, Jidballi, Nyasaland 1915 (389 Pte. Steamer, 2nd K.A. Rif.); 1914-15 Star (BR 18 L/C Steamer 1/KAR); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (18 Sgt Steamer 1/KAR); King’s African Rifles L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (18 Sjt Steamer, 1-K.A. Rif.) the last very fine, otherwise heavily polished, fine and better (7) £4000-5000

Footnote

D.C.M. Nyasaland Government Gazette 29 April 1916:

‘No. 18 Corporal Stima. For conspicuous gallantry and tenacity at the action of Kasoa on 9th September, 1914, in handling a Maxim after Mr Merriman, N.V.R., who was in charge had been mortally wounded.’ [the latter specially requested that this act of gallantry should be rewarded - Vide
London Gazette 3 August 1916].

Bar to D.C.M.
Nyasaland Government Gazette 30 June 1917:

‘No. 18 Lance Corpl. Stima, 1st/1st K.A.R. These two men [with Private Saiti, who was awarded the K.A.R. D.C.M.] at Tandala on the 19th February, 1917, were the sole survivors of two Maxim teams with a Company of K.A.R. which was attacked by four hundred enemy. They did their utmost to destroy the guns under heavy rifle and maxim fire. Cpl. Stima eventually brought in the lock and feed-block of one gun, Pte. Saiti being wounded in the head. Their action was a magnificent example of devotion to duty without consideration of personal danger and was beyond all praise.’

M.I.D.
London Gazette 7 March 1918 (Northey), and 5 June 1919 (Van Deventer).

L.S. & G.C.
Nyasaland Govenrment Gazette 31 August 1932.

Stima (or Steamer as he appears on his enlistment papers and elsewhere) was a native of East Africa from the Anguru tribe, in the Zomba district of Nyasaland. He enlisted into the 2nd Central Africa Regiment on 20 January 1899, aged 18 years 6 months, as a Private, Number 389. His first active service was in the Ashanti war of 1900 in West Africa. The Headquarters and four Companies of the 2nd C.A.R. arrived at Cape Coast on 13 August 1900, and at Bekwai a week later, Private Stima taking part in the actions of Djachi and Ojisu.

In 1901-02 the King’s African Rifles was formed from the former Central African Regiment, the Uganda Rifles, and the East Africa Rifles, Stima’s own unit becoming the 2nd K.A.R., with which regiment he next fought in Somaliland during 1902-04, including the action at Jidballi on 10 January 1904. Stima was appointed Lance Corporal in April 1905 but was deprived of his stripe in September 1908 for being found drunk on duty. He was transferred to the Reserve Forces of K.A.R. in August 1911 but returned to the Regular Forces K.A.R. in April 1914. He served with the 1st K.A.R. in German and Portuguese East Africa throughout the Great War, including the native rebellion in Nyasaland in 1915, winning the D.C.M. and Bar for actions in 1914 and 1917. He was also promoted Corporal in February 1917 for gallantry in the field at Tandala, the same action for which he won the Bar to his D.C.M.

Stima was grated Staff Pay as Machine-Gun Lance Corporal from January 1917, and as a Machine-Gun Instructor from december 1919, having been promoted to Sergeant in the Machine-Gun Company in March 1918. He was discharged from the K.A.R. in April 1922, and later became a 1st Grade Corporal in the Nyasaland Police Force. In April 1932 he was finally awarded his L.S. & G.C. medal which had not previously been forthcoming on account of his break in service in 1911-14 when he was on the Reserve. With this medal came entitlement to exemption from payment of Hut Tax for one Hut for life, and upon requesting details of Stima’s Hut, the C.O. 1st K.A.R. received a reply from Stima to the effect that ‘he has already two hut tax exemptions and he is very grateful for your offer to recommend him for a third, but at present it would be of no use to him as he only has two wives’. Stima was previously granted exemption for two Huts in respect of his D.C.M. and Bar.

This unique group is accompanied by a comprehensive file of copied service records and correspondence.