The Allan and Janet Woodliffe Collection of Medals Relating to the Reconquest and Pacification of the Sudan (18 May 2011)

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Date of Auction: 18th May 2011

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

The Great War Italy operations M.C. group of five awarded to Major Stuart Frederick Maxwell Ferguson, Royal Artillery, who was wounded with the B.E.F. in 1914 and again at Delville Wood, and afterwards served in the Aliab Dinka operations

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed; 1914 Star, with copy clasp (Lieut., R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oakleaf (Major); Khedive’s Sudan 1910-22, 2nd issue, 1 clasp, Aliab Dinka, unnamed, mounted court style for display, cleaned, contact marks, nearly very fine and better (5) £2000-2500


M.C. London Gazette 18 January 1918:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He made valuable reconnaissances for the best forward observation posts and succeeded in accurately registering his guns from them for barrage work. He has always shown marked coolness under fire.’

Stuart Frederick Maxwell Ferguson was born on 14 August 1889, in Trivandrum, Travancore, India. He was the son of J. H. S. Ferguson, the Director of Museums, and local JP and was educated at Wellington College,1903-08 and the Royal Military Academy (Woolwich), 1908-10. He qualified for a commission in the R.F.A. by examination, July 1910, with 14,376 points (41st in class of 70), and won the following prizes: sword for Military History, Sam Brown belt for Military Law, and silver cigarette case for Military Administration.

Commissioned into the Royal Artillery as a 2nd Lieutenant on 23 July 1910, he was posted to 107 Battery Royal Field Artillery. He was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1913. He went to France & Belgium with the BEF in August 1914, and on 18 August, at L’Aventure, Armentieres, he received a gunshot wound to his left foot which released splinters of bone, and he had to return home for treatment on 21 October 1914. He returned to France on 10 March 1915. He was mentioned in despatches on 17 February 1915, for services at Ypres. He was promoted to Captain in July 1916. Ferguson was wounded again in August while serving with the 12th Battery / 35 Bde R.F.A. at Delville Wood. This time it was a gunshot wound to the left thigh. He did not return to France until March 1917 where he took command of No. 58th Battery / 35 Bde. He was again mentioned in despatches on 14 December 1917. On 21 November 1917 he was posted to Italy with 35 Bde., with whom he won his M.C. before returning home on 4 November 1918 as an Acting Major.

He was for a third time mentioned in despatches on 5 June 1919. On 15 December 1919 he was attached to the Egyptian Army with the rank of Bimbashi, subsequently taking part in the operations in Aliab Dinka during 1920 (medal and clasp). Approximately 37 clasps for Aliab Dinka were issued to British officers. He contracted malaria in Khartoum in 1920. He was attached to the newly formed Sudan Defence Force on its formation on 17 January 1925, and served until 31 March 1927, when he returned home.

On return from the Sudan he served with a heavy battery at Spike Island on the South Irish Coast Defences. He was promoted to Major in November 1928. From 1930 to 1932 he was with the 8th Field Brigade RA, at Shorncliffe, where on 5 February, while out with the Shorncliffe Drag Hunt he had to pull up his horse quickly for some reason, and the animal’s head pulled back and struck him in the face, giving him a hematoma of the left eye. In 1933 he moved to the 13th Field Battery R.A. at Aldershot where he remained until he retired on 25 November 1936, being discharged to the Reserve of Officers. He was still unlucky with horses, as on 5 February 1932, while out with the Aldershot Command Drag Hunt, his horse put his foot in a hole and fell into a ditch, throwing Ferguson against the bank, leaving him winded and bruised to the back and chest - happily the horse was fine. Ferguson was re-employed on 21 November 1939 as a Staff Officer (Passive Air Defence), Air Defences, South Eastern Command, Aldershot Area, South Aldershot Sub Area. He finally retired on 24 July 1944 to Broadmead Copse, Wanborough, Guilford, Surrey; he died on 26 November 1975.

With a folder containing copied research.