Orders, Decorations and Medals (28 & 29 March 2012)

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Date of Auction: 28th & 29th March 2012

Sold for £12,000

Estimate: £5,500 - £6,500

The outstanding K.C.M.G., C.B., C.I.E., D.S.O., M.V.O., O. St. J. group of twenty awarded to Major-General Sir Sydney D’A. Crookshank, Royal Engineers, Director-General of Transportation, France, December 1917-May 1919 and Colonel Commandant, R.E., 1936-41

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, K.C.M.G. Knight Commander’s set of insignia, neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; breast star, silver, gold appliqué and enamel, with gold pin; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, C.I.E. Companion’s 2nd type breast badge, gold and enamel, lacking brooch bar; The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knight of Grace set of insignia, neck badge, 54 x 54mm., silver and enamel; breast star, 67 x 67mm., silver and enamel, with gold pin; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with top bar, lacking reverse cypher; The Royal Victorian Order, M.V.O. Member’s 4th Class breast badge, silver-gilt, gold and enamel, reverse officially numbered, ‘888’; India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Relief of Chitral 1895 (Lieutt. S. D. A.Crookshank, R.E.) initials of name re-engraved; 1914-15 Star (Major S. D. A. Crookshank, C.I.E., M.V.O., R.E.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Maj. Gen. S. D’A. Crookshank) Victory with official correction to initials; Delhi Durbar 1911, silver; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, these unnamed; France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Officer’s breast badge, gold and enamel; U.S.A., Army Distinguished Service Medal, bronze and enamel; France, Croix de Guerre 1914-1918, bronze palm on ribbon; Belgium, Croix de Guerre, ‘A’ cypher, the medals mounted for wear; Belgium, Order of Leopold I, Commander’s neck badge with swords, gold and enamel; France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Commander’s neck badge, gold and enamel; Portugal, Republic, Military Order of Aviz, 2nd Class set of insignia by F. G. da Costa, Lisbon, neck badge and breast star, silver-gilt and enamel, generally good very fine (23) £5500-6500


D.S.O. London Gazette 3 June 1916.

M.I.D. London Gazette 1 January 1916; 15 June 1916; 4 January 1917; 11 December 1917; 20 May 1918, 21 October 1918; 5 July 1919.

Sydney d’Aguillar Crookshank was born on 3 June 1870, the son of Colonel Arthur Chichester William Crookshank, Indian Army. He was educated on the Continent and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Entering the Royal Engineers in 1889, he elected to serve in India, going out there in 1891 - firstly employed on railway survey work, 1891-93 and then with the Roads and Building Branch of the Public Works Department in the United Provinces, 1893-1911. During 1895, on the formation of the Chitral Relief Force, he was employed as Assistant Field Engineer at Malakand (Lines of Communication). Promoted to Captain in 1900, in 1901 he became the District Engineer for the Lucknow District and in 1908 became Executive Engineer of the King George’s Medical College and Hospital Division at Lucknow, involved in extensive design and construction works in the area, including the construction of the New Canning College, Lucknow. During this time he was also Troop Leader of the Lucknow Squadron of the United Provinces Light Horse. He was promoted to Major in 1909. For the Delhi Durbar of 1911 Crookshank was selected to take charge of the engineering works concerned. For his services in that regard he was awarded the M.V.O. in 1911 and the C.I.E. in 1912. In about 1912 he became Squadron Commander of the Punjab Light Horse based at New Delhi.

In 1914 he was placed in command of the Field Squadron R.E. of the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division in France. In July 1915 he was appointed C.R.E. (Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) of the 47th (2nd London) Division and was present at the battle of Loos in September 1915. When the Germans attacked Vimy Ridge in May 1916, and captured the summit, he organised a defensive line with his Sappers. In June 1916 he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. During the battles of the Somme he was with the Division at High Wood in September and at Transloy in October. In November 1916 he was appointed Deputy Director of Light Railways in France and in January 1917, Chief Engineer XV Corps. Soon after in March 1917 he was appointed Deputy Director-General of Transportation with the rank of Temporary Brigadier-General. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in June 1917. In December 1917 he became Acting Director-General, Transportation, the position confirmed in March the following year with the temporary rank Major-General. In January 1918 he received the brevet of Colonel. Crookshank continued as Director-General of Transportation until May 1919 and was promoted to Colonel in June.

For his war services he was seven times mentioned in despatches; created a C.B. in 1918 and K.C.M.G. in 1919. From the Allies he received awards from Belgium, France, Portugal and the U.S.A. In 1920 in recognition of his responsibilities with regard to ambulance trains, he was appointed a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John. His citation for the U.S.A. Distinguished Service Medal, reads:

‘The services General Crookshank rendered as Director General of Transportation of the British Forces were of great merit. He heartily cooperated with the American authorities and gave much assistance to our Transportation Corps. He lent every effort to further those friendly relations which characterized the transportation services of the British and American Armies.’

In September 1919 he returned to India to take up the position of Secretary in the Public Works Department and Consulting Engineer to the Government of India. As such he became a member of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council and a member of the Legislative Assembly. During this period he commanded the Simla Rifles. On the abolition of his post with the reorganisation of 1923, he deputed for special duty with the Colonial Office, working with the Public Works Services of the Gold Coast, after which he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Southern Command in England. He retired from the Army in 1927 with the honorary rank of Major-General. For four years up to 1929 he was Hon. Colonel of the 47th (2nd London) Divisional R.E. (T.A.). He was a member of the Council of the Institution of Royal Engineers; an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the Council of the Institution of Engineers (India). He was promoted to Colonel Commandant R.E. in 1936. Latterly living at Windmill House, Fleet, Hampshire, Major-General Crookshank died on 17 August 1941. With copied research.

For the recipient’s miniature dress medals, see lot 797; for his father’s medal, see lot 128.