Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (11 & 12 December 2013)

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Date of Auction: 11th & 12th December 2013

Sold for £220

Estimate: £180 - £220

A Great War Indian M.S.M. awarded to Lance-Naik Muhammad Hussain, 59th Scinde Rifles, who was killed in the Regiment’s only V.C. action at Givenchy in December 1914

Indian Army Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (4738 L. Nk. Muhd. Hussain, 59/Rifles (F.F.), good very fine


Muhammad Hussain was killed in action at Givenchy on 19 December 1914, on which date one of his officers, Lieutenant W. A. M. Bruce, won a posthumous V.C., the citation for the latter neatly summarising the circumstances under which so many casualties were suffered by the 59th Scinde Rifles:

‘For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. On the 19 December 1914, near Givenchy, during a night attack, Lt. Bruce was in command of a small party which captured one of the enemy's trenches. In spite of being severely wounded in the neck, he walked up and down the trench, encouraging his men to hold on against several counter-attacks for some hours until killed. The fire from rifles and bombs was very heavy all day, and it was due to the skilful disposition made, and the example and encouragement shown by Lt. Bruce that his men were able to hold out until dusk, when the trench was finally captured by the enemy.’

Hussain, who was the son of Akbar Ali of Sikronia, Kahuta, Rawalpindi, is commemorated on the Neuve Chapelle Memorial. His M.S.M. is erroneously listed as an award for Egypt in Army Honours & Awards.