Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (22 July 2015)

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Date of Auction: 22nd July 2015

Sold for £3,600

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

An extremely rare O.B.E., North-West Frontier operations M.C. and Bar group of seven awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel L. M. Barlow, Indian Army: first decorated for his services on attachment to the Tochi Scouts in the Ramzak operations of 1922-23, in which he was wounded, he added a Bar to his accolades for subsequent gallantry with the Guides Infantry in the Chitral operations of 1932

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Civil) Officer’s 2nd type breast badge, silver-gilt; Military Cross, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar, the latter with removed backstrap and adapted for sewn-down wear; India General Service 1908-35, 3 clasps, Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919, Waziristan 1921-24, North West Frontier 1930-31 (2-Lieut. L. M. Barlow, 1-Bn. Corps of Guides); India Service Medal 1939-45; War Medal 1939-45; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, generally good very fine (7) £2000-2500

Footnote

O.B.E. London Gazette 1 February 1937.

M.C. London Gazette 30 May 1924:

‘For distinguished service rendered in the Field in connection with military operations in Waziristan, January 1922 to April 1923.’

Bar to M.C. London Gazette 2 December 1932:

‘For gallant and distinguished service in action with the Chitral relief column.’

Lance Mount Barlow was born at Cuttack, near Calcutta, in November 1899 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the Indian Army Unattached List in April 1919.

Posted to the 5th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Own Corps of Guides), he quickly witnessed active service in the Third Afghan War (Medal & clasp). Having then been advanced to Lieutenant, he won his first M.C. for gallant deeds on attachment to the Tochi Scouts in the Razmak operations against the Mahsuds in the period December 1922 to February 1923, operations in which he was wounded (clasp). Invalided home, he eventually received his decoration from General Thomas Scott at a special parade held in January 1928. He had meanwhile been advanced to Captain.

During the North-West Frontier operations of 1930-31, Barlow was twice actively deployed in Peshawar District (clasp), but it was for his gallant deeds in the Chitral Relief Column in September 1932 that he won his second M.C. Brigadier W. E. H. Condon’s The Frontier Force Regiment takes up the story:

‘Accordingly in September 1932, the three Battalions of the Nowshera Brigade (i.e. the Guides Infantry; 2/9th Gurkhas and 1/11th Sikh Regiment) were all ordered out as protective troops ... By the 16th the outward-bound column was clear, and the Brigade, who had piqueted them through on their way, withdrew to camp to wait for the returning column from Chitral. ‘A’ Company of the Guides, however, who remained for camp piquets, had some severe fighting that night. Captain Barlow was in command of it, and drove off all the attacks.

That night at about 11 o’clock, lured on by an ‘idiot boy’ act, there was a sudden fierce attack by a force of some 120 tribesmen. A party of about 25 rushed No. 1 Platoon, who were in low cover, from the scrub bush near by. After killing seven men at point-blank range and another with the bayonet, the Platoon withdrew to the main sangar 25 yards away, having two of their number killed and three wounded outside the entrance. Constant enemy rushes now followed from the scrub, which was so close that on more than one occasion the attackers got within five yards of the sangar wall. No. 4 Platoon was also attacked and all of them fought practically hand-to-hand with rifle, bayonet and grenade. It was 2.45 a.m. before the frustrated enemy withdrew. At dawn a strong patrol discovered in front of the position a standard, 26 corpses, a sword and several rounds of ammunition. A prisoner was also taken who proved to be a ‘wanted’ Bunerwal murderer who was later duly hanged.

While all this was going on in ‘A’ Company’s post, the Brigade camp was heavily fired into and “Guides’ Piquet” was attacked several times. The next day was a day of rest and cleaning up, but the Guides’ Piquet, with No. 7 Platoon was again repeatedly attacked on the night of the 17th and No. 2 Platoon, who took over, were also attacked on the night of the 18th.

Three immediate awards - one Bar to the M.C., one I.O.M. and one I.D.S.M. were won as a result of this action.

In this fighting the Guides’ casualties were five killed and eleven wounded, one of whom died later. In addition to the 26 dead tribesmen found in front of the position, the Political Agent reported that at least seven more had been killed and 50 wounded, many of them by hand grenades.’

A fellow officer of the Guides was also awarded the M.C. for these operations, namely Captain Godfrey Meynell, who was subsequently awarded a posthumous V.C. for his gallantry in an action on the North-West Frontier in September 1935.

In January 1933, Barlow was appointed Private Secretary to the Governor of the North-West Frontier Province, in which capacity he was awarded the Jubilee 1935 and Coronation 1937 Medals, in addition to the O.B.E.; he was advanced to Major in April 1937.

Reverting to regimental duty, he appears to have served as 2nd-in-Command and Right Wing Commander of the Kurram Militia but in November 1940 he was appointed Military Secretary to H.E. the Governor of Scinde; later still, he became Private Secretary to the Governor of the Punjab.

Barlow was advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel in May 1945 and was placed on the Retired List in the following year; sold with copied research.