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

Date of Auction: 22nd July 2015

Sold for £4,400

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

A scarce Edward VII Tibet D.S.O. group of five awarded to Brigadier-General T. M. Luke, Royal Artillery

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 1st type neck badge; Distinguished Service Order, E.VII.R., silver-gilt and enamels, some damage to red and green enamels; India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (Lieut. T. M. Luke R.A.); Tibet 1903-04, 1 clasp, Gyantse (Captn. T. M. Luke 30th Mtn. By.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (Capt. T. M. Luke D.S.O. R.A. 28th Mtn. By.) mounted on original wearing bar with earlier O.B.E. award removed, generally good very fine or better (5) £5000-6000


D.S.O. London Gazette 16 December 1904: ‘For services in connection with the Tibet Mission Escort.’ One of only nine awards of the D.S.O. for Tibet.

Thomas Mawe Luke was born on 13 May 1872, son of Colonel H. F. Luke, of Kensington, London, and of Frances Matilda Burke. He was educated at a private school, and joined the Royal Artillery on 4 May 1892; became Lieutenant 4 May 1895. He served on the North-West Frontier of India, 1897-98, with the Tirah Expeditionary Force (Medal with clasp).  He was promoted Captain on 19 January 1900. Captain Luke served in Tibet, 1903-4, in the operations at and around Gyantse; was mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 13 December 1904); received the Medal with clasp, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, ‘for marked ability in handling his guns and devotion to duty during a very trying campaign’ (London Gazette 16 December 1904): ‘Thomas Mawe Luke, Captain, Royal Artillery. In recognition of services with the Tibet Mission Escort’. He served on the North-West Frontier of India (Mohmand), 1908 (Medal with clasp), and became Major 15 February 1913. In the European War he served as DAAG, AAG, DAG, and from October 1910 to June 1919, as Director of Administration, General Headquarters, India, with the rank of Brigadier General. He was given the Brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel 29 November 1915, and became Lieutenant-Colonel, May 1917. Lieutenant-Colonel Luke was CRA, Kohat Kurran Force, from June to 31 September 1919, in the Afghan War (Clasp to India medal).  He was made an O.B.E. in 1918, and a C.B.E. in September 1919, for his services in the war, and had the General Service and Victory Medals.