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

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Date of Auction: 22nd July 2015

Sold for £4,200

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

A scarce Great War M.C. group of four awarded to Lieutenant A. H. Mankelow, Indian Army: decorated for his gallantry in the 1/39th Garhwal Rifles at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, he was killed in action just eight weeks later

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued, in its case of issue; 1914 Star, with clasp (Lieut. A. H. Mankelow, 1/39 Garhwal R.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut. A. H. Mankelow), extremely fine (4) £1200-1500

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 8 May 1915:

‘For conspicuous gallantry at Neuve Chapelle. He showed great determination and ability throughout the operations, handling his machine-guns against the enemy on 12 March with great effect.’

Archibald Henry Mankelow was born in August 1887, the only son of Captain and Mrs. Mankelow of New Milton, Hampshire. Educated at St. Edmund’s College, Wimbledon College and the R.M.C. Sandhurst, he was gazetted to the Royal Berkshire Regiment in May 1907.

Appointed a Lieutenant in the 1/39th Garhwal Rifles on transferring to the Indian Army in July 1910, he was embarked for France in September 1914 and quickly saw action at Festubert, where, in late November, Naik Darwan Sing Negi of his battalion won the V.C. However, as related in Drake-Brockman’s With the Royal Garhwal Rifles in the Great War 1914-1917, the battalion enjoyed a brief period of respite on Christmas Day, when enemy troops of the 16th Regiment crossed No Man’s Land to deliver biscuits, cigars and cigarettes.

Throughout this period Mankelow was employed as a Machine-gun Officer and it was in the same capacity that he won his M.C. during the German counter-attack at Neuve Chapelle on 12 March 1915, when the unit’s machine-guns did ‘great execution’; he had been slightly wounded two days earlier but insisted on remaining at his post.

Among the enemy prisoners taken on the same occasion were members of the 16th Regiment who had delivered gifts to the 1/39th during the Christmas Truce of 1914.

Subsequently employed as Bombing Officer with the Garhwal Brigade, Mankelow was killed in action near Richebourg St. Vaast on 14 May 1915. He was mentioned in despatches by Sir John French (London Gazette 31 May 1915, refers); sold with brief research and a copy of Drake-Brockman’s regimental history.