Orders, Decorations and Medals (12 June 1991)

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Date of Auction: 12th June 1991


Estimate: £1,600 - £1,800

An interesting C.M.G. group for the Shanghai Riots to Admiral L. G. Tufnell, Royal Navy, honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and Volunteer Chauffeur in France 1914

i ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL AND ST. GEORGE, C.M.G., silver gilt and enamel neck badge, officially converted from breast badge, some enamel damage to both centres, in Garrard case of issue.
ii 1914 STAR (L. G. Tufnell).
iv Greece, Kingdom, ORDER OF THE REDEEMER, Grand Commander set of insignia by Pomonis, Athens, comprising Sash Badge in gold and enamel, 87 mm x 58 mm; Star in silver with gold and enamel centre, 92 mm, minor scratches to centre of both pieces.
v Japan, ORDER OF THE RISING SUN, 3rd class neck badge, in lacquer case of issue with full neck ribbon.
vi Spain, ORDER OF NAVAL MERIT, 2nd class breast star in silver gilt and enamel, two chips to blue enamel anchor. The group is sold with the following original documents: Warrant for the Order of St. Michael and St. George, signed by King Edward VII and by George, Prince of Wales, as Grand Master of the Order, 1908. Manuscript letter to Captain Tufnell, dated January 25, 1908, from Earl Grey, informing him that the King has approved his appointment to the Order of St. Michael and St. George 'in recognition of the valuable services rendered by you during the anti-foreign riots at Shanghai in 1905 when I understand that it was due to your prompt action as Commander of the landing parties order was most effectually restored.' Warrant of Award for the Order of the Redeemer in the Greek language together with another document from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens, in the French language dated 17 July, 1912. Licence to accept and wear the Greek Order of the Redeemer signed by George V, 27 August, 1912. Warrant of Award for the Order of Naval Merit, dated Cartagena, 8 April, 1907.
Unless otherwise described, good very fine (8)


Admiral Lionel Grant Tufnell, 1857-1930, entered the Royal Navy in July, 1870, becoming a midshipman two years later. In December, 1888, he was appointed as Flag-Lieutenant to Rear-Admiral J.C. Erskine at Queenstown, and while so employed took a practical interest in the training of signalmen. He devised a system of instructing them which obviated the necessity of using full-sized flags, the scheme being adopted by the Admiralty in 1890. He was given command of the gunboat Firebrand, in 1892, on the China station until 1895 when he was placed in charge of the Signal School at Portsmouth. For the next nine years he was employed mostly in the training of boys and ordinary seamen. Riots at Shanghai Captain Tufnell was once again appointed to the China Station to take command, in 1904, of the light cruiser Astraea. In the following year he commanded the naval forces landed to quell the riots at Shanghai, the success of which brought him honours from both the British and foreign Governments. For his services at Shanghai he was made C.M.G. in January, 1908 and also received the Cross of the Order of Naval and Military Merit from the King of Spain, and the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan. From July, 1908 to September, 1910 he commanded the Royal Naval Engineering College at Keyham, Devonport, and in the following January became a rear-admiral.

'Father' of the Greek Navy.’

Three months later he retired to accept the position of Naval Adviser to the Greek Government. His methods in training and organizing the Greek forces gave great satisfaction to the authorities in Athens. In May, 1912 he was able to hoist his flag in the Sphakteria at Phaleron and take the Fleet, in which the principal units were the small battleships Spetsai and Psara, for a cruise for exercises and manoeuvres to the Saronie Gulf. It was under his advice also that four large modern destroyers, built at Birkenhead for the Argentine Navy were acquired for Greece. The war which broke out between Greece and Turkey in October, 1912 proved the wisdom of his plans. It was said that the Admiral himself compiled the signal book used by the Greeks during the operations. Although weak in numbers, the Greek Fleet asserted itself in the war with an alacrity which showed that it had been well trained and was prepared with a plan of campaign. It promptly seized several Aegean islands, and when, on January 18, 1913 the superior Turkish Fleet came out of the Dardanelles, the Greeks, under Admiral Condouriotis attacked it with such spirit that it was driven back into the straits in disorder. Another creditable achievement was the torpedoing in the harbour of Salonika of the Turkish guardship Feth-i-Bulend by torpedo boat No. 11 under Lieutenant Votsis. On leaving Athens in May, 1913 Admiral Tufnell warmly thanked the Fleet for its services in the war, and King George of Greece decorated him with the Cross of Grand Commander of the Order of the Redeemer. Admiral Tufnell, having retired in 1911, offered his services, at the outbreak of the Great War, to the British Red Cross Society as a Volunteer Chauffeur. He proceeded to France and landed there on 12 October, 1914 thus qualifying for the 1914 Star. In the following year he was lent by the Admiralty to the War Office and was appointed an Assistant Military Landing Officer, and a temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, for service in France. From 1917 to 1919 he served as Assistant Director of Docks. Admiral Tufnell died in London on 11th August, 1930 at the age of 72.