Orders, Decorations and Medals (8 December 1994)

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Date of Auction: 8th December 1994

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £3,500 - £4,500

A fine K.C.I.E., gold D.S.O. group of nine awarded to General Sir Richard Scallon, G.C.B., Indian Army

THE MOST EMINENT ORDER OF THE INDIAN EMPIRE, K.C.I.E., neck badge in gold and enamels, and breast star in silver with gold and enamel applique centre, small chip to enamel on one lotus petal otherwise extremely fine DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER, V.R., gold and enamels, some chips to green enamel wreath, otherwise good very fineAFGHANISTAN 1878-80, 1 clasp, Kandahar (Lt., 29 Bo. N.I.); KABUL To KANDAHAR STAR 1880 (Lieut., 29th Bombay N.I.); INDIA GENERAL SERVICE 1854-95, 2 clasps, Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89 (Captain, 23rd Bo. Inf.); INDIA GENERAL SERVICE 1895-1902,4 clasps, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Samana 1897, Tirah 1897-98, Waziristan 1901-2 (Major, 23rd Bo. Rifles); DELHI DURBAR 1911; JUBILEE 1935; CORONATION 1937, contact marks to the earlier medals but generally very fine or better (10)


Richard Irvine Scallon was born on 3 April 1857 at Long Ditton, the son of Thomas and Sarah Scallon. Before entering Sandhurst, his formal education was completed at University College School and King's College School. Scallon was gazetted into the 72nd Foot as a Lieutenant on the 2 February 1876 and subsequently transferred to the 23 Bombay Native Infantry. His first active service was in the Afghan War of 1878 during which time he served with the 29th (2nd Belooch Light Infantry) Bombay Native Infantry between November 1879 and September 1880 being present at the affairs of Khan Khel and Kab-baj, near Khalit-i-Ghilzai, the battle of Kandahar, as well as accompanying Brigadier-General Daubeny's expedition to Maiwand.

He rejoined the 23rd B.N.I. in September 1880. For his services during the campaign, Lieutenant Scallon was mentioned in despatches as well as being awarded the Afghan medal, bar Kandahar and the Kabul to Kandahar Star. Appointed an extra A.D.C. to Commander in Chief, Bombay in 1884 and subsequently a 1st class station officer between 1884-1886. It was during the troubles in Burma that the ability of Scallon came to the front. Again, serving with the 23rd B.N.I., under the command of Brigadier-General G.S. White and Sir R.C. Low, Scallon's name was mentioned in glowing terms in various despatches: 'Captain Scallon of the 23rd B.N.I. has done service of a very marked character. During the summer of 1887 he was in command of the post of Myang; and he not only reduced the district to order by great energy as a military commander, but further proved himself as a civil administrator of a high order. I consider his advancement would be a benefit to the service.' (From Sir G.S. White despatch). Sir R.C. Low added the following: 'Captain Scallon's services have been of a very marked character. During the last summer he was in command of the post of Myang; and he not only had command of the country surrounding the post and had continual engagements with dacoits, but he practically did all the civil work of that part of the country. During the last cold weather he has had command of a column, and has had many engagements with the enemy; and it was through his indefatigable pursuit of the leader, Yakut, that this man was eventually captured. Captain Scallon has shown himself to be an officer of exceptional ability and I confidently bring his name to notice as an officer whose advancement will be a benefit to the public service... ‘

The Myang column was equipped with pack transport, started on the 4 December; the route this column was to follow was via Lebo into the Kyaw valley to Saga and thence across the hills to Gangaw. This column on its march to the Kyaw valley had several skirmishes with dacoits, and on it being received by me that dacoits were collecting in Captain Scallon's rear, orders were sent to him not to join the Pauk column until all bands in his rear were dispersed. The column returned down to the Kyaw valley and took up a position at Lebo, from which place it was occupied all December and the earlier portion of January in driving the dacoits out of the Pagyi hills and jungle and in scouring the surrounding countryside... The Myang column is the only one that has had engagements with dacoits. The effect of the troops occupying Yedo, Thilm and the valley of Myittha on the south and west of Yaw and the advance of the Kalewa column from the Chindwin practically barred the retreat of the dacoits from troops acting in the Pagyi and the Pokoko districts and forced them to remain in the neighbourhood of the Kyaw valley. Here however the Myang column has remained and it was a natural result that this column should have had the chief work against them. Captain Scallon who commanded the Myang column is an indefatigable officer and has led his column in a very capable manner; his captures of dacoits have been numerous. One of the results of the numerous forced marches he has made to surprise the chief dacoit leader in Yaw, named Yawkit, was that the civil authorities with the column were able to secure this man and his sons when searching the country in advance of a village Captain Scallon had surprised... The working of this column has had also a large share in the wholesale captures and surrenders of dacoits in the neighbouring district of Pagyi, for the Myang column barred the retreat of dacoits from Pagyi into the Kyaw valley.'

Captain Scallon was not surprisingly mentioned in despatches (L.G. 2.9.87) and appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. There followed a series of Staff appointments D.A.A.G. 1890-1892 and at Bombay 1894-1895 before becoming inspecting officer Punjab Imperial Service Sappers and Infantry between 1895-8, officiating as Inspector-General Imperial Service troops in 1896. It was in this capacity that Major Scallon took part in various operations on the Northwest Frontier of India operations on the Samana and the Kuram valley during August/September 1897 (two clasps to medal), the action of Chagru Kotal and the capture of the Sampagna Pass during the Tirah campaign, again receiving a mention in despatches (L.G. 5.4.98). In his despatch, General Sir W.S.A. Lockart K.C.B., K.C.S.I. commented: 'The Imperial Service Corps attached to the Force have undertaken their full share of the hardships of the campaign, and fighting side by side with their comrades in the regular army, have given a tangible proof of their readiness and that of their rulers to assist in the defence of the Empire.' Major Scallon was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (L.G. 21.5.98) with the recommendation to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria being as follows: 'Major R.I. Scallon, Indian Staff Corps, Inspecting Officer of the Imperial Service Troops has been in charge of the arrangements connected with the employment of the Imperial Service Troops in the recent frontier operations and has worked with energy and success.' Further accolades followed as a result of Major Scallon's involvement in the Mahsud Waziri operations in 1900-1902. During these operations Major Scallon commanded a column that blockaded the Zhob countryside with such success that he was twice commended by the Government of India for his services and promoted to Brevet Colonel. A further commendation by the Government of India was given to Scallon for his part in quelling disturbances in Sheranni countryside.

Four years later, this time as the commanding officer of 123rd Rifles, Colonel Scallon was again on active service in Aden. He was mentioned in despatches for his services in commanding a column against hostile tribesmen in the following terms: 'Colonel R.I. Scallon C.I.E., D.S.O., commanding 123rd Rifles. He was in command of the Aden column from March to August 1903, and again from November 1903 to January 1904. He commanded the force that marched from Dthala and relieved the Sulek Post on the 29th October.' Colonel Scallon was nominated a Companion of the Order of Bath (L.G. 24.6.04) quite possibly for services in connection with the Aden troubles. That same year he assumed command of the 3rd Brigade, 9th Division and in 1906 became Brigadier of the Bangalore district. Scallon became Adjutant General in India in 1908 and Secretary to the Government of India in the Army Department during the years 1909 to 1911. He was nominated a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (L.G. 24.6.10), the recommendation being as follows: 'Major General R.I. Scallon, C.B., C.I.E., D.S.O. Indian Army, Secretary to the Government of India in the Army, and an Additional Member of the Council of the Governor-General for making laws and regulations. General Scallon has held various Staff appointments and commands in India in peace and war, and was Inspecting Officer with Imperial Service Troops for some years. On the abolition of the Department of Military Supply, the post of Secretary in the Army Department became a very important one, and General Scallon was selected for this office on account of his exceptional qualifications and his general military experience. He has since done much in arranging details for the smooth working of the new military administration, and has been highly spoken of by both Lord Kitchener and the present Commander in Chief' Between 1911 and 1914 General Scallon commanded the Burma and Lucknow Divisions of the Indian Army, being appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath (L.G. 3.6.13) and ADC General to King George V on 17 January 1913. On the outbreak of the First World War, Scallon was commander of the Northern Army in India, stationed in Lucknow before he was invalided home. Unfit for further service, General Scallon was employed at the National Service Ministry between 1916-7 and the War Office between 1918-9 before finally retiring from the Army in April 1919 at the age of 66.

General Scallon was appointed a Knight Grand Commander of Bath on 1 January 1918. The preamble states the award is 'for services' unlike the numerous other awards gazetted that day for 'services in connection with the War'.