Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (22 July 2016)

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Date of Auction: 22nd July 2016

Sold for £3,600

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,600

A fine Great War ‘Palestine 1917’ D.S.O. group of nine awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel G. K. Channer, 3rd Gurkha Rifles, wounded in the Waziristan operations of 1901-02, and no less that 5 times during the Great War; he raised the 3rd Battalion 3rd Gurkhas in Egypt in 1917

Distinguished Service Order
, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamels; India General Service 1895-1902, 4 clasps, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Samana 1897, Tirah 1897-98, Waziristan 1901-2 (Lieut. G. K. Channer 1st Bn. 3d. Gurkha Rifles.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col. G. K. Channer.); Defence Medal; Delhi Durbar 1911 (Major G. K. Channer. 3rd Gurkhas.) privately impressed contemporary tailor’s copy; Special Constabulary L.S., G.V.R. (George K. Channer.); Order of the Crown of Italy, Officer’s breast badge, gold and enamels; Royal Humane Society, small bronze medal (Successful), (Gent. Cadet George K. Channer, 18th August 1894) with Second Award Bar, dated ‘May 20: 1901’, the first eight mounted Court style as worn, the last mounted separately, this nearly very fine, otherwise nearly extremely fine (9) £2000-2600

Footnote

D.S.O. London Gazette 26 March 1918; citation London Gazette 24 August 1918:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the defence of the ridge his position was subjected to heavy artillery bombardment and repeated and determined enemy attacks, which had as their objective the envelopment of his left flank. These attacks were only frustrated by heavy counter-attacks, led by himself, and although he was wounded on two successive days he continued to command his battalion, personally directing and organizing the defence. By his total indifference to danger, cheerfulness and splendid example he maintained the spirits of his men and enabled them to hold out.’

M.I.D.
London Gazette 8 August 1902 and 7 October 1918.

R.H.S. Bronze Medal (Case No. 27280): ‘At great personal risk rescued H. C. Lloyd from drowning at Eastbourne, 18th August, 1894.’

R.H.S. Bronze Clasp (Case No. 31300): ‘On the 20th May, 1901, a native boatman fell from his boat into the lake at Nankatchiee, India. At great personal risk Channer went after him, but being clutched, had a hard struggle to keep him afloat till they were picked up by another boat.’

George Kendall Channer was born on 5 October 1873, eldest son of Brigadier-General G. N. Channer, V.C., C.B., Indian Army. He was educated at Shrewsbury and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from where he passed out as a Queen’s Indian Cadet with the rank of Second Lieutenant on 16 January 1895.

Channer served with the 1/3rd Gurkha Rifles on the North West Frontier of India, 1897-98, including operations on the Samana and in the Kurram Valley during August and September 1897; operations of the Flying Column in the Kurram Valley, under Colonel Richardson, 20 August to 1 October, 1897 (Medal with 2 clasps); in Tirah 1897-98 (Clasp); and in Waziristan, 1901-02 (Despatches
London Gazette 8 August 1902. Clasp). Some sources, including the Army List, state that he was wounded during this campaign but this has not been substantiated.

During the Great War he served on the Indian Frontier, 1916; Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1916-17; Palestine and Gaza and operations in the capture of Jerusalem, 1917. He was five times wounded and had raised the 3rd Battalion 3rd Gurkha Rifles in Egypt, 3 February 1917. He commanded this battalion throughout the Palestine operations and was awarded the D.S.O. for gallantry in the defence of Nebi Samwil, 21-22 November 1917. He was also awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy, 4th Class, for services during the war. Major Channer retired from the Indian Army and was granted the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, 8 June 1920.

Among the presentations in the Officer’s Mess of the 2nd D.C.L.I. there is a case of medals given by Lieutenant-Colonel Channer, bearing the following inscription:

‘My Battalion the 3/3 Gurkhas were ordered to hold the Nebi Samwil (Palestine) position ‘at all costs’ during November 1917. Running out of ammunition we were left with our kukries, bayonets, and stones to keep off the continuous counter-attacks of the enemy. My signals for reinforcements and ammunition resulted in the former not being able to get through the incessant gun-fire, but Captain Charles Kendall, 1/4th Battalion the D.C.L.I., with a handful of men brought us up the much-needed ammunition. A gallant achievement.’