Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (1 & 2 March 2017)

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Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £3,400

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The C.B., Great War ‘Egyptian Expeditionary Force’ D.S.O., M.C. group of fifteen awarded to Major-General Sir Frederick Gwatkin, 18th (King George’s Own) Lancers, Indian Army, later Colonel of the Royal Deccan Horse

Knight Bachelor’s Badge, 2nd type breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, hallmarks for London 1940, in Royal Mint case of issue; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (Capt. F. Gwatkin, 18/Lncrs.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Maj. F. Gwatkin.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Kurdistan (Major. F. Gwatkin.); Africa Star; War Medal 1939-45; India Service Medal; Delhi Durbar 1911, silver; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937; Belgium, Kingdom, Croix de Guerre, A.I.R., bronze, mounted court-style for display purposes, lacquered, generally nearly extremely fine and better (15) £4000-5000


Knighthood London Gazette 21 February 1942.

C.B. London Gazette 8 June 1938.

D.S.O. London Gazette 3 June 1919:
‘For distinguished service in connection with military operations in Egypt.’

M.C. London Gazette 3 June 1918.

Belgian Croix de Guerre London Gazette 9 July 1918.

Sir Frederick Gwatkin was born on 12 April 1885 at Murree, India (now Pakistan), the son of Colonel F. S. Gwatkin, C.B., and was educated at Clifton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Commissioned Second Lieutenant on the unattached list, 19 August 1903, he was posted to the Indian Army the following year, and was attached to the 40th Pathans. He transferred to the 18th (Prince of Wales’ Own) Lancers on 17 August 1905, and was promoted Lieutenant on 19 November of that year, and Captain on 19 August 1912. He served during the Great War with the 18th (King George’s Own) Lancers on the Western Front from 14 December 1914 until 7 March 1918, and with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force from 18 March 1918 until the 31 October of that year. For his services during the Great War he was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 5 June 1919), and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross, the former award for services in Egypt. Towards the end of the Great War he was appointed a General Staff Office 2nd Grade, and was promoted Major on 3 October 1918. After serving with the 5th Cavalry Division in Kurdistan, May to December 1919, he relinquished this post on 20 February 1920, and subsequently attended the Staff College at Quetta. His next appointment was that of Brigade Major of the 2nd Indian Cavalry Brigade, which role he took up on 1 March 1925. He transferred from that role to become an Instructor at the Staff College, Quetta, on 1 January 1927, and remained at the Staff College for a further three years. On 14 January 1930 he was appointed to the command of the Royal Deccan Horse, and remained the Regiment’s Commanding Officer until he was promoted to Colonel on 4 August 1934, when he was appointed to command the 2nd (Sialkot) Indian Cavalry Brigade and granted the rank of temporary Brigadier.

In June 1938 Gwatkin attended the Imperial Defence College and was promoted to Major-General, one of only 21 Officers of that rank on the Indian Army, and was also appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath. The following April he was appointed Military Advisor-in-Chief to the Indian State Forces. This role involved him working with the private armies that were under the control of the rulers of the various Princely States, and which had all pledged allegiance to the British Empire in times of War. The size and capability of these forces varied considerably, with states such as Gwalior, Hyderabad, and Jammu and Kashmir having large armies modelled to a great extent on the British Indian Army.
Gwatkin was appointed Colonel of the Royal Deccan Horse on 2 August 1939, and was knighted at the Viceroy’s Palace in New Delhi on 21 February 1942. He retired from the Indian Army on 12 April 1943, after 40 years’ service, and relinquished the role of Colonel of the Royal Deccan Horse on 1 September 1950, following the partition of the Indian Army.

Sir Frederick Gwatkin married Miss Lydia Stanton, the daughter of Colonel E. C. Stanton, in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, in 1920, with whom he had two sons and one daughter. Both his sons were killed on the same day, 14 March 1945. In later life he became a collector of and noted authority on Burmese stamps and postal history. He died on 20 April 1969.

Sold together with the recipient’s medal riband bar; Bestowal Document for the C.B., dated 9 June 1938, together with Central Chancery enclosure and a copy of the Statutes of the Order; Bestowal Document for the D.S.O., dated 3 June 1919, together with a copy of the Statutes of the Order; Bestowal Document for the Belgian Croix de Guerre, this torn and severely damaged; portrait photograph of the recipient, mounted in a glazed gilt display frame; and various copied research.

For the Second World War Medals to the recipient’s two sons, see Lot 307.