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

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Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

The C.M.G., I.S.O., Rhodesian Order of the Legion of Merit group of eleven awarded to Mr. G. B. Clarke, Secretary to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Southern Rhodesia, and the man who authored and drafted Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, 11 November 1965

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband; Imperial Service Order, E.II.R., silver, gold, and enamel, hallmarks for London 1952; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Africa Service Medal (SR.598139 G. B. Clarke); Coronation 1953; Rhodesia, Order of the Legion of Merit, G.C.L.M. Grand Commander’s sash badge, 48mm, silver, gilt, and enamel; Southern Rhodesia, Independence Medal 1965 (G. B. Clarke) extremely fine, the last rare to a named official (11) £1400-1800


C.M.G. London Gazette 13 June 1964.

I.S.O. London Gazette 10 June 1954.

Gerald Bryan Clarke was born in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia on 1 November 1909 and educated at St. George’s School, Bulawayo. He served as Secretary to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Southern Rhodesia from 1950, and was a close confidant of Ian Smith, the Prime Minister from April 1964 - it was Clarke, in his role as Cabinet Secretary, who organised and chaired the sub-committee that authored and drafted the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which was signed by Ian Smith and his cabinet on 11 November 1965. The text of the Declaration was based to a great extent upon the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence in 1776, the last time a colony had declared unilateral independence from Great Britain. Clarke was Cabinet Secretary throughout the existence of the Rhodesian Front Government, 1964-79, and accompanied Smith to virtually every conference and Heads-of-Government meeting that the latter attended throughout his time as leader, both before and after U.D.I., only retiring after Zimbabwe achieved formal independence from the United Kingdom in April 1980.

Sold together with the recipient’s silver School badge, depicting St. George slaying the dragon, and a portrait photograph of the recipient.

Note: The Order of the Legion of Merit was the Unilaterally Declared Republic of Rhodesia´s highest Order and was instituted in 1970. It came in five classes, with both a Military and Civil Division, and was awarded for outstanding service to Rhodesia. Only 4 G.C.L.M.s were ever awarded (all in the Civil Division): to President Clifford Dupont, Prime Minister Ian Smith, President John Wrathall, and Cabinet Secretary Gerald Clarke. The Order ceased to be awarded in 1980 following Zimbabwe´s Independence.