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

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Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £800 - £1,200

A C.B.E. group of seven awarded to Major-General W. L. D. Veitch, [C.B.], Royal Engineers and K.G.O. Bengal Sappers and Miners, who was twice Mentioned in Despatches on the North West Frontier of India, was awarded the O.B.E. for the Waziristan Campaign 1937, commanded the Bengal Sappers and Miners during World War Two, and finished his career as Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 2nd type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1930-31, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Lieut. W. L. D. Veitch. R.E.) final two letters of surname officially corrected; India General Service 1936-39, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1936-37, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Capt. W. L. D. Veitch. R.E.); Defence and War Medals 1939-45, both privately engraved ‘Lt/Col. W. L. D. Veitch C.B.E. R.E.’; Coronation 1953, privately engraved ‘Maj/Gen. W. L. D. Veitch C.B. C.B.E.’; Pakistan Independence Medal 1947, privately engraved ‘Maj/Gen. W. L. D. Veitch C.B. C.B.E.’, the group mounted court-style for display purposes together with the recipient’s O.B.E. (Military) Officer’s 2nd type breast badge, nearly extremely fine (8)


C.B. London Gazette 30 May 1952.

C.B.E. London Gazette 8 June 1944.

O.B.E. London Gazette 16 August 1938:
‘In recognition of valuable services rendered in the field in connection with the operations in Waziristan, during the period 16th September to 15th December, 1937.’

William Lionel Douglas Veitch, was born at Belhaven, East Lothian, on 21 November 1901, the son of the Revd. William Veitch, and was educated at Edinburgh Academy and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 13 July 1921, and attended training at Chatham with No. 5 Junior Officers Batch. Promoted Lieutenant on 13 July 1923, he joined King George’s Own Bengal Sappers and Miners at Roorkee the following year, and over the next five years with them he carried out various regimental duties including service with No. 7 Bridging Train; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction at Roorkee; service with the Defence Light Section at Calcutta; and as Company Officer of No. 5 Field Company at Rawalpindi. In 1930 he was posted to the Military Engineering Service as Garrison Engineer of the Wana Road Project at Tanai in Waziristan. He took part in the subsequent operations on the North West Frontier, and was Mentioned in Despatches.

Promoted Captain on 13 July 1932, Veitch returned to duties with the Bengal Sappers and Miners as Company Commander of No. 41 Division Headquarters Company, and subsequently held the appointments of Assistant Superintendent of Park, and Company Commander of No. 5 Field Company at Roorkee. In 1937 he took part in the operations on the North West Frontier of India with the 5th Field Company; joining the Wazir Field Force, he took part in the operations against the Faqir of Ipi, and was again Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 16 August 1938). For his services in Waziristan, which included water supply and road construction projects at Dosalli, Bhittani Camp, and Shawali, he was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. returning to Roorkee, on the outbreak of the Second World War he was appointed to command the Bengal Sappers and Miners Training Battalion, and in 1941 was appointed to the Command of the 19th Indian Division Royal Engineers in Southern India. The following year he was posted as a Staff Officer to Indian Army Headquarters, and was appointed Commandant of No. 1 Engineer Group, Royal Indian Engineers, at Lahore.

In 1943 Veitch was given command of the Bengal Sappers and Miners, and in February 1944 was promoted to temporary Colonel, receiving the C.B.E. in that year’s Birthday Honours List. He relinquished command in 1946, and the following year was appointed Deputy Chief Engineer, Northern Army, India, being translated to the Pakistan Army post-partition. In 1950 he was appointed Engineer-in-Chief, Pakistan Army, with the rank of Major-General, and was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath on the advice of the Pakistan Government in the 1952 Birthday Honours List. Retiring due to ill-health the following year, Veitch returned to his native Scotland, but was a frequent visitor back to Pakistan for many years before his death in Edinburgh on 13 December 1969.

Sold together with a large quantity of research.