Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 & 20 July 2017)

Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,400 - £2,800

A fine C.M.G., C.V.O., Great War O.B.E. group of twelve awarded to Colonel (Bey) A. G. Ingram, Egyptian Police, late Scottish Horse, who was Russell Pasha’s right-hand man in Alexandria - where his dark complexion combined with detective ability, and his willingness to go under cover, helped combat a den of rioters, smugglers and drug traffickers between 1911-15. During the Great War he served with Military Control in Alexandria, and as Military Governor of Beersheba. After the war he transferred to Cairo, and was Head of C.I.D. when Sir Lee Stack, Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, was assassinated there on 19 November 1924. Having successfully apprehended and convicted the assassins, Ingram returned to Alexandria as Commandant of Police in 1929. In the same year he acted as Personal Aide to King Fuad I for his visit to Paris, and tragically died of Typhoid upon his return

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; The Royal Victorian Order, C.V.O., Commander’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, reverse officially numbered ‘C85’; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Military) Officer’s 1st type breast badge, silver-gilt, hallmarks for London 1918; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (26415 Tpr. A. G. Ingram. Scottish Horse.) unofficial rivets between 3rd and 4th clasps; 1914-15 Star (Capt. A. G. Ingram.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oak Leaves (Capt. A. G. Ingram.); Egypt, Kingdom, Order of the Nile, Fifth Class breast badge, silver, silver-gilt and enamel, minor white damage; France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Fifth Class, silver and enamel, minor white and green enamel damage, with rosette [sic] on riband; Greece, Kingdom, Royal Order of George I, Fifth Class breast badge, silver and enamel; Russia, Empire, Order of St. Anne, Fourth Class breast badge,by Eduard, St. Petersburg, gold (56 zolotniki) and enamel, minor red enamel damage, with maker’s mark to reverse and gold mark to suspension ring; Turkey, Order of the Medjidie, Fifth Class breast badge, silver, gold and enamel, minor red enamel damage, centre loose, solder repair to reverse of last, campaign awards lacquered, generally very fine unless otherwise stated (12) £2400-2800

Footnote

C.M.G. London Gazette 1 January 1926.

C.V.O. London Gazette 2 January 1928.

O.B.E. London Gazette 5 December 1919.

Alexander Gordon Ingram was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1882. He was the son William de Booy Gordon Ingram, a banker in Canada. He was educated at Inverurie School, Aberdeenshire and St. Edmund’s College, Hertfordshire. He attested for the Scottish Horse at Edinburgh, in February 1901, and served with the Regiment during the Second Boer War.

Ingram was discharged in September 1902, and was employed as a Constable with the Egyptian Police at Alexandria the following year. He was promoted Captain and Traffic Superintendent in 1906. Ingram served as Major (Bimbashi) and Head of CID Alexandria, 1911-1915 (awarded Order of the Medjidie, Fifth class 1907, Fourth class 1910; Order of St. Anne, Fourth class 1910; Order of the Nile, Fourth class 1915). During this time he assisted Thomas Russell (later Knighted, and known as Russell Pasha) in quelling riots and breaking up the thriving drug trade. Ingram is mentioned several times in Russell’s book Egyptian Service 1902-1946, including for the ‘Tripoli’ Riots:

‘Having smashed every street lamp and shop window in the Manshiya quarter, the mob reached the central square of the town in front of the Bourse, but there my mounted men had room to manoeuvre and the demonstrators were driven back into the side streets. I noticed one particular café that kept up a steady fire on the police with slabs of broken marble-topped café tables interspersed with revolver shots, so I called Ingram Bey, my number two, to go get a force ready and together we charged across the square and fell upon the enemy. I then found myself facing an enormous Sudanese armed with a chunk of marble table-top, and I landed him one on the jaw, with the result that I dislocated my hand and finally laid him out with a good Whitechapel upper-cut with my knee in the groin.

Within a few days things quieted down and routine police work took the place of suppressing riots, but there was always good fun to be had for a young policeman in the underworld of the Alexandria slums. Bimbashi Ingram was the head of the C.I.D., and his chief detective officer was an Italian named Giovanini: they were both experienced sleuths and many were the sporting evenings I had with them raiding gambling dens, false-coining plants and other haunts of crime....

A certain ‘Abd el-Qadir el-Gailani was one of the biggest smugglers of the time, and we heard one day that he had sunk a big cargo of hashish in waterproof sacks off the coast. Ingram decided to trust no one with the information, not even his officer Giovanini, and for several nights he and I watched the shore hoping that ‘Abd el-Qadir would fish his stuff up and make his run. On the second or third night Ingram, from his hiding-place near the beach, saw ‘Abd el-Qadir’s empty carts go down towards the shore and soon after return, but his experienced eye could see that the traces were slack, which meant that the carts had not been loaded and that our friend was just trying it on, hoping that if he were being watched, the watchers would jump at the bait of his empty carts and show their hand.

A couple of nights later, I was turning in to bed when Ingram’s messenger reached me and told me to come quickly. I slipped a Burberry on over my pyjamas and arrived to find a pretty scene. ‘Abd el-Qadir’s gang had made their run of some seven hundred kilos of hashish and got it safely up from the shore into the stables of a house next to the villa of the Governor of the city. Ingram, dressed as an Arab, had watched it up from the beach, but had been uneasy at seeing a Greek fisherman also watching and following. Once assured that the stuff was safely in its hiding-place, Ingram took his time, got up his forces and with a rush we broke in and held everyone covered. What then was our astonishment to see the Greek fisherman with a party of ruffians closing in at the same moment from the opposite direction! We then realised that it was Giovanini and his men who, equally suspicious of the disguised Ingram, had been trailing the gang on his own account and had coincided to the minute with our final pounce. Our luck was great as besides seizing the seven hundred kilos of hashish, we had arrived just at the moment when ‘Abd el-Qadir, the biggest smuggler of the day, was paying one of his very rare visits in person to inspect the quality of the seventeen-thousand-pound cargo. His arrest with all his chief men was something to be proud of.‘

With the outbreak of the Great War, Ingram was employed as a Lieutenant-Colonel with Military Control in Alexandria, and as Military Governor of Beersheba (M.B.E. 1918; Order of King George I, Fifth class 1920). He was appointed Assistant Commandant of Police for Alexandria in 1921 (Order of the Nile, Third class 1923). He transferred in the same capacity to Cairo three years later, but also with the additional responsibility of being Head of CID there. Ingram came to prominence when the Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, Sir Lee Stack, was assassinated in Cairo, 19 November 1924. He brought the seven students who carried out the assassination to trial, where six were sentenced to death and five executed (Order of Ismail, Thirrd class 1925).

Ingram returned to Alexandria as Colonel (Bey) and Commandant of Police in 1929. He acted as Personal Aide to King Fuad I of Egypt during his royal visit to Paris, and upon his return contracted Typhoid. He died 28 February 1929, and tragically one of his twin sons died of the same disease shortly afterwards. Ingram was afforded a funeral with full military honours, and was buried at the British Military Cemetery at Bab Sharqi, Cairo.

Sold with List of Senior British Officials in the Egyptian Government, January, 1926, published by Government Press, Cairo; several photographic images of the recipient from his time in Egypt, originally copied from family Taxiphote slides; and extensive copied research and correspondence.