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

Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £7,500

Estimate: £3,400 - £3,800

A fine Great War C.M.G., C.B.E., ‘1917’ D.S.O. group of eleven awarded to Brigadier C. C. Norman, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and Sierra Leone Battalion, West African Frontier Force, who was wounded during the Boer War at Tugela Heights, 24 February 1900, served during the Kissi expedition of 1905, and was severely wounded leading his detachment on the Liberian Frontier, 29 December 1906. Twice wounded during the Great War, he commanded the 15th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, September 1916 - January 1918, and the 17th Battalion from July 1918 until the Armistice. After the war Norman served as Inspector-General of the Royal West African Frontier Force, and of the King’s African Rifles

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, minor enamel damage; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E., Commander’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; The Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal (Lieut. C. C. Norman. R. Welsh Fus.) with unofficial rivets between 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th clasps; King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (Lt. C. C. Norman. Rl. Welsh. Fus.); Africa General Service 1902-56, 1 clasp, Kissi 1905 (Captain C. C. Norman. S.L. Bn. W.A.F.F.); 1914-15 Star (Capt. C. C. Norman, R. W. Fus.); British War and Victory Medals (Lt. Col. C. C. Norman.); Jubilee 1935, unnamed issued; France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Fifth Class, silver and enamel, enamel damage to last, light contact marks overall, generally very fine, unless otherwise stated, scarce (11) £3400-3800

Footnote

C.M.G. London Gazette 3 June 1919.

C.B.E. London Gazette 1 February 1937.

D.S.O. London Gazette 4 June 1917.

M.I.D. London Gazette 22 May 1917, 18 December 1917, 27 December 1918 and 8 July 1919.

France, Legion of Honour, Chevalier London Gazette 20 January 1919.

Compton Cardew Norman was born in December 1877, and was the son of Colonel C. Norman, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, of Taunton. He served with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Prince Albert’s Somerset Light Infantry prior to being commissioned Second Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers in January 1899. He advanced to Lieutenant in May 1900, and served with the 1st Battalion during the Second Boer War. Norman was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, including at Colenso, and during operations at Tugela Heights where he was wounded in action, 24 February 1900. Further detail of the latter date is recorded in Regimental Records Of The Royal Welch Fusiliers Cary and McCance:

‘All that day the battalion lay exposed to a fire so severe, and delivered at such range, that the diaries kept by some of the officers of the regiment record that it was impossible to raise a finger above the skyline without instantly drawing fire. The whole of the Royal Welch companies were engaged - half a company being in the firing line, half in support in rear of the crest.

The Boers had the range to a nicety, and Lieutenant Harris relates in his diary that by 10am about 11 men in his half-company (”D”) had been hit, some in three or four places. Those who were unable to crawl down the hill had to remain where they were, as it was impossible to move them, or to bring up rations or water until darkness set in.

The casualties of this day were Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. H. Thorold, Lieutenant Stebbing, Corporal J. Evans, Privates G. Cox, S. Pike, R. Birkett, E. Evans, and R. Joyce killed, and Lieutenant C. C. Norman and 29 rank and file wounded.’

After the Boer War Norman was posted on attachment to Sierra Leone for service with the West African Frontier Force. He arrived in Sierra Leone in October 1903, and advanced to Captain (local rank), Sierra Leone Battalion, in May the following year. Norman served under Captain C. E. Palmer, R.A. as part of the Kissi Field Force for the punitive expedition against the Kissi tribes on the eastern border of the Sierra Leone Protectorate, 27 March - 28 June 1905. He advanced to Captain in November 1906, and in the following month commanded a detachment during operations near Lela and Wulade, Sierra Leone. These operations were to combat Chief Donna on the Liberian Frontier, and the History of the Sierra Leone Battalion of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Lieutenant R. P. M. Davies, gives the following:

‘Consequently, in December, another detachment under Captain Norman with Lieutenant Bill, was dispatched. Donna’s last raid had been some ten miles away from the Wulade post and his men were eventually run into by Captain Norman’s force near the town of Lela, about eight miles north of Wulade. The fighting which ensued was close and serious, and Captain Norman was severely wounded in the thigh and side [29 December 1906] and, after several other men had been hit, Lieutenant Bill was forced back to retire on to the post at Wulade.’

Lieutenant Bill’s report of the action on 29 December 1906, for which Norman’s force consisted of Bill, 32 men and 4 carriers, states:

‘At 7am Capt Norman and myself started from Lela on patrol to Faero and on towards Fuindu to look at the place where the raiders were stated to have crossed. At 7.40 we saw many armed men running towards the river Maffissa assumed to be Yigbo’s men watching the river side. At 8am about a quarter of a mile from Fuindu war boys in the bush levelled guns at our point; they were hailed and ceased threatening. Advancing 100 yards many war boys were met in a threatening attitude. They were called by the interpreter and said they were Yigbo’s people and those close to us also ceased threatening, but one or two further off fired their guns probably not having heard the palavering and the firing at once became general through excitement. Not wishing to bring on trouble through any misunderstanding or alarm on their part we retired slowly only returning their fire when they came too close for safety.

Captain Norman having determined to take no aggressive action whatever but to get Yigbo to explain to his people our peaceful intentions. At this time Pte Mormo Samura was slightly wounded in the leg.

At 8.55am we reached Faero and left L/C Susa Kambia and 8 men there in case they followed up and burnt the town. The war boys reached the town soon after we had left. Captain Norman and I reached Lela at 9.15am and lined the town having sent for Yigbo so that he might assure his people that we did not wish to fight with him. He was not forthcoming however probably alarmed at the firing.

At 10.10am the war boys made a sudden attack on Lela reaching our defensive line. They were driven out at once, but kept up a heavy fire from the bush all round. Captain Norman then took some men to turn them out and clear the bush, when he and Sergt. Pongas were unfortunately severely wounded.’

Norman spent the following seven months on recuperative leave, before returning to Sierra Leone in August 1907. Serving as a Company Commander, he was once again in action the following year:

‘1908 was an uneventful year, and but little patrolling was done. In April and May, however, the peace of the Panguma and Bandajuma Districts was threatened, but the trouble was confined only to local disturbances amongst the natives, and a special patrol of “C” Company, under Captain Norman, returned to Wulade after touring the disturbed districts.’ (History of the Sierra Leone Battalion of the Royal West African Frontier Force by Lieutenant R. P. M. Davies, refers)

In 1909 Norman returned to the UK, and served as Adjutant with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers from April 1911 - October 1913. He served as Adjutant, 4th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (T.F.), February 1914 - June 1915. Norman was promoted to Major in September 1915, and served during the Great War in the French theatre of war from May 1915. He commanded the 15th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 19 September 1916 - 27 January 1918, and ‘the outbreak of World War I on the 4th August, 1914, found... Norman holding the rank of Captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and being employed with the Territorial Army in the rank of Acting Major as Adjutant of the 4th Battalion The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

The son of a former Royal Welch Fusilier Officer, he was destined, like so many of his fellow Captains in the Regiment, to play his full part in the front line struggles of that long and exhausting campaign until, like them, the Armistice found him in command of Brigade in the field. Space does not permit a detailed record of his services but the highlights were the command of the 15th Battalion in the summer of 1917, when he was wounded in the heavy fighting at Langemark and the command of the 17th Battalion in the final breakdown of the enemy resistance before the Armistice in 1918.’ (The Journal of The Royal Welch Fusiliers, Winter 1955, refers)

Norman was twice wounded during the Great War, and having been made Brevet Lieutenant Colonel in January 1918, he was appointed to the command of the 7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. He served as officer commanding of the 17th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, July 1918 - April 1919, and subsequently:

‘After the war he commanded the 1st Battalion in India (succeeding Lt. Colonel Cockburn in 1920 and later handing over command to Lt. Colonel C. S. Owen) and also for a period commanding the 2nd Battalion during the Sinn Fein troubles in Ireland. He later commanded the 158th (Royal Welch) Infantry Brigade with Headquarters at Wrexham.... In 1929 he was appointed Inspector-General of the British Forces in West Africa, a position that he held until his retirement. As might be expected, he returned to the active list to help his country in World War II but his age limited his employment to an administrative capacity.’ (The Journal of The Royal Welch Fusiliers, Winter 1955, refers)

Norman advanced to Colonel in January 1922, and Temporary Brigadier in 1929. He served as Inspector-General, Royal West African Frontier Force, from October 1930, and as Inspector-General, King’s African Rifles (when the roles combined to become a single appointment) September 1931 - July 1934. He retired in the latter year, and died in February 1955.

Sold with a large amount of copied research, and several photographic images of the recipient.