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

Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £4,400

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

A scarce ‘Southern Rhodesia’ C.B.E., Great War ‘East Africa’ D.S.O. and Bar group of six awarded to Colonel George Parson, British South Africa Police, later Commander of the Armed Forces and Director of Civil Aviation in Rhodesia

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 1st type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar; 1914-15 Star (Lt. G. Parson B.S.A. Police); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Major G. Parson); Jubilee 1925, the last five mounted as worn, good very fine (6) £3000-4000


C.B.E. London Gazette 8 June 1934: ‘Colonel George Parson, D.S.O., Commandant, Defence Force, Southern Rhodesia.’

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

Bar to D.S.O. London Gazette 1 January 1918; ‘Major George Parson, D.S.O., B.S. Afr. Police.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 22 September 1917 (General Hoskins), 13 March 1918 (General Van Deventer), and 20 January 1919 (General Van Deventer).

George Parson was born at Weybridge, England, where his father was a well-known doctor and surgeon, and was educated at Rugby. He was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery in January 1900, but he left that regiment in 1905 and emigrated to Rhodesia, first entering the Civil Service during which time he served in the old Southern Rhodesia Volunteers and was appointed a Justice of the Peace. He then joined the Southern Rhodesia Constabulary and rose to be a Sub-Inspector. The Constabulary were subsequently amalgamated with the British South Africa Police, in which Corps Parson was commissioned.

When the Great War broke out in 1914, Parson went, in command of No. 4 Mobile Troop, with the B.S.A.P. Column in October 1915 which secured the Caprivi Strip of German South West Africa. He then served for 3 years with the Southern Rhodesia Column in East Africa, being awarded the DSO and bar. Parson gained a very high regard for the Rhodesian troops in the African campaign, and recalled with pride their fine fighting qualities and the celerity with which they moved in pursuit of the enemy.

Returning to Staff Military duty in Southern Rhodesia after the war, he was particularly concerned with the inauguration of the Territorial Force. After being Chief Staff Officer he took over the command of the Southern Rhodesia Forces in April 1929 until 1936. He was promoted Colonel in 1930 and in 1934 was awarded the CBE. For a number of years he was Director of Civil Aviation, during which time the system of landing grounds throughout the country was brought into being which won high commendation from visiting aviators. He was President of the Southern Rhodesia National Rifle Association from its inception.

Parson gained renown in his younger days, both in England and Africa, as an oarsman, and in later years was a keen golfer. He was President of the Rhodesian Golf Union for ten years, and for a similar period was Captain of the Royal Salisbury Golf Club. He was also a steward and the honorary starter of the Mashonaland Turf Club. He died in Durban in November 1950, aged 71.

A unique group to the British South Africa Police.

Sold with the following original documents: Warrants for C.B.E. and D.S.O.; three M.I.D. certificates, dated as above; Commission as 2nd Lieutenant, 9 January 1900; Commission as Lieutenant, 16 August 1915; Buckingham Palace named certificate for Jubilee medal; and parchment certificate as J.P. for the Territory of Southern Rhodesia, dated Salisbury, 7 September 1906; together with several news cuttings and copied research, including m.i.c. which confirms 1914-15 Star claimed on roll of ‘B.S.A.P. No 1. Mob. Col.’