Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (28 February & 1 March 2018)

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Date of Auction: 28th February & 1st March 2018

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,400

A Great War C.M.G. group of eight awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel W. J. Long, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, who was five times Mentioned in Despatches

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, reverse centre slightly depressed, with full neck riband; India General Service 1854-95, 1 clasp, Lushai 1889-92 (2d Lieut. W. J. Long, 4th Bn. K. Rl. Rif. Corps); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 6 clasps, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast, Orange Free State, Cape Colony (Captain W. J. Long. K.R.R.C.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (Capt. W. J. Long. K.R.R.C.); 1914-15 Star (Major W. J. Long. K.R. Rif: C.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Lt. Col. W. J. Long.); Delhi Durbar 1911, silver, unnamed, contact marks to first three medals, nearly very fine and better (8) £2000-2400

Footnote

Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, March 2008.

C.M.G. London Gazette 14 January 1916.

Wilfred James ‘Linger’ Long was born in 1871, the son of Rear-Admiral Samuel Long, Royal Navy, and was educated at Winchester. Commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, he served in the Burmese Expedition of 1891-92, including operations in the Chin Hills with the Lushai column (One company of the 4th Battalion K.R.R.C. present). As a Captain he saw fighting in the Second Boer War, being present in the relief of Ladysmith, the actions at Tugela Heights, Pieter’s Hill, Laing’s Nek, Belfast and Lydenberg. For his services he was twice Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 10 September 1901 and 29 July 1902) and awarded the Queen’s medal with six clasps and the King’s medal with two. In the Great War, he commanded the 3rd Battalion K.R.R.C. in Salonika, for which, in 1916, he was created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. In June 1918 he was placed in command of the 1st Battalion in France, and on 23 June he suffered from the effects of a gas attack at Quesnoy Farm. His own account reads as follows:
‘The gas shelling began at 1:10 a.m. and lasted about half an hour. The effect of the gas is local and in the dark, in strange trenches, it is very difficult to make the men keep their gas masks on as you cannot see in the dark with a gas mask on. I myself did not go sick with the effects until the 23rd June. The fact of walking back from the trenches to Brigade H.Q. which was about three miles. Hurrying amongst the shells brought out the effects of the gas and I had to go to hospital that day.’
For his services during the war he was three times Mentioned in Despatches (
London Gazettes 22 June 1915, 1 January 1916, and 21 July 1917) and received the brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was placed on Retired Pay in 1920. Latterly living at Maytree, Josephine Avenue, Lower Kingswood, Surrey, he died on 24 May 1954.

In an obituary, a brother officer wrote, ‘“Linger” was a sound and practical soldier. He was never afraid of expressing his opinion, however unpopular, preferably to those in authority over him; and he was usually right. He was never very particular about his appearance or dress, which was rarely according to regulations. ....”Linger” played no games, never shot, rode very seldom, never seemed particularly genial, yet was always extremely popular, especially with us younger officers. ...’

Sold with copied research including several extracts written by Long for the K.R.R.C. Chronicle, and a photographic image of the recipient.