Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (18 & 19 July 2018)

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Date of Auction: 18th & 19th July 2018

Sold for £2,200

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

A Second World War ‘Middle East’ C.B.E. and Great War M.C. and Bar group of nine awarded to Brigadier C. G. Bicknell, Royal Artillery, twice decorated as a Subaltern under the age of 21, and later awarded the O.B.E. and C.B.E. for organising Anti-Aircraft Defences in Egypt

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 2nd type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels; Military Cross, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar; British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. C. G. Bicknell.); India General Service 1908-35, 2 clasps, Waziristan 1919-21, Waziristan 1921-24 (Lieut. C. G. Bicknell, R.A.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence and War Medals, the last eight mounted court style, good very fine (9) £1400-1800

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 22 June 1918: 2nd. Lieut. Charles George Bicknell, R.G.A.

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During an enemy bombardment, a cartridge dump near one of the guns was set on fire by a shell. This endangered an ammunition dump nearby and set fire to the camouflage. With the help of two N.C.Os. he at once removed the burning camouflage from the dump, scattered the cartridges and so localised the fire. His prompt and determined action undoubtedly saved the dump and one of the guns from destruction.’

Bar to M.C. London Gazette 1 February 1919: 2nd Lieut. Charles George Bicknell, M.C., 163rd Siege Battery, R.G.A.

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near Cagnicourt on 17th September, 1918. The battery was bombed, a lorry full of ammunition set alight, and ten men wounded. He at once attended to the wounded and then removed ammunition, which was stacked one yard from the burning lorry, until the petrol tank exploded, and he was driven off by the intense heat. At any moment the shells in the lorry, some of which were gas shells, might have exploded.’

O.B.E. London Gazette 1 April 1941: ‘In recognition of distinguished services in the Middle East during the period August, 1939, to November, 1940.’ The following extract is taken from the recommendation:

‘Lieut. Col. Bicknell has been employed since November 1937 as Chief Instructor, Anti-Aircraft, with the British Military Mission to the Egyptian Army... In all these arrangements Lt. Col. Bicknell has proved indefatigable and it is chiefly owing to his driving power and forceful personality that the anti-aircraft defences have been maintained at a high state of efficiency during a difficult period. In addition, he has rendered valuable assistance to the Commanders of Anti-Aircraft Artillery at G.H.Q., M.E., and H.Q., B.T.E.’

C.B.E. London Gazette 9 September 1942: ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East during the period November, 1941, to April, 1942.’ The recommendation states:

‘This Officer acted as A.A.D.C. Alexandria for nearly a year. During that time he was responsible for the development and organisation for the engagement of unseen targets and commanded the A.A. defences with great success. As a result, no material damage resulted from any of the raids in the vital Naval establishments there. His liaison with the Royal Navy was carried out with great efficiency, and the Fortress Commander has expressed his keen appreciation of the work of Colonel Bicknell and the A.A. Defences.’

Sold with full research which includes several copied photographs of Bicknell.