Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (27 & 28 February 2019)

Date of Auction: 27th & 28th February 2019

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,600

A Great War Mesopotamia operations C.B., C.I.E. group of seven awarded to Brigadier-General W. Ewbank, Royal Engineers

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, C.I.E. Companion’s 3rd type neck badge, gold and enamel; India General Service 1854-95, 2 clasps, Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89 (Lieut. W. Ewbank, R.E.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (Major W. Ewbank, R.E., M.W.S.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Col. W. Ewbank); Delhi Durbar 1911, mounted as worn where applicable, the whole contained in an attractive silver display frame, hallmarked London 1930, with upper R.E. badge, enamel wreaths slightly chipped on the first, generally very fine and better (7) £2,000-£2,600


C.B. London Gazette 3 June 1919:
‘For valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in Mesopotamia.’

C.I.E. London Gazette 24 April 1918:
‘In recognition of meritorious services in Mesopotamia under the late Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude.’

William Ewbank was born in July 1865, the son of a teacher who became Principal of Patna College, India. Young William was educated at Calgary, Alberta and at Cooper’s Hill Engineering College, Egham, Surrey, prior to entering the R.M.A. Woolwich. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1886, he was embarked for India, and quickly witnessed active service in the Burma operations of 1887-88 (Medal & 2 clasps).

Having then been advanced to Captain in May 1893, he attended Staff College alongside such contemporaries as Allenby and Haig, prior to returning to India, where he was employed by the Foreign Office on famine relief work in Orissa 1896-97. A succession of appointments as D.A.A.G. ensued, namely for Instruction 1899-1904; for Art of War in Bombay 1909-10 and for the 3rd Lahore Division 1910-12, in which latter period he received the Delhi Durbar Medal. In the interim, as a Major attached Military Works Service, he had served in Mohmand country during the North-West Frontier operations of 1908 (Medal & clasp).

Ewbank next served as C.R.E. Lucknow Division 1913-16, prior to joining Indian Expeditionary Force ‘D’, under Lieutenant-General Sir Percy Lake, in Mespotamia in May of the latter year. He remained similarly employed until the war’s end, gaining appointment as C.B. and C.I.E., in addition to being mentioned in despatches on five occasions (London Gazettes 14 November 1916, 15 August 1917, 12 March and 27 August 1918, and 5 June 1919, refer).

Ewbank’s final appointment was as Chief Engineer and Director of Military Works in India 1920-22 and he retired in the rank of Brigadier-General in the latter year. He lived for several years at ‘Kasauli’ in Wych Jill Lane, Woking but latterly moved to Bournemouth, where he died in June 1930.