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

Date of Auction: 27th & 28th February 2019

Sold for £4,200

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A fine and well documented 1937 ‘Coronation Honours’ C.V.O, Great War ‘Western Front’ D.S.O, M.C. and Second Award Bar group of thirteen awarded to Brigadier L. M. Gibbs, Coldstream Guards, who was wounded near Vermelles on 3 October 1915, and was four times Mentioned in Despatches

The Royal Victorian Order, C.V.O., Commander’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, the reverse officially numbered ‘C974’, with short section of neck riband, in slightly damaged Collingwood, London, case of issue; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Military Cross, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar, unnamed as issued; 1914 Star, with copy clasp (Lieut: L. M. Gibbs. C. Gds.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col. L. M. Gibbs.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, Waziristan 1921-24 (Maj. L. M. Gibbs. C. Gds.); Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Coronation 1911(2-Lieut. L. M. Gibbs. C. Gds.) contemporarily engraved; Jubilee 1935 (Colonel L. M. Gibbs. D.S.O. M.C.) contemporarily engraved; Coronation 1937 (Colonel L. M. Gibbs. C.V.O., D.S.O., M.C.) contemporarily engraved; Coronation 1953, unnamed as issued, mounted court-style as worn, good very fine (13) £4,000-£5,000


C.V.O. London Gazette 11 May 1937:
‘On the occasion of His Majesty’s Coronation.’

D.S.O. London Gazette 3 June 1919:
‘For gallant and distinguished services in France.’

M.C. London Gazette 1 January 1917:
‘For distinguished service in the Field.’

M.C. Second Award Bar London Gazette 11 January 1919:
‘Nr Morlancourt, France, 24 August 1918. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When the position on the left flank was very obscure owing to the next Division failing to reach its objective, he made a daring reconnaissance to gain information and get in touch. He collected troops and organised the situation, and brought most valuable information to the brigade. He was under intense fire from machine-guns and minenwerfer at close range.’

Lancelot Merivale Gibbs was born on 23 December 1889, the seventh and youngest son of Anthony Gibbs, J.P., D.L., and was educated at Eton. He served initially as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry from 1908 to 1910, before being commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards on 7 December 1910. Promoted Lieutenant on 19 July 1913, he served during the Great War on the Western Front from 21 August 1914. He served as Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion from 16 March 1915 to 21 April 1916, and, having been promoted Captain on 17 July 1915, was slightly wounded near Vermelles on 3 October 1915. His diary entry for the day states: ‘Started off for new trenches east of Vermelles about 6:00 p.m. Hada most unpleasant walk up to them. I got hit by a shell but so slightly that it really only bruised. Relieved the 1st K.R.R. in some very nasty trenches, which had been partially blown in during day by a German attack. Finished relief about 11:00 p.m. Had my shoulder “Dressed”!’

Gibbs was appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Grenadier Guards on 25 November 1916, an appointment he held until 8 March 1917. Moving over to the Staff, he was appointed General Staff Officer 3rd Class on 26 February 1918 and served as Brigade Major of the Guards Division from 4 May 1918. For his services during the Great War he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order; was awarded the Military Cross and Bar; and was four times Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 16 February 1915, 31 December 1915, 7 July 1919, and 17 December 1919). Gibbs’ own diary entry for the 24 August 1918, the date of the action for which he was awarded the Bar to his M.C., reads:
‘The hour for the attack was 1:00 a.m. and was started with a heavy barrage. The “Green Line” was taken and some 300 prisoners were taken in Happy Valley. The Bosche who had been expecting these attacks put down a very heavy barrage at once on the Albert-Bray road and also on the “Green Line”. A small pocket of Machine Guns and Trench Mortars remained on the 21 Battalion’s left and stopped the 12th Division on our left coming up. These started to hammer the 21 Battalion causing considerable casualties and the situation looked serious, their left being quite in the air. The 15 Battalion therefore went up and formed a defensive flank. I went up and discovered the situation much better than expected. Going right up to the left I found the Trench Mortar gone but the Machine Guns still active. Otherwise the Brigade front was intact and in touch on the right. The front was reorganised after dark, the 15 Battalion coming up on the right and taking partly over from the right Brigade and a bit from 17 Battalion. The 17 Battalion in the centre with the 21 Battalion, now weak, on the left.’

Gibbs served on staff of the British Section of the Supreme War Council at Versailles from February to June 1919. He then proceeded to India where he participated in operations in Waziristan 1921-24, and was Aide-de-Camp to the Commander-in-Chief in India, General Lord Rawlinson, from December 1922 to March 1925. Promoted Major on 12 September 1923, he was advanced Lieutenant-Colonel on 15 December 1930, and served as Officer Commanding, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards from 15 December 1930 to 14 December 1934. His subsequently served as Assistant Adjutant General at the War Office from 1934 to 1938. Transferring to the Retired List, he was appointed His Majesty’s Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms in January 1939, before being recalled for service during the Second World War, where he served as Brigadier in charge of Administration, London District. Reverting to the Retired List on the cessation of hostilities, he was recalled to the War Office in connection with planning for the Victory March in January 1946, before reverting to the Retired List for a third and final time in July of that year. He died on 8 December 1966.

Sold with the following original documents &c.:

i. The recipient’s complete and extremely detailed hand-written diary from the Great War, August 1914 - June 1919, 169pp, together with a full typed transcript, in both hard copy and electronic forms.

ii. Four Mentioned in Despatches Certificates, dated 14 January 1915, 30 November 1915, 8 November 1918, and 16 March 1919, in O.H.M.S. envelope.

iii. Warrant appointing the recipient one of His Majesty’s Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, dated 2 January 1939.

iv. Bestowal Document appointing the recipient a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, dated 11 May 1937, in Central Chancery envelope; together with a copy of the Statutes of the Order.

v. Commission Documents appointing John Evelyn Gibbs, the recipient’s brother, a Second Lieutenant, Militia Forces, dated 26 January 1898; and Second Lieutenant, Land Forces, dated 17 January 1900.

vi. Various Diaries of Brigade Operations, Corps Orders; and appropriate maps.

vii. Copy of the recipient’s Record of Service, and other copied research.