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

Date of Auction: 27th & 28th February 2019

Sold for £800

Estimate: £700 - £900

A Great War ‘North Russia 1919’ M.B.E. group of seven awarded to Lieutenant and Quartermaster J. G. A. Forbes, Royal Army Medical Corps, who was subsequently deprived of his commission, had his M.B.E. cancelled and annulled, and forfeited his M.S.M. following his conviction by the Civil Powers in October 1922

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Military) Member’s 1st type breast badge, silver, hallmarks for London 1919; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (14924 Pte. J. G. A. Forbes. R.A.M.C.); 1914 Star (14924 Sjt. J. G. A. Forbes. R.A.M.C.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Q.M. & Lieut. J. G. A. Forbes.); Army L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (14924 S. Sjt: J. G. A. Forbes. R.A.M.C.); Meritorious Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (14924 A.S. Mjr: J. G. A. Forbes. R.A.M.C.) light contact marks, nearly very fine and better (7) £700-£900


M.B.E. London Gazette 3 February 1920:
‘In recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in Murmansk, North Russia.’

M.B.E. Annulled London Gazette 3 October 1922.

M.S.M. London Gazette 1 January 1918:
‘In recognition of valuable services rendered with the Armies in the field.’

M.S.M. Forfeited London Gazette 6 October 1922.

James George Annand Forbes was born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, in 1882 and attested for the Royal Army Medical Corps at Edinburgh on 25 January 1901, having previously served in the Midlothian Volunteer Artillery. He served with the R.A.M.C. in South Africa during the Boer War from 7 October 1901 and, remaining in South Africa following the cessation of hostilities, came down with enteric fever at Pretoria in January 1906. He returned home on 24 February 1907, and was appointed Lance-Corporal on 2 April of that year. He was promoted Corporal on 1 October 1908, and served during the operations in Sierra Leone from 27 February 1910 to 8 March 1911. Promoted Sergeant on 31 May 1911, he served a second tour in Sierra Leone from 10 July 1912 to 16 July 1913. Although no medals were given for this service in Sierra Leone, owing to the inhospitable conditions all service counted double. Forbes himself contracted malaria during his first tour of duty.

Following the outbreak of the Great War, Forbes served with the 4th Stationary Hospital at St. Omer on the Western Front from 27 August 1914, and was promoted Staff Sergeant on 12 October of that year. He was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 22 June 1915), and was advanced Acting Sergeant Major on 19 April 1917, being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal the following year. He was commissioned Lieutenant and Quartermaster on 25 October 1918, and was awarded his Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 1 April 1919. He subsequently served with the Allied Forces in North Russia, and for his services at Murmasnk was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Appointed storekeeper of the Pensions Military Hospital at Orpington, he was found guilty by the Civil Powers ‘on five counts of stealing goods, furniture, and equipment from the hospital’ on 21 June 1922, and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. As a consequence his appointment to the Order of the British Empire was annulled, and he forfeited his M.S.M. He subsequently served as A.R.P. canteen manager for Paddington during the Second World War, and died in Margate, Kent, on 13 April 1961.

Sold with a large quantity of copied research.