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

Date of Auction: 27th & 28th February 2019

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

A Great War D.S.O. group of six awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Luxmoore, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, later commanding the 2nd Manchesters in their famous V.C. action at Francilly-Selency in April 1917 when they captured a German battery of 77mm guns

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast (Capt. N. Luxmoore Devon. Rgt.); 1914 Star, with clasp (Capt: N. Luxmore. Devon: R.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col. N. Luxmoore.); France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Chevalier’s breast badge, silver, gilt, and enamel, mounted as worn, a few chips to green enamel wreaths on the first, light contact marks, otherwise very fine or better (6) £1,400-£1,800

Footnote

D.S.O. London Gazette 1 January 1917: ‘Major (temp. Lt.-Col.) Devon. R.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 10 September 1901 (Lord Roberts); 1 January 1916; 4 January 1917.

Noel Luxmoore was born in Torquay on 28 December 1871. He was educated at Summerfields, near Oxford, and at Eton College. His military career began in February 1892 when he was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion, Royal Scots, and promoted to Lieutenant in October 1893. He joined the Devons as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1894, becoming Lieutenant in January 1898 and Captain in April 1900.

During the Boer War he saw service with both the 1st and 2nd Battalions, seeing action at Colenso, Spion Kop, Vaal Krantz, Tugela Heights, Pieters Hill, Natal, Transvaal, Belfast and Lydenberg. On 1 October 1900, when the Regiment had just arrived at Krugers Post and were busily settling into its bivouac, that a Boer gun opened it from a hill about 600 yards distant. This gun shelled the wagons as they came into camp and in the evening another gun was brought into action shelling the bivouacs for nearly two hours. After several shells had pitched into their midst the Regiment moved out, formed two long lines and entrenched. It was whilst these manoeuvres were taking place that a shell emptied itself into the head of one company, killing Lieutenant Cumin, and severely wounding Captain Luxmoore and Private Leach.

After recovering from his injuries, Captain Luxmoore was seconded for service with the Volunteers, being appointed Adjutant to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, a position he held for a number of years until his health deteriorated and he was put on the half-pay list in December 1911. After an improvement in his health he was restored to the establishment in 1913.

On the outbreak of the war in 1914, Luxmoore was serving with the 1st Battalion stationed in Jersey. They joined the line at Vailly, north of the Aisne, as part of 8th Brigade on 15 September 1914, when Luxmoore had the distinction of being the first Devon officer on the casualty list, having been wounded by shell fire. He was promoted to Major in February 1915 and left the Devons as Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel to take command of the 2nd Manchesters in November 1915. Whilst commanding the Manchesters he was in action during the battle of the Somme, when they advanced from Authuille Wood, south of Thiepval, Luxmoore commanding the left column. 2 April 1917 saw the successful attack at Francilly-Selency, near Beauvois, when the Manchesters captured a German 77mm battery and were awarded two guns as trophies. Major F. W. Lumsden won the Victoria Cross in this action, of which a painting by R. Caton Woodville was later presented to the Officers Mess of the 2nd Battalion in recognition of that day. Luxmoore left the battalion in May 1917 to serve as an Instructor as a School of Instruction.

He was appointed D.S.O. in January 1917, having previously been awarded the Legion of Honour in February 1916. He was twice mentioned in despatches and made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on 3 June 1919. Lieutenant-Colonel Luxmoore retired in 1922 and died in London on 6 February 1949, aged 77.