Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria. To coincide with the OMRS Convention (19 September 2003)

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Date of Auction: 19th September 2003

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £600 - £800

A rare South Russia I.D.S.M. and 2nd Class gold Cross of St George pair awarded to Daffadar Bola Ram, 28th Light Cavalry, for gallantry in charging a patrol of Bolshevik cavalry

Indian Distinguished Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (1621 Dafdr. Bola Ram, 28th Light Cavy.) complete with top suspension brooch and contained in its H.M. Mint Calcutta fitted case of issue; Russia, Cross of St George, 2nd class, gold, the reverse officially numbered ‘No. 35 313’ and with circular kokoschnik hallmark on the lower arm, very fine and rare £600-800

Footnote

I.D.S.M. Gazette of India 31 May 1919. Gazetted as an award for Salonika but actually for Transcaspia (full details with medals).

‘During January [1919] our cavalry patrols came into collision with the enemy. One morning a patrol of eight men under Lance-Duffadar Bhola Ram of “D” Squadron was cut off by about 25 Bolshevik cavalry. Bhola Ram promptly ordered his men to charge and the patrol, spearing two Bolsheviks, burst through the enemy ranks without the loss of a man. For his conduct in this affair Lance-Duffadar Bhola Ram was awarded the I.D.S.M. ... The Russian commander [Menshevik], to show his appreciation of their action, immediately wired to General Denekin, commanding the Whgite Forces in South Russia, recommending that all members of the patrol should be awarded to St George’s Cross. The grant of these decorations was duly received and appeared in [Salonika] Force Orders.’

The above extracts are taken from The 28th Light Cavalry in Persia & Russian Turkistan 1915-1920, Major J. A. C. Kreyer, D.S.O., and Captain G. Uloth, printed for private circulation by Slatter & Rose, Oxford 1920.

The Russian Cross of St George, 2nd Class, is an extremely rare award to British Empire Forces. Only ten awards in this elevated class were announced in the London Gazette, although other awards, like the one above, were no doubt made.

Assuming uninterrupted service with the 28th Light Cavalry, Bola Ram would also have been entitled to the 1914-15 Star trio and the India General Service medal with 3 clasps, for Afghanistan 1919, Waziristan 1919-21 and Waziristan 1921-24. He also received a jangi inam or monthly gratuity as a reward for good services. He appears to have left the Indian Army sometime in 1923. Sold with further detailed research.