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: £500 - £600

The Great War trio to Volunteer Gordon Merriman, Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve, killed in action in German East Africa in September 1914

1914-15 Star (Vol. G. Merriman, Nyasaland F.F.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Vol. G. Merriman, Nyasaland V.R.) together with Bronze Memorial Plaque (Gordon Merriman) all contained in a contemporary hinged double-fronted display case, extremely fine (4) £500-600


Gordon Merriman was born in Hampstead, London, on 5 February 1885. He was educated at St Andrew’s, Eastbourne, and at Uppingham, which he entered in 1900, before going on to Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

After Cambridge, Merriman went to Nyasaland where he was a planter and owned the Nanglukutichi Estate, near Blantyre. Merriman joined the Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve in early 1913, and was in the Zomba Section. In March 1914, he transferred to the Magomero Section.

On the outbreak of the Great War, Merriman took part in the operations in German East Africa, as a Volunteer in the Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve. He was in charge of a Maxim gun in No. 2 Column of the Field Force and was killed in action at Kasoa, near Karonga, on 9 September 1914, when he was mortally wounded whilst working his Maxim gun under heavy fire with coolness and effect.

He was mentioned in the Despatch of Lieutenant-Colonel G. M. P. Hawthorn, dated Zomba 11 October 1915, and published in the Nyasaland Government Gazette of 30 September 1916, and in the Despatch of Sir George Smith, K.C.M.G., Governor of Nyasaland, published in the London Gazette of 3 August 1916: ‘Volunteer G. Merriman, N.V.R., killed in action... while working maxim guns under heavy fire with coolness and effect.’

In the Nyaslalnd Government Gazette of 29 April 1916, the award of the King’s African Rifles D.C.M. was announced to No. 18 Corporal Stima, ‘For conspicuous gallantry and tenacity at the action of Kasoa on 9th September, 1914, in handling a Maxim after Mr. Merriman, N.V.R., who was in charge had been mortally wounded.’ A similar announcement in the London Gazette states that ‘The latter [Merriman] specially requested that this act of gallantry should be rewarded.

Volunteer Gordon Merriman was buried in Karonga War Cemetery, north-west of Lake Nyasa, now in Malawi. He was 29 years of age and unmarried. Sold with full research.