Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (12 November 2020)

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Date of Auction: 12th November 2020

Sold for £4,600

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

An extremely rare ‘1908 North West Frontier’ D.C.M. group of five awarded to Sergeant J. Charlton, No. 3 Mountain Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Distinguished Conduct Medal, E.VII.R. (Sergt: J. Charlton. R.G.A.); India General Service 1854-95, 3 clasps, Burma 1885-7, Sikkim 1888, Samana 1891 (31873 Gunr. J. Charlton No. 9 By. 1st Bde. N. Dn. R.A.); India General Service 1895-1902, 3 clasps, Relief of Chitral 1895, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98, clasp carriage altered to accommodate later clasps (31873 Corpl. J. Charlton. No. 3 Mtn. By. R.A.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (31873 Sergt. J. Charlton. No. 3 Mtn. B. R.G.A.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (31873 Sjt: J. Charlton. R.G.A.) contact marks, otherwise generally very fine (5) £4,000-£5,000


D.C.M. London Gazette 14 August 1908 - Sergeant John Charlton, No. 3 Mountain Battery Royal Garrison Artillery; Army Order No. 252 of October 1908. Awarded for operations against Zakka Khel and Mohmands to bear date 16 July 1908; P.R.O. W.O. 146/1 D.C.M. submission dated 8 August 1908: ‘In recognition of gallant conduct during the recent operations of the Bazar Valley Field Force.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 22 May 1908 - Sergeant Charton [sic], 3rd Mountain Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery: ‘...who did extra good work during the operations.’; Gazette of India Army Dept. No. 188 of 20 March 1908.

John Charlton was born in Edenderry, King’s County, Ireland in 1863 and attested for the Royal Artillery at Charles Fort, Kinsale on 25 April 1882. Arriving in India in September 1883, his long career of field service in the region commenced with the Zhob Valley Expedition of 1884 under Lieutenant-General Sir O. V. Tanner, followed by service in the Burma Field Force 1886-87 with No. 9 Battery, 1st Brigade, Northern Division, Royal Artillery, the Sikkim Expeditionary Force 1888 under Colonel T. Graham with the same battery (9/1 Northern Div.) as part of the only artillery unit present with 4 guns and the Miranzai Expeditionary Force 1891 (Samana clasp) under Brigadier General Sir W.S.A. Lockhart, with No. 3 Bty. in No. 1 Column. He was promoted Corporal in 1892 and the same year served with the Sayai Field Force before joining the Chitral Relief Force in 1895 under Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Low.

Promoted Sergeant on 14 July 1896, Charlton was deployed to the North West Frontier, 1897-98, including on the Punjab Frontier with No. 3 Mountain Battery in the 2nd Brigade of the Mohmand Field Force under Major-General E. R. Elles and in the Tirah Campaign with the same Battery but now in the Peshawar Column under Brigadier General A. G. Hammond V.C.

Remaining in India, in 1908, Charlton participated in the Bazar Valley Field Force’s punitive expedition against the Zakka Khel on the Peshawar border of the North West Frontier. Proceeding under the orders of Major General Sir J. Willcocks from Ali Musjid into the Bazar Valley between 14 February and 1 March 1908, he was mentioned in despatches by Willcocks for doing extra good work during the period in question and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallant conduct during the operations against the Zakka Khel and Mohmands, his prolonged campaigning also being rewarded with the Army Long Service and Good Conduct medal the following year under Army Order 101 of 1909. Completing nearly 28 years’ service in India, he left on 30 March 1911 for Egypt where he was discharged the following year.

Nine D.C.M.s were awarded for the North West Frontier expeditions in 1908, Charlton’s being unique to the Royal Artillery.