Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (3 December 2020)

Date of Auction: 3rd December 2020

Sold for £13,000

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The extremely rare and superb Second War A.F.C., North West Frontier 1935 ‘Crown Head’ D.F.M. group of ten awarded to Wing Commander H. C. Smith, Royal Air Force, who served as a Sergeant Pilot in Hawker Harts with 39 Squadron during the subjugation of the Faqir of Aligar, August - October 1935, and was initially attached to the Iraqi Air Force at the start of the Second War before being employed by Middle East Command as a Baltimore instructor at R.A.F. Shandur

Air Force Cross, G.VI.R., reverse officially dated ‘1944’; Distinguished Flying Medal, G.V.R., 2nd ‘crowned bust’ issue (364783. Sgt. (Pilot) H. C. Smith. R.A.F.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1935 (364783. Sgt. H. C. Smith. R.A.F.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, with M.I.D. Oak Leaf; Coronation 1953; Royal Air Force L.S. & G.C., G.VI.R., 1st issue (Act. Flt. Lt. H. C. Smith. R.A.F.); Iraq, Kingdom, Order of El Rafidain, 5th Class (Military Division) breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, mounted as originally worn, minor enamel damage to last, generally very fine or better (10) £4,000-£5,000


Approximately 22 D.F.M’s issued with the crowned head bust of George V in the period 1931-37.

A.F.C. London Gazette 8 June 1944:
‘This officer has been a qualified flying instructor at 70 O.T.U. for the last two and half years and for the past four months has filled the position of Chief Instructor with conspicuous success. He has taken his full share in both night and day flying instruction, and by his works and example has played an unparalleled part in the success achieved with every course at the Officer Training Unit. Wing Commander Smith has set a high standard, both as an officer and as a flying instructor.’

D.F.M. London Gazette 8 May 1936:
‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with the Mohmand Operations on the North West Frontier, India, during the period 15/16 August 1935 to 15/16 October, 1935.’

Iraq, Order of El Rafidain, 5th Class London Gazette 4 February 1941:
‘In recognition of valuable services rendered whilst attached to the Iraqi Air Force.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 1 January 1943.

Harold Constantine Smith was born in Gloucestershire in 1908, and was part of the 9th Entry at R.A.F. Halton, 1924-26. After initial training as a Pilot he was posted for operational service with 39 Squadron, the latter serving on the North West Frontier of India from 1928. Smith served as Sergeant (Pilot) in Hawker Harts during the subjugation of the Faqir of Alingar, as part of the Mohmand Operations, August - October 1935.

Having advanced to Flight Sergeant, Smith was commissioned Pilot Officer (on probation) in April 1940. During the Second War he was attached to the Iraqi Air Force, and advanced to Flying Officer in April 1941. Smith was posted as an instructor to No. 70 O.T.U., firstly at Nakuru, Kenya, and then he went with the unit when it moved to Shandur in India. The unit was employed to train pilots on Baltimores for flying in Middle East conditions and came under Middle East Command. Smith advanced to Flight Lieutenant in January 1944, and to Squadron Leader in July 1948. He retired as Wing Commander in July 1953.

Sold with the following original documentation: M.I.D. Certificate, dated 1 January 1943; named Buckingham Palace enclosure for Coronation Medal; Licence to Wear the insignia of the Order of Al Rafidain, 29 January 1941; named Buckingham Palace enclosure for the award of the A.F.C.; Air Ministry letter of thanks upon recipient’s retirement from the service, dated 28 February 1958; named invitation from the Lord Chamberlain to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, dated 21 July 1965; and another from the Commandant and Officers of The Central Flying School, Royal Air Force, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Central Flying School, dated 7 July 1962.