Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (3 December 2020)
Date of Auction: 3rd December 2020
Sold for £1,800
Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge converted for neck wear, silver-gilt and enamels; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal (Major C. Williams, 13 Hussars.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Lt. Col. C. Williams. 13/Hussars.); 1914-15 Star (Brig. Gen. C. Williams.); British War and Victory Medals (Brig. Gen. C. Williams); Russia, Empire, Order of St Anne, 3rd Class breast badge with swords, bronze-gilt and enamels, maker’s marks to reverse (this added for display purposes), light contact marks, otherwise very fine or better (7) £1,800-£2,200
FootnoteC.B. London Gazette 3 June 1915: ‘Colonel (temporary Brigadier-General) Coventry Williams.’
Coventry Williams (who changed his name to Gideon Coventry Williams in 1929) was born in Paris on 23 November 1860, youngest son of B. B. Williams of Buscot, Berkshire, and Clara, youngest daughter of T. Darby Coventry of Greenlands, Buckinghamshire. He was educated at Eton and first commissioned as Second Lieutenant, 20th Hussars, on 14 January 1880, transferring to the 3rd Dragoon Guards at the end of the same month; Lieutenant, 1 July 1881; Captain, 26 November 1886; transferred to 13th Hussars, 16 July 1887; served on the Staff as A.D.C. to G.O.C. Cavalry Brigade, Aldershot, and as Brigade Major attached to Staff of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, Aldershot, September 1890 to December 1894; Adjutant 13th Hussars, 5 June 1896 to 24 April 1897; Major 13th Hussars, 25 April 1897.
Major Williams served in South Africa 1899-1902, and was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, including action at Colenso; operations of 17 to 25 January 1900 and action at Spion Kop; operations of 4 to 7 February 1900, and action at Vaal Krantz; operations on Tugela Heights, 14 to 27 February 1900, and action at Pieters Hill. Operations in Natal. Operations in the Transvaal, 30 November 1900 to September 1901, and October 1901 to February 1902. Operations on the Zululand Frontier of Natal in September and October 1901. Afterwards on the Staff. Operations in Orange River Colony, February to 31 May 1902 (Despatches London Gazette 5 February 1901; brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel; Queen’s medal with 5 clasps; King’s medal with 2 clasps). He was afterwards Assistant Adjutant-General , South Africa, from 24 February to 21 June, 1902.
Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, to command the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) on 19 August 1903; Brevet Colonel, 21 January 1906; an article in the Globe of 10 January 1907, reported:
‘Col. Coventry Williams, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), also had the honour of being received by the King previous to leaving for Russia, to present to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia, the state of the regiment of which His Imperial Majesty is Colonel-in-Chief.’ It is almost certainly on this occasion that Colonel Williams would have been decorated by the Tsar with the Order of St Anne (to which his entitlement is confirmed by his entry in Who’s Who).
Colonel Williams was placed on half-pay on completion of his period of service in command of the 2nd Dragoons, 19 August 1907; Substantive Colonel, 27 November 1907. Returned to full-pay as Brigade Commander, Territorial Force, 1 September 1911. During the Great War he served on the Staff as Temporary Brigadier-General from 5 August 1914, and served in Egypt from October 1915 to 15 March 1916, when he was placed on the half-pay list. Brigadier-General Gideon Coventry Williams, C.B., died on 2 May 1947. Sold with full research including a copied photograph of the recipient wearing medals in the uniform of the 13th Hussars.