Police Awards From the Collection of John Tamplin

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2003

Sold for £7,200

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,000

An outstanding C.B.E. (Civil), O.B.E. (Military), M.C., K.P.M. group of fourteen awarded to Colonel H. W. M. Bamford, 2nd South African Infantry, late Cape Mounted Rifles and Natal Light Horse, wounded three times during the Great War, and subsequently Inspector-General of Police in the Gold Coast

The Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Civil) 1st type neck badge, enamel badly chipped on top arm; The Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Military) 1st type; Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse inscriber ‘Capt. & Adjt., 2nd South African Infantry. Somme 1916’; King’s Police Medal, G.V.R., 2nd issue (Lieut.-Col. Harry W. M. Bamford, C.B.E., M.C., Insp. Gen. of Police, Gold Coast); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (3591 Pte., Cape M.R.); Natal 1906, clasp, 1906 (Tpr., Transvaal Mtd. Rifles); 1914-15 Star (Capt., Ntl. Light Hse.); British War and bi-lingual Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col.); War Medal 1939-45; Africa Service Medal, these two officially impressed (279424 H. W. M. Bamford); Jubilee 1935, named (Col., I.G. Police Gold Coast); Coronation 1937, named (Colonel); French Croix de Guerre, with bronze palm, together with companion set of 14 miniature medals, both sets mounted as worn, and full sized ribbon bar, all contained in a large specially fitted carrying case by Spink, the outer lid embossed with initials ‘H.W.M.B.’, the first chipped, light contact marks but generally very fine or better (18) £2500-3000


See Back Cover.

C.B.E. (Civil) 1935; O.B.E. (Military) London Gazette 7 June 1918.

M.C. London Gazette 1 January 1917, general citation but awarded for the battle of Delville Wood, on the Somme, where he was wounded.

K.P.M. London Gazette 1 February 1937: Inspector General of Police, Gold Coast, ‘for long and specially distinguished administrative service.’

Harry William Morrey Bamford was born in London on 18 November 1882. He enlisted as a Private into the Queen’s Westminster Rifle Volunteers in December 1899, transferring shortly afterwards to the Cape Mounted Rifles, with whom he served in the Boer War from January 1901. Having completed his term of engagement with the Cape Mounted Rifles in 1906, in the rank of Corporal, Bamford joined the Transvaal Mounted Rifles as a Trooper. Attached to the Xalanga Mounted Rifles, he served during the Natal rebellion of 1906 in the Scottish Horse Squadron. He subsequently joined the Johannesburg Mounted Police and the Natal Police, serving in Northern Zululand and receiving promotion to Sergeant. From 1907 until 1914 he was Deputy Sheriff in Northern Zululand, and was commissioned as Lieutenant in 1911.

In September 1914, Bamford was appointed Captain and Adjutant of the Natal Light Horse and served as a Squadron Commander in that unit in the campaign in German South-West Africa 1914-15, under Brigadier-General Royston. Bamford, together with his squadron, was captured by the enemy but all escaped the same day (Despatches London Gazette 22 August 1918).

Bamford re-attested into the 2nd South African Infantry in August 1915 and proceeded to Egypt as Captain and Adjutant, taking part in the Senussi campaign until he was wounded at Halazia on 23 January 1916. He joined his unit in France, as Adjutant, and was wounded at Delville Wood on 19 July 1916, when all but two officers of his regiment became casualties. For this action he was awarded the Military Cross.

Promoted to Major, Bamford rejoined his unit in France in November 1916, and was appointed Brigade Major, 90th Infantry Brigade, 30th Division, in January 1917, with whom he fought at Arras and was gassed near Ypres. After a spell in England he assumed, in April 1918, command of the South African Composite Regiment, and later that month took command of the 2nd South African Infantry. In the fighting at Beaurevoir, near Le Cateau, on 8 October 1918, Bamford was once again wounded, this time severely, during a German bombardment as the South African brigade was assembling for its final offensive of the war. This last and successful offensive was continued until the early hours of 11 November 1918, the commanders of the 4 battalions of S.A. Infantry each winning the D.S.O., including Major Sprenger who assumed command after Bamford was wounded. Bamford, himself, received a third mention in despatches and also a mention in War Office Communiqués. He subsequently relinquished his commission on account of ill-health caused by wounds and was invalided from the Army.

In July 1919 Bamford was appointed as Commissioner of Police and Inspector of Prisons in Malta. In 1922 he was appointed Commandant, Northern Territories Constabulary, Hausa, and in 1925 he became Inspector-General of Police, Gold Coast, which appointment he held until 1938. He was appointed a Member of the Legislative Council in 1936 and, from 1938-39, was Secretary of the Gold Coast Chamber of Mines.

On the outbreak of war in 1939, Bamford was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, Army Officers Emergency Reserve, Gold Coast. In February 1941 he re-attested as Colonel in the South African Union Defence Corps and became Senior President of Courts Martial. He retired in January 1943, now aged 61, after 44 years of service. Colonel H. W. M. Bamford died at Mount Currie, South Africa, on 26 August 1968. Sold with full research including an original portrait photograph