Medals to Great War Casualties from the Collection of the late Ian Livesley

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £1,350

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Three: Lieutenant Colonel Oswyn St. Leger Davis, 1/6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, later (Commanding) 1/8th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was wounded at Gallipoli on 4 June 1915 and again on the Western Front on 6 November 1917, before being mortally wounded whilst gallantly leading a counter-attack on the village of Bucquoy on 5 April 1918 - he was posthumously mentioned in despatches

1914-15 Star (Capt., Manch. R.); British War and Victory Medals, with small M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col.); together with memorial plaque (Oswyn St. Leger Davies) and a small quantity of original family photographs most of which include the recipient, one of which is a superb full-length portrait in uniform; and two contemporary published obituaries, extremely fine (4) £800-1000


M.I.D. London Gazette 26 May 1918.

The following is extracted from Memorials of Rugbeians Who Fell in The Great War:

‘Oswyn St. Leger Davies was the youngest son of John Morgan Davies, D.L., J.P., and of Jane Elizabeth his wife, of Froodvale, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire. He entered the School in May 1887, and left in December 1891. After leaving Rugby he followed a business career, living, for the most part, first in Manchester, and afterwards in London. Here his wide sympathy found vent in work among the poor, and he devoted his spare time to teaching boxing to classes of boys.

In 1899 he joined the Mounted Infantry Company of the Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, and commanded it from 1904 to 1908, when it was disbanded under the Territorial Scheme. He founded and organised the Welsh Rifle Association, and Sir Henry Mackinnon, sometime Director General of the Territorial Force, spoke highly of the value of his work. Being an able public speaker, he gave many addresses on the necessity for National Service and similar subjects, and did his best to help to prepare the Country for what he believed was to come.

On the outbreak of War he rejoined the Manchester Regiment, being already in his forty-first year, and went with it to Egypt in the autumn of 1914, sharing in the actions in defence of the Suez Canal in February 1915. In April 1915, he accompanied his Regiment to Gallipoli, and after a few weeks of severe fighting, during which most of his brother Officers were killed and the Battalion decimated, he was wounded and sent home, returning to his regiment some little time before the evacuation of the Peninsula.

In Egypt, early in 1916, he was appointed to re-form and command the 8th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, which had been practically wiped out in Gallipoli. He commanded this Battalion in the fighting on the Sinai Peninsula, and later on in France, where he was again wounded in the autumn of 1917.

In March 1918, a few days after arriving home on a long-deferred leave, he was recalled to France at the start of the last German offensive, and during the last fortnight of his life he was engaged in severe and almost incessant fighting. Whilst gallantly leading a counter-attack on the village of Bucquoy, he was hit in the spine and died in less than two hours, April 5th 1918. Age 44.’