The Julian Johnson Collection

Date of Auction: 10th May 2017

Sold for £750

Estimate: £300 - £400

An unusual Great War group of five awarded to Second Lieutenant G. J. Welsh, Royal West Kent Regiment, late Private 1/4th East Kent Regiment, and later Acting District Commissioner for Burao, Somaliland, 1929-36

1914-15 Star (2307 Pte. G. J. Welsh. K. Kent R.); British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. G. J. Welsh.); Jubilee 1935; Ethiopia, Order of Menelik II, 5th Class breast badge, gilt and enamel, last in case of issue, medals mounted as worn, generally very fine (5) £300-400


Gordon James Welsh was born in 1894, and educated at the Cathedral School and Simon Langton School, Canterbury. He served during the Great War as a Private, 1/4th East Kent Regiment in the Aden theatre of war from August 1915. He went on to serve in India and Mesopotamia, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Royal West Kent Regiment, 1 September 1917.

After the war Welsh joined the Colonial Service, and was appointed Clerk to the Governor of Tanganyika in February 1921. He advanced to Chief Clerk in April 1923, before being appointed as Assistant Secretary to the Somaliland Government in March 1929. Welsh was employed as Acting District Commissioner for Burao District, 1929-36, and also acted as Assistant Secretary in Charge of the Secretariat in the colony (Order of Menelik, 5th Class confirmed in Foreign Office Letter T4226/4226/372 of 1933).

Welsh retired in 1936, and returned to the UK where he was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn two years later. He practised as a barrister on the Western Circuit, before rejoining the Colonial Officer for temporary war service in February 1940.