A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 19th July 2017

Sold for £1,600

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A Great War ‘Salonika’ D.S.O. group of eight awarded to Major C. E. Browning, 8th, late 11th Battalion South Wales Borderers, who was decorated for his gallant command of a night raiding party on ‘Flat Iron Hill’ on 12/13 July 1918

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, complete with top brooch bar, slight enamel damage; 1914-15 Star (Lieut. C. E. Browning, S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Major C. E. Browning); 1939-45 Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; France, Third Republic, Croix de Guerre 1914-1918, good very fine and better (8) £1800-2200


D.S.O. London Gazette 15 October 1918. ‘T./Maj. Charles Eric Browning, S. Wales Bord.’ ‘For conspicuous gallantry in the field. In command of a raiding party he showed great coolness and initiative while directing the wire cutting under heavy fire, and in plain view of the enemy, owing to their Very lights. He successfully took and occupied the enemy position, while another party went on to carry out a further operation, and finally covered the withdrawal of the latter with great skill. After being the last to leave the captured position, he returned some distance at great personal risk to search for some missing men. Throughout the operations his judgement, gallantry and resource were most marked.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 4 January 1917 (France); 30 January 1919 (Salonika).

French Croix de Guerre London Gazette 29 November 1918.

Charles Eric Browning was born in South Dulwich on 27 August 1883 and was educated at Marlborough College. Employed as a Produce Broker, he enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers in 1914. He was commissioned into the 11th (Service) Battalion (2nd Gwent) South Wales Borderers in May 1915 and was promoted to Lieutenant in July the same year. With the battalion he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 3 December 1915. Browning was further promoted to Acting Captain in April 1916 and Captain in July 1916. He was wounded in action during the battle of the Somme and was mentioned in despatches. He was posted to the 8th Battalion South Wales Borderers, served in the Balkans in March 1917, and was promoted to Major in February 1918. Major Browning led the raid on Flat Iron Hill on the night of 12/13 July 1918 - his leadership and conspicuous gallantry earning him his second mention, the D.S.O. and French Croix de Guerre. During the Second World War, Browning served as a Squadron Leader with the Royal Air Force. With copied gazette extract, m.i.c, report of the raid on Flat Iron Hill and service notes.