A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 19th July 2017

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of six awarded to Captain H. H. Davenport, 10th (1st Gwent) Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who was twice wounded during the Great War

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (2. Lieut. H. H. Davenport S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (Capt. H. H. Davenport.); Defence and War Medals 1939-45, good very fine (6) £1000-1200

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 18 January 1918:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as second in command of a raiding party. He led forward at a critical moment a party of men who had missed their objective. Later though dazed by a shell, he organised a rescue party and succeeded in getting back two wounded men who were lying in the enemy’s lines.’

Howard Howells Davenport was appointed 2nd Lieutenant on 6 July 1915, and served in France with the 10th South Wales Borderers from 5 December 1915. He was wounded on the Somme in the attack on Mametz Wood, 11 July 1916, and again at Pilckem in August 1917. He won his M.C. at Lys in November 1917 during the 3rd battle of Ypres, as described in the regimental history:

‘The main event of the autumn months was the 10th’s great raid. This, carried out on the night of November 7th/8th, was quite a big affair, ten officers and 270 men, virtually all available from A, B and C Companies, being employed under Captain W. T. Cobb with Captain Davenport as his second in command. Incandescent Trench, the frontage attacked, had been systematically bombarded for some days and the wire effectively cut out a frontage of 300 yards. It presented no obstacle and the raiders penetrated to the support line 200 yards farther back. One detachment missed its way but Captain Davenport went back and guided it to the right spot and so enabled it to carry out its tasks. The party remained in the German trenches over an hour, during which time it blew up three concrete dug-outs, accounted for at least 50 Germans and brought back 15 more as prisoners. An admirably accurate box barrage round the section attacked contributed greatly to the success of the raid, and though the casualties amounted to nearly fifty, most of these were but lightly wounded and only five men were killed. Captain Davenport again did excellent work organizing the removal of the wounded and himself returned to the enemy’s lines to fetch in two men who had been left behind. It was easily one of the Division’s most successful raids and reflected great credit in Captain Cobb’s organization and training of the raiding party.’ Captains Cobb and Davenport received the M.C. for this raid.

Captain Davenport served during the Second World War as an Assistant Embarkation Staff Officer.