A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 28th February 2018

Sold for £1,900

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A Great War ‘Western Front’ D.S.O. group of six awarded to Brigadier-General C. W. Pearless, C.M.G., South Wales Borderers, later Adjutant General’s and Quartermaster General’s Staff, who was three times Mentioned in Despatches, and awarded the C.M.G. for his services with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg (Capt. C. W. Pearless S. Wales Bord.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (Cpt. C. W. Pearless. S. Wales Brd.); 1914-15 Star (Major C. W. Pearless. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Brig. Gen. C. W. Pearless.) mounted as worn, good very fine (6) £1800-2200


C.M.G. London Gazette 3 June 1918.

D.S.O. London Gazette 4 June 1917.

Charles William Pearless was born on 14 February 1872 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the South Wales Borderers on 19 November 1892. Promoted Lieutenant on 24 October 1893 and Captain on 23 November 1898, he served in South Africa during the Boer War, and was present during the operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900, including the actions at Karee Siding, Vet River, and and River; operations in the Transvaal, May and June 1900, including action near Johannesburg; operations in the Orange River Colony, June to August 1900; and operations in the Transvaal, west of Pretoria, August 1900 to January 1901. Employed with the Mounted Infantry from 16 January 1901, he subsequently took part in operations in the Orange River Colony, January 1901 to May 1902.

Promoted Major on 26 March 1912, Pearless served during the Great War, first with the South Wales Borderers, and then on the Staff, as a Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, from 31 March 1915. Promoted Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General on 26 January 1916, he was three times Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 13 July 1916, 21 July 1917, and 14 June 1918) and awarded the Distinguished Service Order, as well as receiving the Brevets of Lieutenant-Colonel on 3 June 1916, and Colonel on 3 June 1919.

Promoted temporary Brigadier-General on 27 January 1918, whilst serving as Deputy Adjutant and Quarter Master General, he relinquished his appointment on 3 July 1919, and was created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for services with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and was also awarded the Third Class of the Egyptian Order of the Nile (London Gazette 19 January 1920). Proceeding next to India, he subsequently served as Deputy Assistant and Quarter Master General, Peshawar District, until 1 August 1923, and then as Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General, Burma Independent District, from 10 October 1923 until 2 September 1924. He retired on 14 January 1925, retaining the rank of Brigadier-General. He died in 1940.

Note: Although the clasps on Pearless’s Q.S.A. are for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and Johannesburg, his actual entitlement is for Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Johannesburg.

Sold together with the recipient’s silver pocket watch, this un-inscribed; and various letters.

For the recipient’s miniature awards, see Lot 652.