A Collection of Awards for Burma Operations during the Second World War

Date of Auction: 27th September 2017

Sold for £2,000

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,400

A ‘Coronation’ 1953 C.B., Second War ‘Arakan’ C.B.E., Great War 1918 M.C. group of eleven awarded to Brigadier-General L. I. Jacques, Royal Engineers, who served with distinction during the Second War as Chief Engineer of 21 Indian Corps and in the same capacity for 15 Indian Corps

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel; Military Cross, G.V.R.; British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oak Leaves (Lieut. L. I. Jacques); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, M.I.D. Oak Leaf; Coronation 1953, breast awards mounted for display, with miscellaneous uniform buttons and pips, and tunic ribands, Great War awards nearly very fine, remainder very fine or better (11) £2000-2400


Provenance: DNW, September 2002.

C.B. London Gazette 1 June 1953.

C.B.E. London Gazette 8 February 1945, the recommendation states:

‘Arakan 16 Nov 43 - 15 May 44. Brig. Jacques was C.E. 21 Corps before being appointed C.E. 15 Ind Corps.

He has had under his control a great number of additional formation engineers and corps and army units which he has dealt with without any increase in staff.

He is a good adviser and all his forecasts have been accurate.

The results of his projects compare very favourably with any others in Arakan.

His service has not yet been recognised in this war, and as the success of the campaign rested largely on communications I consider that his services are now worthy of recognition.’

M.C. London Gazette 8 March 1919:

‘For marked gallantry and devotion to duty at Knocke, on 21st October, 1918, when he carried out a reconnaissance of the Canal crossing and constructed a bridge in the face of very heavy rifle and machine-gun fire. Throughout the operation he showed great coolness and determination and set a high example to his men.’

Leslie Innes Jacques was born in December 1897, and was educated at Clifton and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in April 1916. Jacques served during the Great War on the Western Front, September 1916 - November 1918, and was mentioned in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig for his services with 223rd Field Company, R.E. for the period February to September 1918. The latter dates encompass the retreat on the Somme in March, the fighting at La Bassee Canal and the Battle of Lys (London Gazette 23 December 1918). His subsequent M.C.-winning exploits were for bravery at Knocke in October 1918, by which time he was a substantive Lieutenant.

Jacques briefly served out in Egypt after the War, returning to appointments at Cambridge, Chatham and Bulford until the mid-1920s, when he was advanced to Captain and attached as Adjutant to the 50th Northumbrian R.E. Territorials. During the 1930s Jacques was attached to Queen Victoria’s Own (Madras) Sappers and Miners in India. He advanced to Major in November 1934, but did not win entitlement to any further awards. Jacques served as C.R.E. 10 Indian Division in India, Syria, Iraq, Persian and on the Middle Eastern fronts between 1940-42. He was appointed Chief Engineer, 21 Indian Corps, in 1942, and having advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel he served with distinction in Arakan (C.B.E.; M.I.D. London Gazette 9 May 1946).

Having advanced to Colonel in September 1944, Jacques returned to the UK as the Chief Engineer, Northumbrian District, 1946-48. He served as Chief Engineer, West Africa Command, 1948-50. Jacques retired as a Brigadier in December 1953, a few months after being awarded the C.B. in the Coronation Honours List.