A Fine Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 17th September 2020

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £800 - £1,200

A particularly fine campaign, life saving and long service group of eight awarded to Lieutenant Colonel D. W. E. Thomas, 1/1st Brecknockshire Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who during his 32 years of service with the Battalion, was with them in the Asiatic theatre of war, as part of the Aden Field Force, from 16 December 1914, and commanded them July 1916 - August 1917

British South Africa Company Medal 1890-97, reverse Rhodesia 1896, no clasp (Gunr D. W. E. Thomas. Artillery Troop BFF); 1914-15 Star (Major D. W. E. Thomas. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (Lt. Col. D. W. E. Thomas); Coronation 1911; Volunteer Officers’ Decoration, E.VII.R., hallmarks for London ‘1906’, reverse additionally engraved ‘Capt. D. W. E. Thomas 1st V.B. S.W.B. 1907’, with integral top riband bar; Volunteer Force Long Service Medal, E.VII.R. (Capt: & Hon: Major D. W. E. Thomas. 1st V.B. S.W. Bordrs:); Royal Humane Society, small bronze medal (successful) (D. W. E. Thomas. 3 July 1883.) with integral top riband bar, first with contact marks and edge bruising, otherwise generally very fine or better (8) £800-£1,200


David William Evan Thomas resided at Ely Cottage, Brecon, and aged 16 was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal (No. 22052) for saving the life of E. C. Williams, a student of Abercoming House, from drowning in the River Usk at 5.30pm 3 July 1883. He was commissioned Lieutenant in the 1st (Brecknockshire) Volunteer Battalion, South Wales Borderers in May 1885, and was appointed Instructor of Musketry in December 1890. He served as a Gunner in the Artillery Troop, Bulawayo Field Force in Rhodesia in 1896, before returning to Wales and advancing to Captain in January 1898.

Thomas advanced to Major in April 1911 and served during the Great War with the 1/1st Brecknockshire Battalion, South Wales Borderers in the Asiatic theatre of war, as part of the Aden Field Force, from 16 December 1914. He advanced to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1916, and commanded the Battalion July 1916 - August 1917. Having succeeded Lord Glanuck to command the Battalion, Thomas ‘was... appointed in August, 1917, to be Commandant at Pachmari, and left the battalion after serving with it for 32 years.’ (Regimental History refers)