The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria

To be Sold on: 20th August 2020

Estimate: £2,800 - £3,200

A Boer War ‘Diamond Hill’ D.C.M. group of six awarded to Sergeant F. C. Stevens, Royal Garrison Artillery, who served as the senior N.C.O. of the Machine-Gun Section, City of London Imperial Volunteers; later Captain, Royal Field Artillery, he was killed in action on the Western Front on 31 July 1916

Distinguished Conduct Medal, V.R. (Serjt: F. C. Stevens. R.G.A.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (76033 Sgt. F. C. Stevens, R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals (Capt. F. C. Stevens.); Coronation 1911, silver; Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (76033 B.S. Mjr: F. C. Stevens. R.F.A.); Memorial Plaque (Frederick Charles Stevens) all housed in a glazed display frame, light contact marks, polished, generally very fine and better (7) £2,800-£3,200

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A Boer War ‘Diamond Hill’ D.C.M. group of six awarded to Sergeant F. C. Stevens, Royal Garrison Artillery, who served as the senior N.C.O. of the Machine-Gun Section, City of London Imperial Volunteers; later Captain, Royal Field Artillery, he was killed in action on the Western Front on 31 July 1916

Distinguished Conduct Medal, V.R. (Serjt: F. C. Stevens. R.G.A.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (76033 Sgt. F. C. Stevens, R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals (Capt. F. C. Stevens.); Coronation 1911, silver; Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (76033 B.S. Mjr: F. C. Stevens. R.F.A.); Memorial Plaque (Frederick Charles Stevens) all housed in a glazed display frame, light contact marks, polished, generally very fine and better (7) £2,800-£3,200
D.C.M. London Gazette 27 September 1901.

Frederick Charles Stevens was born in London in 1872 and joined the Royal Artillery on 12 December 1889 claiming an age of exactly 18 years. A regular soldier, he served in South Africa during the Boer War attached to the City Imperial Volunteers as the senior N.C.O. of the Machine-Gun Section. He was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 29 November 1900) and awarded the D.C.M., at least in part for his gallantry at Diamond Hill on 12 June 1900:

‘The remainder of the battalion stayed in the gully by which we had ascended the hill, and were under heavy dropping fire from guns and musketry. Our Maxim soon arrived on the top, being man-hauled with great difficulty by Sergeant Stevens and a fatigue party, and it was gallantly served till it was compelled to cease fire, owing to its drawing so much of the enemy’s shell fire on the advance companies.’ (Journal of the C.I.V. in South Africa by Major-General W. H. Mackinnon, C.B.)

A pen and ink sketch by Charles Edwin Fripp entitled ‘The City’s Own in action near Pretoria: how a detachment of the C.I.V. brought its Maxim into play at Diamond Hill’ appeared in the Daily Graphic on 26 July 1900. The picture was drawn from notes provided by Captain Edis who had been present at the action. Fripp wrote, ‘They brought their Maxim over the roughest ground - almost carrying it - and managed to keep it in action for about a quarter of an hour, to the great discomfort of the enemy, notwhithstanding a cross-fire of ‘pom poms’ and field guns. As usual the Boers got into a nest of rocks, but in spite of the impregnable position which they held, the discretion of valour compelled them to retire with a couple of wagon loads of dead.’

Stevens was attached to the C.I.V. but not transferred, keeping his former number and unit. His D.C.M. is shown in the London Gazette among the C.I.V. list - with Royal Artillery in parentheses.

Promoted Battery Sergeant-Major in May 1903, Stevens was discharged from the 134th Battery, Royal Field Artillery on 11 December 1910, retiring to a pension after 21 years of service and worked in the office of the Regimental Agency, 1910-14.
During the Great War, he re-enlisted on 4 January 1915, serving as Battery Sergeant-Major, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 11 February. Promoted Captain on 23 December 1915, he served on the Western Front from 31 January 1916 and was killed in action on 31 July 1916, with 158 Brigade, R.A., while trying to rescue two wounded drivers in a bombed trench. A report on the manner of his death was submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Fawcett, commanding 158 Brigade.