Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria

To be Sold on: 13th January 2021

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400

Sold for: £950

A Great War M.C. group of four awarded to Second Lieutenant C. W. de Lemos, Worcestershire Regiment, later Major, Ceylon Army Service Corps, for his gallantry during a night patrol near Dache in the Balkans on 1-2 March 1918, personally killing one and wounding another of the enemy and extracting his patrol without a single casualty in the face of an overwhelming enemy force; later that month his luck ran out, and he was wounded and taken prisoner of war during another night time patrol on 25 March 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R., reverse later engraved ‘Lt. Chas de Lemos 1-3-18; British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. C. de Lemos.); Efficiency Decoration, G.V.R., Ceylon, silver and silver-gilt, reverse engraved ‘Major C. W. de Lemos. C.A.S.C.’, with integral top riband bar, good very fine (4) £1,000-£1,400

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A Great War M.C. group of four awarded to Second Lieutenant C. W. de Lemos, Worcestershire Regiment, later Major, Ceylon Army Service Corps, for his gallantry during a night patrol near Dache in the Balkans on 1-2 March 1918, personally killing one and wounding another of the enemy and extracting his patrol without a single casualty in the face of an overwhelming enemy force; later that month his luck ran out, and he was wounded and taken prisoner of war during another night time patrol on 25 March 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R., reverse later engraved ‘Lt. Chas de Lemos 1-3-18; British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. C. de Lemos.); Efficiency Decoration, G.V.R., Ceylon, silver and silver-gilt, reverse engraved ‘Major C. W. de Lemos. C.A.S.C.’, with integral top riband bar, good very fine (4) £1,000-£1,400
M.C. London Gazette 12 December 1919:
‘For distinguished service in connection with Military Operations in the Balkans and with the British Army of the Black Sea.’


Charles William de Lemos was born in Colombo, Ceylon, on 20 June 1893, the son of a tea planter, and joined the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps on 7 July 1915. Returning to the U.K. in 1916, he attested for the 28th Battalion, London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles) on 20 June 1916, and served with them at home before being commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Special Reserve on 28 March 1917. Attached to the 11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, he served with them during the Great War in the Balkans with the British Army of the Black Sea, and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry near Dache on the night of 1-2 March 1918:

‘Officer’s patrol (2/Lt de Lemos and 10 other ranks) went to Flat Iron Hill on night of 1-2 March to ascertain if enemy work there still occupied. Night very dark and under 2/Lt de Lemos’ directions a gap of 15 yards was cut in the first belt of wire, and a gap of 10 yards was cut in the second belt of wire. Enemy sent up various Very lights and as the patrol was proceeding through the second gap an enemy party of 6 to 8 men lined to walk round our right flank. The officer shot one dead and wounded another, and several others were wounded by the patrol. A large enemy party of 50 to 80 men then rushed the patrol from trenches and our patrol was forced to withdraw without obtaining identifications 2/Lt de Lemos carefully withdrew his patrol through very heavy enemy barrage and reached our lines without receiving a single casualty. The General Officer Commanding was very pleased with this action and congratulated the Officer and his patrol on their fine achievement.’ (Battalion War Diary refers).

Later that month, on 25 March 1918, de Lemos was sent out on another patrol, and this time his luck failed to hold. Wounded by a bullet in the leg and splinters of bomb in the chest, he was captured and taken prisoner of War. His own account of the action states:
‘I was sent out with a party of 1 N.C.O. and 9 other ranks. We left our main line roughly at 2000 hrs. and arrived at a hill Chapeau de Gendarm at about 2100 hrs. At this point I left the N.C.O. in charge of eight men with instructions to retire in case he saw an enemy patrol approaching, otherwise to wait my return. It was a full moon night, and I knew it would be very difficult to get our wounded back in the event of an encounter with the enemy so near their own line. I went forward with Private Thomas to reconnoitre the enemy post, to ascertain whether it was held and with what strength, and on our return Private Thomas and I found ourselves cut off by roughly 40 of the enemy who had circled us, so I gave orders to Private Thomas to throw a bomb at the enemy’s left flank, and to try and charge through and get home, whilst I charged the right flank with my revolver. Unfortunately at this point Private Thomas was mortally wounded and I was wounded by a bullet in the leg and a fragment of bomb in my chest. After I had emptied my revolver at the enemy I was surrounded and taken prisoner. We had by this time killed one and had wounded five of the enemy. As we were being led up the hill to the enemy main line, our artillery dropped a good barrage into their trenches inflicting severe casualties on the enemy who had arisen to see the prisoners come in.’


Repatriated on account of his wounds, de Lemos arrived back in the U.K. on 21 September 1918, and was placed on the retired list on account of ill-health contracted on active service on 2 February 1919. Returning to Ceylon, he subsequently served as Manager of the Merriabedde Tea Estate, and was advanced Major in the Ceylon Army Service Corps.

Sold with copied research.