Lot Archive


№ 532


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

The exceptional Great War D.S.O. and bar, O.B.E., 'Dargai' D.C.M. group of eleven awarded to Colonel David Mathers, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, late Sergeant, Gordon Highlanders

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar; ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, O.B.E. (Military) 1st type; DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, V.R. (Sergt., Gord. High'rs.); INDIA GENERAL SERVICE 1895-1902, 3 clasps, Relief of Chitral 1895, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (3056 Sgt., 1st Bn. Gord. Highrs.); QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Belfast, S.A. 1901 (3056 Sgt., Gordon Highrs.); AFRICA GENERAL SERVICE 1902-56, 6 clasps, Aro 1901-1902, S. Nigeria 1902, S. Nigeria 1902-03 (Contemporary Copy), N. Nigeria 1903, S. Nigeria 1903-04 (Contemporary Copy), S. Nigeria 1904 (Contemporary Copy), (Lieut., Rl. Scots); 1914-15 STAR (Lt. Col., D.C.M., R. Innis. Fus.); BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS, M.I.D. (Col.); JUBILEE 1935; France, LEGION OF HONOUR, 5th class breast badge, the group on a contemporary court mounting as worn, very fine or better and very rare (11)

David Mathers was born on 24 March 1870, and educated at Glasgow High School. He joined the army as a Private in the Gordon Highlanders and fought with them in the Chitral Campaign of 1895 being mentioned in despatches. In the Tirah Campaign he shared in the Gordon's glorious and memorable assault on the heights of Dargai on 20 October 1897. For this action he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry. On this one day the regiment won 2 Victoria Crosses and 7 D.C.M's. Whilst serving in South Africa during the Boer War, Mathers was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Regiment on 27 July 1901. He was present at the actions at Magersfontein, Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Houtnek, Vet River, Zand River, Belfast and Lydenberg. From South Africa Mathers now found himself taking part in a number of expeditions in West Africa including the Aro Expedition 1901-02; operations in the Ngor country, S. Nigeria, 1902; Kano-Sokoto Campaign in N. Nigeria, 1903; in S. Nigeria, 1903; for which he was mentioned in despatches, L.G. 28 October 1904; expedition against the towns of Osca, Oriri and Ndoto, S. Nigeria 1903-4; operations in S. Nigeria, 1904, against the natives of the Asaba Hinterland, and in the Kwale country (medal with 6 clasps). In the Great War Mathers won further honours being mentioned in despatches four times, awarded the D.S.O. for gallantry at Costaverne Line on 11 June 1917, and a bar to his D.S.O. for the action at Messines. He was severely wounded in action in 1917 and in the latter part of the war was appointed Commandant of a Rest Camp for a which he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1919.

D.S.O., London Gazette, 14 November, 1916. For conspicuous gallantry in action. He handled his battalion throughout the operations with the greatest courage and initiative, gaining his officers, and over 100 other ranks.' objective, and capturing two machine guns, three

D.S.O., London Gazette, 17 September, 1917. ‘ in conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty commanding his battalion during an attack, remaining for two days at his post, although badly wounded and shaken by a shell. His example of fine leadership greatly inspired his battalion.’