Lot Archive


№ 414


18 June 1997

Hammer Price:

A rare C.G.M. group of seven awarded to Petty Officer T. A. Gallagher, Royal Navy, for the raid by ‘Fox’ and ‘Goliath’ on Dar-es-Salaam in November 1914

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, G.V.R.
(222943 T. A. Gallagher, Lg. Sean., H.M.S. Fox); Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Persian Gulf 1909-1914 (222943 Lg. Sea., H.M.S. Fox); 1914-15 Star Trio (P.O., R.N.); French Medaille Militaire; French Croix de Guerre 1914-17, good very fine and better (7)

C.G.M. London Gazette 10 April 1915. ‘To receive the C.G.M. for services at Dar-es-Salaam. L.S. Gallagher was Coxwain of H.M.S. Fox’s steam cutter, when twice wounded and under galling fire, he remained at the tiller and with utmost coolness steered the boat through the danger zone.’ Only two C.G.M’s awarded for this action in which Commander H. P. Richie won the first Naval Victoria Cross of the war.

Medaille Militaire
London Gazette 28 August 1918 ‘The following awards have been conferred by the President of the French Republic.’

Croix de Guerre
London Gazette 14 September 1918 ‘The following awards have been conferred by the President of the French Republic.’

Leading Seaman Thomas Arthur Gallagher won the C.G.M. during the boat attack on Dar-es-Salaam on 28th November 1914. The objective of the attack was to destroy or put out of action all shipping inside the harbour, as it was thought that the German raider Königsberg was being supplied with fuel and provisions by craft operating from this port. The operation was carried out by the steam pinnace from H.M.S. Goliath, the steam cutter from H.M.S. Fox and the steam tug Helmuth. Gallagher was coxwain of Fox’s steam cutter, which was being used by Captain F. W. Caulfield, S.N.O. East Coast of Africa, to inspect the position of a floating dock sunk by the Germans on the outbreak of the war. Having ascertained the position and state of the dock, the cutter moved further into the harbour when suddenly heavy rifle fire was directed at the cutter from all sides. Everyone was immediately ordered to flatten themselves in the bottom of the boat, but this made steering impossible, so Leading Seaman Gallagher sat up, placing himself in an exposed position. The stoker responsible for the boiler fires was badly wounded and the cutter quickly lost speed. This was rectified by one of the officers, Lieut. E. R. Corson, going forward and stoking the boiler. Bullets were raining over and into the cutter, and against and through the thin iron sheets rigged on either side of the boiler and around the coxwain in the stern. An able seaman collapsed at the stern and Leading Seaman Gallagher was hit in the leg, having already been wounded in the face. Shortly after this the cutter reached the safety of H.M.S. Duplex, having been under fire for about 30 minutes. Captain Caulfield’s comments on Gallagher were: ‘His conduct was splendid. After being wounded twice, he never flinched, but stuck to his post saying “That’s nothing, Sir, I’m all right. We shall soon be out of the harbour”, and so on. It was largely due to the coolness and pluck of this Leading Seaman that the boat emerged safely from the danger zone.’

The second Dar-es-Salaam C.G.M., awarded to Petty Officer Clark of the Goliath, was sold in these rooms in the Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals (Part 1), 16 October 1996.