Special Collections

Sold on 6 July 2004

1 part


Medals From The Collection of Hal Giblin

Hal Giblin


№ 446


6 July 2004

Hammer Price:

Five: Major E. A. Halford, Royal Army Service Corps, late Wiltshire Regiment, attached Royal Air Force, who was taken prisoner of war when his plane was shot down on 29 March 1916, making him the twelfth victim of Max Immelmann, the so called ‘Eagle of Lille’

British War and Victory Medals (Lieut.); 1939-45 Star; Defence and War Medals, nearly extremely fine and better (5) £300-400

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, Medals From The Collection of Hal Giblin.

View Medals From The Collection of Hal Giblin


Edward Athalstan Halford, a Gentleman Cadet of the Royal Military College, was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment in October 1915. At a later date attached to the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force, he trained at Gosport on F.E.2b’s of No. 23 Squadron. On active service with the R.A.F., he was reported missing on 29 March 1916 and became a prisoner of war when his plane was brought down near Queant by the German fighter ace, Max Immelmann. He was repatriated from Holland on 22 November 1918. Returning to the Wiltshire Regiment after the war, he retired from the regiment with a gratuity on 16 May 1928. With the onset of the Second World War he resumed his commission, serving with the Royal Army Service Corps (December 1939). In the London Gazette of 18 April 1944 it was announced that Lieutenant (War Substantive Captain) Halford, R.A.S.C., was to be Brevet Major. Sold with copied research.

The following is extracted from
Under The Guns of The German Aces, by Norman Franks and Hal Giblin:

‘23 Squadron FEs were assigned to fly a tactical reconnaissance sortie and Immelmann and two others were ordered off as soon as the intruding machines were reported to Douai airfield. In fact, five machines were heading for Douai itself and having climbed high, Immelmann had no difficulty in picking them out as they approached. As he closed in, he saw that two camera machines were slightly ahead of the others, the three bringing up the rear acting as escort.

Immelmann at first chose one of the leading machines but, in the event, found it easier to cut out one of the three escorts, firing round after round into it. The pilot put his FE into a steep dive and landed at Bertincourt, east of Bapaume - an indication that the fight had drifted to the south-west. As the fight started over Queant, unless the FEs were on the way home they had obviously not got close to Douai - Immelmann later reported that the formation had turned right (south) as he approached.

Returning to his base, Immelmann reported his ‘victory’ to his C.O. and both men took a car and drove to the site of the forced landing. Upon arrival, they found the two men had been taken prisoner, the pilot having been badly wounded in both arms, which explained the precipitous spiralling sescent of the FE.

23 Squadron were based at Izel le Hameau to the west of Arras, and the downed observer, Halford, was afterwards of the opinion that they had been brought down nearer to Cambrai. He also said that they were attacked by superior numbers but, in fact, only three Fokkers had taken off to intercept the five FEs...

Immelmann’s twelfth ‘victory’ was later displayed at a Delka exhibition in Berlin, the FE2b appearing largely intact except for the absence of both wheel tyres and a slightly dented nose.’