Special Collections

Sold on 6 July 2004

1 part


Medals From The Collection of Hal Giblin

Hal Giblin


№ 450


6 July 2004

Hammer Price:

Pair: Second Lieutenant D. C. McEwen, 1/9th Battalion, ‘The Dandy Ninth’, Royal Scots, who died of wounds on 10 April 1917, received during the Battle of Arras the previous day

British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut.); together with memorial plaque (David Campbell McEwan) note slight variation in spelling of surname, the medals and plaque contained in separate contemporary bronzed glazed display frames, the frame containing the plaque with additionally applied Royal Scots badge, extremely fine and a very attractive series of displays (3) £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


David Campbell McEwen died of wounds in France and Flanders whilst serving with “A” Company, 1/9th Battalion, Royal Scots. He is buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Sold with a most elaborate display frame, comprising a paper covered frame, which has been hand painted in an art nouveau style, with a classical scene to top of frame, and signed by the artist ‘Theodore Roussel’, the frame glazed to both sides, one side containing the illuminated memorial scroll, and the other the Buckingham Palace scroll; and a superb coloured portrait photograph of recipient in uniform; together with the following neatly ink’written text inserted in three panels:

‘David Campbell, eldest son of William Campbell MacEwen, W.S. and Margaret Croall was born on October 20th, 1885. He was a Writer to the Signet when the war began in August 1914. He was very anxious to join the army but owing to his defective sight, did not obtain his commission in the 9th Battalion, The Royal Scots until 14th December 1915. David went to France on August 1st, 1916 and joined his battalion. It formed part of the 51st (Highland Territorial) Division which was taking part in the operations on the Somme. In November he went through the successful action at Beaumont Hamel, which was stormed and captured. In this, his Division, composed entirely of Scottish troops, took the leading part.

It was in the early morning of 9th April 1917 whilst leading his Platoon against the German trenches in the assault which opened the Battle of Arras that he was mortally wounded. He was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station at Aubigny ten miles from Arras where he passed away on April 10th. He was buried in the little communal cemetery at Aubigny on 13th April.

His life long friend who was with David during his last two months of service writes: “David was a born Highlander and held it to be a privelege that his service in the Army should be in a Highland Battalion. Of an exceptional cheerful temperment he attracted all who met him and had many friends in civil life. In the Army he was the same. It seemed as if not even the most rying of war conditions could damp his natural good spirits. They carried him through to the last and won for him a deep friendship with his brother officers and his own men.

As a soldier he showed splendid nerve and a fine example of fearlessness. It was typical of him that at the times his men were exposed to dangers he was always with them and refused to take advantage of any shelter which they could not share.’