The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,

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Lot 178
The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,

Sold for £ 11,250 (US$ 15,470) inc. premium
The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,
Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R. in silver-gilt and enamel; Military Cross, G.V.R.; 1914-15 Star (Lieut.D.N.Garstin R.R. Of Cav.); British War Medal (Capt.D.N.Garstin); Victory Medal with MID oakleaf (Major Lord Llangattock.); Russia, Order of St.Vladimir, fourth class breast badge, with swords, in gold and enamel; Russia, Order of St.Anne, third class neck badge, with swords, in gold and enamel. Housed in contemporary presentation frame. Enamel damage to the St.Anne otherwise extremely fine. (Lot)


  • D.S.O. London Gazette 8.3.1919.

    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In a successful attack upon the Seletokoe village, the capture of the village, the enemy's armoured car, and machine gun was due to his very able handling of the men under his command. He always set a splendid example of cheerfulness under trying circumstances and steadiness under fire to the troops of the force, and his intimate knowledge of the language was invaluable. His courage won the admiration of all. He was afterwards killed in a most gallant attempt to force the enemy from his position.

    M.C. London Gazette 8.3.1919.

    For conspicuous gallantry in action when in command of an advanced guard. When the action commenced the men were much exhausted. He conducted operations with skill and resource, continually exposing himself to machine gun and rifle fire at close range. Encouraged by his cheerfulness and fearless example his small force drove back for a distance of six miles an enemy detachment three times its strength.

    M.I.D. not confirmed.

    Russia, Order of St.Vladimir 4th Class. Confirmed but not gazetted.

    Russia, Order of St.Anne 3rd Class. Confirmed but not gazetted.

    Captain Denis Norman Garstin was born in 1890. In 1904 he entered Blundell's with a House Scholarship at Westlake, and after five years' stay here gained an Exhibition at Sidney Sussex, and read for the Classical Tripos; but ultimately qualified for a degree by passing the Special Examination in Classics and in Military subjects. He was the editor of Granta and an occasional contributor to Punch. Before entering the Army, he spent some months in the Crimea, as tutor in a Russian family. During his time there he gained considerable insight into the life and character of the Russians and Tartars. In 1914 he was again in Russia, on his way to Ninji Novgorod, to describe the great fair there. Later these experiences took book form as "Friendly Russia". When the war broke out he was in Moscow, and had to return by Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. He at once, on his return, volunteered for service, and was given a commission in the 18th Hussars. He went to France in the spring of 1915, being transferred to the 10th Hussars, and joining the Machine Gun Corps, in which he served through the battles of Ypres, Thiepval, Albert and Loos. Summoned thence to Russia in September 1916, he was attached to the Embassy at Petrograd as member of the Anglo-Russian Commission, and remained there during the various phases of the revolution. After the British Embassy left in February, 1918, he continued in diplomatic work under Mr.Lockhart and with him removed to Moscow. He represented Great Britain at a conference held at Vologda in the spring. Escaping with difficulty from Moscow after the attack on the British Embassy, he joined the Army near the White Sea. He joined the Colonel of Q.H.Q. Intelligence at Kem during the third week of July. He had travelled on foot from Petrozavodsk and then joined the Onega expedition, leaving Kem on the 30th July. He arrived at Archangel on August 8th and on or about the 11th left for the front to join Haselden's column. He was killed in action on the 15th August 1918, aged 28 at Seletskoe. He is buried in the Archangel cemetery, his funeral was represented by all the armies, and the firing party was composed of American blue-jackets. He was the son of Norman and Louisa Fanny Garstin of 4 Wellington Terrace, Penzance, Cornwall.

    His General wrote: "He was the man to single out for praise. So ended a career that was full of promise of literary distinction".

    The Master of Sidney wrote to Captain Garstin's father: "At Cambridge he made his mark very distinctly, he seemed destined to do great work in literature, because he not only had exceptional literary gifts, but was also a man to live a full life. He could never have become a mere litterateur".

    The medals are housed in a contemporary frame from the 1920's and the feeling is that the Victory medal was mixed up at the time of framing with another group to Lord Llangattock by accident, one would hope the Victory medal to Garstin is incorrectly framed elsewhere. Major Lord Llangattock died of wounds on the 31st October 1916 and is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, a member of the Rolls family of Rolls-Royce dynasty.

    Both Russian awards are not gazetted but are noted on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry for his death details. The lot includes copied correspondence with the lot that involves a great deal of correspondence beteween Mrs Garstin and the War Office to firstly get the D.S.O. and M.C. and later the Russian awards, she eventually finds the record relating to the St.Vladimir the document (copy) being a Decree of the Provisory Government of the Northern Region 24th March 1919.

    In regards to the St.Anne award it is noted that: "in a communication of His Majesty's Charge d'Affaires at Petrograd it was notified that the late Captain Garstin had received the Order of St.Anne, 3rd Class, with swords and bow, from the Chief of Russian General Staff on the 30th November 1917".

Saleroom notices

  • This lot now includes his Memorial Scroll (framed), original Warrant for the award of the Distinguished Service Order, and a copy of the Statutes of the Distinguished Order. Please see the website for images of these items.
The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,
The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,
The North Russian D.S.O. and M.C. group of seven to Captain D.N.Garstin, 10th Hussars,
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