A Collection of Medals to the Gloucestershire Regiment

Date of Auction: 15th October 2020

Sold for £4,200

Estimate: £2,400 - £3,000

A Great War ‘Salkonika’ immediate D.S.O., and ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of eleven awarded to Colonel H. F. L. Hilton-Green, Gloucestershire Regiment

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top ribbon bar; Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed; 1914-15 Star (Capt. H. F. L. Hilton-Green. Glouc. R.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Lt. Col. H. F. L. Hilton-Green); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45; Jubilee 1935; France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, Chevalier’s breast badge, silver, silver-gilt and enamels; Romania, Kingdom, Order of the Star (Military), Officer’s breast badge with swords, silver-gilt and enamels, some minor enamel chips to the orders, otherwise generally good very fine or better (11) £2,400-£3,000

Footnote

D.S.O. London Gazette 18 January 1918; citation London Gazette 25 April 1918:

‘Hilton-Green, Henry Francis Leonard, M.C., Capt. and Brevet Major (A. Major), Gloucestershire Regt., attached Army Cyclist Corps.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack on a village. He advanced across most difficult country, overcoming considerable opposition, and though part of his column was delayed, he attacked and cleared the village. He led his men with the greatest determination, and by his courageous leadership defeated a force of over double his own strength.’ [Kakaraska, Salonika, 24/25th October 1917]


M.C. London Gazette 11 January 1916.

M.I.D. London Gazette 1 January 1916 (French’s despatch of 15 October 1915); 6 December 1916; 11 June 1918; 5 June 1919.

Legion of Honour, 5th Class London Gazette 1 May 1917.

Star of Roumania (with Swords), 4th Class London Gazette 20 September 1919.

Henry Francis Leonard Hilton-Green was born in Montreal, Canada, on 2 June 1886, the son of Francis and Mary Hilton-Green. He was educated at Bradfield College 1901-05, and entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1906. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, on 6 October 1906, he was promoted Lieutenant on 7 October 1907, and subsequently passed courses in Mounted Infantry at Longmoor, Forage and Supply at Aldershot, and Musketry at Hythe. He was posted to Malta, November 1910 to January 1911, where he commanded the Battalion Cyclist Company. The 2nd Gloucesters proceeded to North China in September 1913, and were there when war broke out in August 1914. Promoted to Captain on 24 October 1914, he arrived with his battalion at Winchester on 8 November to prepare for active service in France. On 27 November, he was detached for service with the 27th Divisional Cyclist Company and arrived in France on 22 December 1914.

In November 1915, the 27th Divisional Cyclists were ordered to Salonika (Northern Greece) to counter the forces Germany, Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria. Awarded the Military Cross in January 1916 for services during the previous year, he was appointed Acting Major on 5 December 1916, while commanding a battalion of Army Cyclist Corps. On the following day he was mentioned in despatches for services in Salonika. He was awarded the Legion of Honour in May 1917, and won a fine D.S.O. for gallantry in an attack on the village of Kakareska in Salonica on 24/25th October 1917. In June 1918 he received a second mention for his services in Salonika, and in September 1918 he was posted to command the 10th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, then stationed in Bulgaria.

On 27 November 1918, orders arrived for the 10th Devons to proceed to Bucharest, Romania, to represent the British Army at the ceremonial return of King Ferdinand and his British-born Queen Marie to the newly liberated capital city. After crossing the Danube they marched 40 miles over two days and when the King and Queen entered the city on 1st December, they were the first troops lining the road. ‘Having been told that no British troops could be present, the royal couple were thrilled to find the 10th Devons lining the street. The Devons then joined the procession and marched to the central square, where the King took the salute. Queen Marie invited the British officers to tea the next day.’

On 29 April 1919, Major Hilton-Green proceeded to Varna, en route back to the U.K. where, in the following June, he received his third mention for services in Salonika, and, in September, the fourth Class of the Order of the Star with Swords from the King of Romania.

In October 1919 he proceeded to Bombay to rejoin the 2nd Gloucesters and whilst there he was appointed, in 1922, Adjutant of the Simla Rifles (Auxiliary Force, India. From January to August 1927, he served with the 2nd Gloucesters in Shanghai helping to protect the International Settlement during the conflict between Chinese Nationalists and the Communists. The 2nd Gloucesters arrived back at Southampton on 26 December 1928, and Hilton-Green retired on retired pay with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on 7 October 1929. In February 1932, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel (Commanding) 4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (T.F.), from which appointment he retired in February 1936 with the rank of Brevet Colonel.

On 1 November 1940, he was mobilised and posted to the Permanent Ship’s Staff (Troopships) for a voyage from Glasgow to the Middle East and home again. He was appointed Ship’s Staff (O.C. Troops) on 28 July 1941, for Convoy WS10 which left Greenock on 3 August and sailed to Freetown, Cape Town and Suez, returning to Liverpool on 28 November 1941. His next appointment, on 6 January 1942, was again O.C. Troops for Convoy WS15, which departed Liverpool on 12 January for Durban, and returned to Liverpool on 17 May. He finally took part in Convoy WS20, which sailed for Freetown on 13 June and returned on 8 November 1942.

On 27 November 1942, he was posted to No. 15 O.T.C. Colchester, but on 12 December he was transferred to the Unemployed List, and on 1 January 1943, having attained the age limit to recall, he ceased to belong to the Reserve of Officers. Returning to his home in Taunton, Somerset, he quickly joined the Home Guard and was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel (Commanding) 2nd Somerset Battalion, H.G.

His only son, Francis Michael, had been killed in action in Italy in February 1944, when a Lieutenant in the 2nd Coldstream Guards, and Field Marshal or ‘F.M.’ as he was affectionately called by his contemporaries, never quite got over this tragedy and was much of an invalid in his later years. He died at his home at Bradford-on-Tone, Somerset, on 20 January 1965.

Sold with comprehensive copied research including numerous photographs copied from the family album and also stored on two memory sticks.