Change Currency: GBPUSDEURCAD

Change Language: DeutschDanskEnglish (UK)English (US)EspañolFrançaiseעברית (ישראל)DutchTürkçe



This product is currently out of stock

Product Information

A fine and well-documented Great War ‘Western Front’ C.B., ‘Gallipoli operations’ C.M.G., ‘Western Front’ D.S.O. group of seven awarded to Brigadier-General A. Birtwistle, East Lancashire Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force), who was four times Mentioned in Despatches - serving with the first Territorial unit to be committed on active service during the Great War, he ended the War as one of just a handful of Territorials to have been advanced to the rank of Brigadier
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband.

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband.

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar.

1914-15 Star officially named to: Major A. Birtwistle. R.F.A.

British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leafs officially named to: Brig. Gen. A. Birtwistle.

Territorial Decoration, G.V.R., silver and silver-gilt, hallmarks for London 1915, with integral top slide riband bar. 

Good very fine and better.

C.B. London Gazette 30 May 1919:
‘For valuable service rendered in connection with military operations in France and Flanders.’

C.M.G. London Gazette 8 November 1915:
‘For distinguished service in the Field during the operations at the Dardanelles.’

D.S.O. London Gazette 1 January 1918.

M.I.D. London Gazettes 5 November 1915 (Dardanelles); 14 December 1917; 20 December 1918; and 5 July 1919 (these last three all Western Front).

Arthur Birtwistle was born in Blackburn on 29 May 1877, the son of William Birtwistle, a prosperous mill-owner who by the 1920s was said to control more looms than any other individual in the world, and was educated at Blackburn Grammar School and University School, Southport. He was first commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Volunteer Forces on 28 April 1897, and from those early days he showed his dedication to military service as he served as Secretary of the Lancashire Ammunition Column Artillery and Territorial Movement, a role in which he continued to serve for about 12 years until he relinquished office at end of 1908. That same year, in 1908, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace for Lancashire.

Having been promoted Captain in the 3rd Lancashire Royal Garrison Volunteer Artillery, Birtwistle was appointed as Captain in the 1st East Lancashire Ammunition Column of the 1st East Lancashire Brigade on 1 April 1908. Some four years later, his promotion to the rank of Major was confirmed on 3 January 1912. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel on 9 March 1915 in command of the 210th (East Lancashire) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery and was present at Gallipoli, going ashore with the first guns of the 5th and 6th Batteries of the R.F.A., having been placed in charge of a subgroup of Australian and New Zealand Batteries. For his services he was Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton, and later that year was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Proceeding to the Western Front, Birtwistle was Mentioned in Despatches by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig on three occasions, the first in his despatch of 7 November 1917, which was swiftly followed by his promotion to the temporary rank of Brigadier General in command of the 66th Divisional Artillery on 2 December 1917, and the announcement of the award of the Territorial Decoration (London Gazette 4 December 1917). Less than a month later he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the 1918 New Year’s Honours’ list. He was again Mentioned in Field Marshal Haig's Despatch dated 8 November 1918, and yet again in his Despatch dated 16 March 1919; after reverting back to the Territorial Force after four years on active service he was appointed Colonel on 9 March 1919. Two months later he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

During the Great War, Birtwistle had the distinction of not only serving with the very first British Territorial Unit (the East Lancashires) committed on active service during the War, but also being one of only eleven Territorial officers to be appointed to the rank of Brigadier-General during the War. Following the cessation of hostilities, Birtwistle took up a managerial role in the family business, as well as serving on numerous charitable committees. He was a keen motor-car driver and yachtsman, serving as President of the Lancashire Automobile Club, and regularly sailed on Lake Windermere. He retired from the Territorial Army upon reaching the age limit on 29 May 1934, being granted the honorary rank of Brigadier-General, and died on 12 May 1937.

Sold with the following original documents:
i) The recipient’s original Commission Document appointing him a Second Lieutenant in the Volunteer Forces, dated 28 April 1897
ii) Bestowal Document for the D.S.O., dated 1 January 1918
iii) Bestowal Document for the C.B., dated 3 June 1919
iv) Four Mentioned in Despatches Certificates, dated 22 September 1915; 7 November 1917; 8 November 1918; and 16 March 1919
v) War Office letter to the recipient regarding his retirement from the Territorial Army having reached the age limit, dated May 1934.

Product Code: EM3923

Customer Reviews

This product hasn't been reviewed yet. Write a review


Mobile Site