25 November 1998

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Brigadier General Francis Maxwell,
18th Bengal Lancers ( att'd Robert's Light Horse, South African Forces )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Companion, Order of the Star of India ( CSI )
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ) & Bar
  • India General Service Medal ( 1854-95 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Waziristan 1894-95"
  • India Medal ( 1895-1902 )
    • 4 clasps:
    • "Relief of Chitral 1895" - "Punjab Frontier 1897-98"
    • "Samana 1897" - "Tirah 1897-98"
  • Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
    • 6 clasps:
    • "Cape Colony" - "Paardeberg" - "Driefontein"
    • "Johannesburg" - "Diamond Hill" - "Wittebergen"
  • King's South Africa Medal ( 1901-02 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "South Africa 1901" - "South Africa 1902"
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • King Edward VII Coronation Medal ( 1902 )
  • Delhi Durbar Medal ( 1911 )

The Victoria Cross and other Orders, decorations and campaign medals awarded to Brigadier General Francis Maxwell, 18th Bengal Lancers, have been sold at auction by Spink of London for a hammer price of £78,000. The group was purchased by the Michael Ashcroft Trust the holding institution for the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection and have gone on display in the Imperial War Museum's Lord Ashcroft Gallery.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 8 March 1901 ], Korn Spruit, 2nd Boer War, South Africa, 31 March 1900, Lieutenant Francis Aylmer Maxwell, 18th Bengal Lancers, att'd Robert's Light Horse, South African Forces.

Lieutenant Maxwell was one of three Officers not belonging to Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, specially mentioned by Lord Roberts as having shown the greatest gallantry, and disregard of danger, in carrying out the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that Battery during the affair at Korn Spruit on 31st March 1900.

This Officer went out on five different occasions and assisted to bring in two guns and three limbers, one of which he, Captain Humphreys, and some Gunners, dragged in by hand. He also went out with Captain Humphreys and Lieutenant Stirling to try to get the last gun in, and remained there till the attempt was abandoned.

During a previous campaign ( the Chitral Expedition of 1895 ) Lieutenant Maxwell displayed gallantry in the removal of the body of Lieutenant-Colonel F.D. Battye, Corps of Guides, under fire, for which, though recommended, he received no reward.

Francis Maxwell was invested with his Victoria Cross by the Duke of York ( the future King George V ) at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on the 14th August 1901.

Brigadier General Francis Maxwell was killed in action on the 21st September 1917 whilst commanding the 27th Infantry Brigade at Ypres, Belgium. He was buried in the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Plot 1, Row A, Grave 37.

Awarded the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 20 May 1898 ], Lieutenant Francis Aylmer Maxwell, 18th Bengal Lancers, India Army

For services on the North West Frontier of India

Awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 2 November 1916 ], Lieutenant Colonel Francis Aylmer Maxwell VC, DSO, command 12th Bn, Middlesex Regiment

He led his battalion with the greatest courage and initiative. Later he re-organised 3 battalions and consolidated the position under very heavy fire.


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Iain Stewart, 25 November 1998