The excessively rare Boer War C.S.C. pair awarded to Midshipman T. F. J. Livesey-Wardle, Royal Navy, for his gallantry at the Battle of Graspan, near Belmont, on 25 November 1900 - Wardle’s C.S.C. was one of only 8 ever awarded
Conspicuous Service Cross, E.VII.R., silver, unnamed as issued, hallmarks for London 1901; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Belmont, Modder River, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Diamond Hill (Mid: T. F. J. L. Wardle, R:N: H.M.S. Doris) impressed naming, minor pitting to left obverse arm of CSC, otherwise nearly extremely fine and rare (2) £15,000-£20,000
The Conspicuous Service Cross was instituted in 1901 and converted to the Distinguished Service Cross in 1914. During its short life, only eight awards of the C.S.C. were made: five for South Africa, two for China 1900 and one for Somaliland in 1904. Wardle’s C.S.C. is only the second one known to have appeared at auction as part of a complete group [the group to Midshipman R. B. C. Hutchinson formed part of the R. C. Witte Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, December 2012].
The Q.S.A. is one of only two issued to H.M.S. Doris with this combination of clasps.
C.S.C. London Gazette 2 July 1901:
‘The King has been graciously pleased to confer the decoration of the Conspicuous Service Cross on the following Warrant Officers and Sub-ordinate Officers of the Royal Navy, in recognition of their services during the operations in South Africa ... Midshipman Thomas Frederick John Livesey Wardle (now Acting Sub-Lieutenant).’
Thomas Frederick John Livesey-Wardle was born at the Red House, Moor Monkton, Yorkshire, on 7 April 1881, the son of Captain Thomas Livesey-Wardle and his wife Catherine, and was educated at Little Wymondley Boarding School in Hertfordshire. He entered the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet in H.M.S. Britannia on 15 January 1895, and served as a Midshipman in H.M.S. St. George from September to December 1897, and then as a Midshipman in H.M.S. Doris from 29 December 1897. Following the outbreak of the Boer War he landed with the Naval Brigade under Lord Methuen, and distinguished himself at the Battle of Graspan, near Belmont, on 25 November 1899:
‘Midshipman Wardle also showed great gallantry, and remained with Major Plumbe and several dead and wounded men, and attended to them and dressed their wounds under a heavy fire.’ (London Gazette 30 March 1900).
At the Battle of Graspan the Naval Brigade carried out the only infantry attack of the Boer War made by men of the Royal Navy:
‘Captain R. C. Prothero, R.N., led the advance, and Major J. H. Plumbe, R.M.L.I., Captain A. E. Marchant, R.M.L.I., and Colour-Sergeant Dyson were in advance of the various marine companies.
Midshipman T. F. J. L. Wardle acted as A.D.C. to Major Plumbe and accompanied that officer. In some places the line was somewhat crowded and ‘bunched,’ but the average extension was about four paces... The officers lost heavily. Commander Ethelston, Major Plumbe and Captain Senior were shot dead, Captain Prothero, R.N., and Lieut. Jones were both severely wounded, and Mishipman Huddart was mortally wounded whilst struggling to advance after being twice hit.’
Following his service during the Boer War, Wardle returned to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and was promoted Acting Sub-Lieutenant. Whilst there he was informed of the award of his Conspicuous Service Cross, one of only 8 ever awarded. He was discharged from the service in December 1901 for failing all three attempts of his Navigation Part I examination, and the following month was commissioned Lieutenant in the 33rd Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry (in South Africa) on 24 January 1902. He resigned his commission on 27 October 1902, and died of pneumonia at Johannesburg on 6 September 1903, whilst ‘attached South African Police’.
Sold with two large portrait photographs of the recipient as a Lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry, wearing both ribbons; a photograph of the recipient in Naval uniform wearing his medals; a photograph of the recipient as a Naval Cadet aged 14; original letter to the recipient informing him of the award of the C.S.C., dated 7 September 1901, this mounted on board; news cuttings announcing the C.S.C. and his death; and a photograph of the recipient’s grave in Johannesburg.