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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 353

The mounted V.C., D.S.O. group of five miniature dress medals worn by Captain E. K. Myles, Worcestershire Regiment, who won his outstanding award at Sanna-i-Yat in April 1916, before being recommended for a Second Award Bar; at that time no precedent existed for two V.C.'s for one conflict and thus he added a D.S.O. to his laurels

Victoria Cross, a good example; Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel; 1914-15 Star; British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves, mounted court-style as worn, good very fine (5)

V.C. London Gazette 26 September 1916:

'For most conspicuous bravery. He went out alone on several occasions in front of our advance trenches, and, under heavy rifle fire and at great personal risk, assisted wounded men lying in the open. On one occasion he carried in a wounded officer to a place of safety under circumstances of great danger.'

D.S.O. London Gazette 26 April 1917:

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When all the officers except two had become casualties, he, for five hours, inspired confidence in the defence against two counter-attacks, and sent back most accurate and valuable reports of the situation. His courage and fine example were largely responsible for the steadiness of all ranks with him.'

Edgar Kinghorn Myles was born at East Ham in July 1894 and as a boy his family moved to Wanstead. Having been educated at East Ham Technical College, Myles joined the Port of London Authority as a Clerk. With the outbreak of the Great War he enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment in August 1914. Quickly singled out, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and served on Gallipoli from August 1915-January 1916. Transferred to Mesopotamia in March 1916, he was to serve in that theatre until April 1918.

It was during that campaign which he carved his name into history, being twice wounded in action and playing a prominent role in the attempted Relief of Kut. It was at Sanni-I-Yat on 9 April 1916 that he earned his Victoria Cross and little under a year later, on 25 January 1917 that his second decoration came. It is interesting to note, that for his gallantry at Kut-al-Amara, in what was eventually promulgated as a D.S.O., that Myles was put forward for a Bar to his Victoria Cross. At that time only Martin-Leake, who won his first award in the Boer War and the Bar to the V.C. at Zonnebeke in 1914 held the 'double-V.C.'. No precedent for two awards during the same conflict existed and thus Lieutenant-General Sir S. Maud approved the Distinguished Service Order.

Myles was promoted Captain in 1917, was presented his V.C. on 4 September 1918 by King George V and remained in the Army until 1928, thus he would have worn this group of miniature dress Medals on scores of occasions. Little is known of his later life, as Myles faded into obscurity and was at some time found living destitute in a converted railway carriage with just his dog as a companion. He was admitted to the Huntley Royal British Legion Home in Bishopsteighton, attended various Receptions for holders of the V.C. & G.C. in his final years and died on 31 January 1977.

Sold together with Buckingham Palace Programme for a V.C./G.C. Reception, 21 May 1974, together with two Invitations for similar events and a postcard with his image upon the front, the back inscribed:

'This must have slipped out of one of the 'for autograph' letters but can't trace which. Obviously a cutting from an Indian newspaper in 1916. Quite a reminder of myself & the event!'

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