Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)

Instituted by Royal Warrant on 6thSeptember 1886.

The D.S.O. was originally instituted as an award for officers of the British Army and Commonwealth Forces, usually at the rank of Major. It was, however, also awarded to officers at a rank above or below Major. The D.S.O. could be awarded for an act of meritorious or distinguished service in wartime and usually when under fire or in the presence of the enemy. It was also made available for officers at the equivalent rank in the Royal Navy and, from 1stApril 1918, the Royal Air Force. Between 1914 and 1916 the D.S.O. was also awarded to some Staff officers when they were not under fire or in contact with the enemy. This was not well received at the time by officers who were in the field.From 1stJanuary 1917 it was restricted to recommendations for individuals who were in the presence of the enemy. The award was generally given to an officer in command, but some were awarded to junior officers below the rank of Captain.Almost 9,000 D.S.O.s were awarded during the First World War. On 23rdAugust 1916 a Warrant enabled a recipient to be awarded a Bar for an additional award of the D.S.O.

The medal was issued without the name of the recipient being engraved on it, but some medals do bear the name of a recipient engraved on the reverse of the suspension bar. The recipient of a D.S.O. is known as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and is entitled to use the letters D.S.O. after his name.

 


Major Arthur H. Davis D.S.O.

 

Army Service Corps.                                                                                       

London Gazette 6951 of 13.7.1916

London Gazette 5316 of 29.5.1917

 

In the list of military honours appears the name of Major Arthur H. Davis, awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Major Davis was the elder son of Mr. R. T. H. Davis, of Ashby road, Loughborough. He was in the Army Service Corps and gained his honour for his services in connection with the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was concerned in the destruction of stores at Sulva Bay and was one of the last four to leave the shore.

 

 

Major William Shirley Northcote Toller D.S.O.

 

5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.                                                                                       

London Gazette 38 of 1.1.1916 M.I.D

 

Major Toller had the honour of appearing before the King and receiving the insignia of the D.S.O. for conspicuous service in the firing line. For over 15 years Major Toller has been associated with the Volunteer movement, and ten years ago he succeeded Major Griggs as Captain of the Loughborough Company. Whilst in command at Loughborough Major Toller won the respect and esteem of the men in the local company and when some six years ago he was promoted to the rank of Major it was feared he would be parted from us. However he still continued to take command and took the company from Loughborough to Luton in the autumn of 1914, and from Luton to the front in Flanders.

Originally served in the 1st Volunteer Battalion. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 25.4.1900, Lieutenant 5.8.1900 and Captain 2.4.1904. Served with the 5th Bn in World War One and received the D.S.O. and was Mentioned in Despatches. Also commanded the Bn from 16.10.1915 to 3.11.1915. He was taken prisoner in March 1918. Also served as Lieutenant Colonel with the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment. Was Lt. Col of 5th Bn 1920 to 1926. Honorary Colonel of the 5th Bn from 6.4.1938 to 21.6.1947. died 17.4.1976, aged 97.