Distinguished Service Order, awarded to 2nd Lt. John Mitchell between 1916 and 1935
Obverse, a laurel wreath around the royal monogram of King George V, all enamelled in green, gilt & red, the arms of the cross enamelled in white
Reverse, a laurel wreath around a crown, all enamelled in green, gilt & red, the arms of the cross enamelled in white
Distinguished Service Order, 1916-1935
The Distinguished Service Order was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1886, to reward individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war, usually under fire--resentment among front-line troops over awards to staff officers during the Great War led this to be made official policy in 1917. Until 1943 only those mentioned in despatches were eligible. The medal is still awarded for outstanding military command or leadership.
This medal is unnamed, but belonged to 2nd Lieutenant John Mitchell of the Royal Air Force, with whose other medals Lester Watson acquired it. As the bulk of these decorations were earnt in service in the 1919-1920 campaigns in South Russia, it is likely that Mitchell's DSO was earned there too, perhaps for the same exploit for which he was awarded membership of the Russian Order of Saint George.
Although the catalogue of the Watson Collection considers this medal part of its Group 7, the medals of that group are not physically attached and so have been treated separately here. Nonetheless it was as a group that Lester Watson purchased them, from the London dealers Baldwin in 1928.