Military Cross collection highlights CAND Auction

By Jesse Robitaille

An extensive assemblage of military decorations that includes one of three Military Cross (MC) decorations awarded to Major Evans Ross is expected to highlight a 400-lot sale hosted by Jeffrey Hoare Auctions this January.

To be held Jan. 27-28 in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) Convention, Numismatic and Military Sale No. 125 will take place in the Heritage Room of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel on 116 King Street W. in Hamilton, Ont.

Among the sale’s highly anticipated offerings is Lot 45, a First World War Military Cross and two bars group of eight awarded to Ross; a “WWII Pair” awarded to one of Ross’ daughters; and a Second World War/Korean War group of nine awarded to Ross’ son-in-law Robert Leslie Muir. Altogether, the lot includes 42 pieces and is described as “generally VF (Very Fine).” It has an estimate of $13,000.

Born on Oct. 26, 1888, in Cobden, Ont., Ross lived a life of inspiring service to his country; in fact, he’s one of only 18 Canadians to be awarded three MCs during the Great War.

Two days before his 26th birthday, on Oct. 24, 1914, he joined the 28th (Northwest) Battalion, a First World War infantry battalion that belonged to the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). He also previously served for two years in the 49th Batallion (Edmonton Regiment).

Ross arrived in England on May 29, 1915, but proceeded south to France by September of that year. The following February, however, he was placed “in confinement awaiting trial” for disobeying a superior officer’s order; he was eventually convicted and sentenced to 90 days “Field punishment No. 1,” after which he returned to his unit for duty.

From there, Ross was promoted to Lance Corporal on Aug. 20, 1916; Corporal on Sept. 15, 1916; Sergeant on Nov. 29, 1916; Temporary Lieutenant  on July 1, 1917; and Acting Captain on Sept. 25, 1918.

In the Jan. 11, 1919 edition of the London Gazette, one of the official journals of record of the British government, Ross’s citation explains he “led his platoon as a screen for the advance of his company, and acting with admirable initiative and determination, he secured a position from which he paralysed the enemy resistance with his effective fire, and other companies were able to advance with slight casualties and capture a large number of prisoners and machine-guns.

His personal gallantry and resource were a conspicuous example of those qualities of which he had often given proof on previous occasions.”

MARRIAGE & WWII

In 1920, at the age of 30, Ross married Sarah Pearl McKenzie in Regina, Sask. Throughout the following 11 years, the marriage produced five daughters, including Esther Marguerite Ross, who was born in 1921 and served her country as Second Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.

Robert Leslie Muir was married to another one of Ross’ daughters, Shirley Hazel. He also served in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps for six years during the Second World War and eventually received a Canadian Forces’ Decoration in 1954.

The lot includes an MC with two bars (George V) in a group of eight awarded to Evans Ross.

For a complete list of decorations included in Lot 45, and for more information, visit jeffreyhoare.on.ca or cand.org.

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