Medals Set to Soar at Charterhouse Auction

A large group of medals and related items awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Owen Lewis could sell for £10,000 in the Charterhouse online two day March auction of collector’s items.

“The medals were discovered in a suitcase in the eaves of a Dorset cottage where the Lewis family lived for many years.” Commented Richard Bromell. “The medals and associated militaria chart the 47 year career of Frederick Lewis from when he joined the Royal Tank Regiment in 1941 through to when he retired. Rarely do you come across such a great collection relating to one person spanning continents, wars, uprisings and campaigns.”

You can listen to the Imperial War Museum oral archive of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis here.

Frederick Owen Lewis was born at Croydon on 22 January 1923 and educated at Gunnersbury Catholic Grammar School. He entered the ranks of the 12th Royal Tank Regiment in July 1941. He served in Palestine with the 6th Airborne Division before joining the Malaya Police on anti-terrorism operations. A spell in Kenya during the Mau-Mau followed before a return to Malaya ending up as Superintendent of Police. He also joined the Sultan of Oman’s Forces and finally finished up as security manager for IBM International, working from Hursley Park, Winchester in his latter years before retiring in 1988.

He died in 1995, but a couple of years before this, was recorded by the Imperial War Museum in a series of interviews. Here he talks about his time in Malaya, jungle warfare, the development of the Malay Police and fighting the communist terrorists. For most of the interview he talks openly but there are points he refuses to discuss due to certain secret connotations connected with the Malayan Emergency. Parts of the interviews are cloak and dagger, there is reference to Lewis being trained by the SAS and it thought he was involved in Force 136 – the general cover name for a Far East branch of Special Operations Executive, more commonly referred to as the SOE.

The group of 14 medals awarded to Lieutenant Colonel/Superintendent of Malay Police include an MBE for services to the Malay Police, a General Service Medal 1918-62 with three bars, a General Service Medal 1962-2007 with Borneo bar, an Africa General Service Medal with Kenya bar and a Colonial Police Medal.

Also being sold with the medals is a presentation sword inscribed “Lt Col F O Lewis MBE CPM PPA, Polis-Di-Raja Malaysia”, a commando style fighting knife engraved “Lt Col F O Lewis/Sabah Component, Royal Malaysia Police 1964-1968”, the letter he received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advising him of being awarded an MBE, newspaper cuttings about his MBE, various pistol shooting medals, presentation and named silver plated tankards, numerous photographs, military badges, shoulder titles and related items, all of which are being sold together estimated at £5,000-10,000 when they are sold on Thursday 11th March by Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset.

Charterhouse are now accepting entries for their busy programme of auctions including coins, medals, stamps, clocks and collector’s items in this two day March sale, classic & vintage cars in April and classic & vintage motorcycles in May.

Items for these auctions can be posted directly to Charterhouse at The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or click and deliver by contacting them on 01935 812277. Alternatively email photographs of your lots for valuation on

Richard Bromell with the Lt Col Frederick Owen Lewis medals £5,000-10,000 in the Charterhouse online March two day collectors auction