Major Denys William Clegg Solven TD Royal Artillery
The Man Denys William Clegg Solven was born on 22nd November 1917 in Aston, Birmingham, the only son of William Arthur Solven, a Clerk and later Lieutenant in the 23rd London Regiment during World War I and Elsie nee Clegg. Denys was educated at Bromsgrove School where he joined the Junior Division Officer Training Corps and promoted to Sergeant. On 24th July 1938 aged 20 he was Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant into the 67th (South Midland) Field Brigade Royal Artillery Territorial Army, with service number 76480. A year later on 8th July 1939 he was appointed as Adjutant and granted the rank of war Substantive Lieutenant and Temporary Captain. Following the outbreak of World War II he was embodied and saw service overseas in the Italian Campaign. During the first quarter of 1941 he married Priscilla Neville Johnson in Upton, Worcestershire and they later had two children, a son Guy D N Solven who died very young and a daughter. At the end of the War Denys was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-45 and on 30th June 1945 transferred from the TA into the Regular Army as a Lieutenant, his seniority backdated to 8th January 1941. He was promoted to Captain on 1st July 1946 and Temporary Major shortly after. Denys was posted to Palestine during the Mandate, serving at the Staff College in Haifa and awarded the General Service Medal with clasp ‘Palestine 1945-48’. On 20th June 1950 he was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration for his war time service in the TA. He was promoted to substantive Major on 8th July 1952 and retired on retired pay on 19th November 1958 aged 40. Following his retirement from the Army Deny lived with Priscilla at a number of addresses, 31 Western Road, West Hagley, Hill House Farm, Rushock, Droitwich and Becklow Cottage, Fox Hill, Bosley, Hereford. Denys died on 10th December 1997 in Hereford aged 80, Priscilla living another nine years dying in December 2006.
The Story The set of medals awarded to Denys William Clegg Solven were acquired on e-Bay on 6th September 2015 and were of interest because of the Efficiency Decoration and named General Service Medal. A brief biography was pieced together from Ancestry.UK and The London Gazette, and the provenance for the group was established as the medals had been auctioned in North Wales in May 2015, having been disposed of by Denys’ Grandson. Sadly however Denys’ miniature set of medals have become separated during the intervening four months. No further details have yet been uncovered.
- 1939-45 Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Italy Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as issued.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as issued.
- General Service Medal: MAJOR. D.W.C.SOLVEN R.A.
- Efficiency Decoration 'Territorial': 1950
This page last updated 15 Sep 15