Czechoslovakian Awards and Decorations

The following Czechoslovakia award was made to a soldier of the Worcestershire Regiment for helping liberate Czechoslovakia from occupation by Nazi Germany. It is recorded in the London Gazette, indicating the granting of the award or decoration by The President of the Czechoslovak Republic, and intimating the British sovereigns permission for it to be accepted and worn by the recipient.

Order of the White Lion

The order was created as an award for merits for the Czechoslovakia for foreign citizens by the Czechoslovak government in 1922. The Order was established in five classes and two divisions, civil (with two crossed palms above the badge) and military (with two crossed swords above the badge). The numbers of recipients had been limited, but limits were changed during following years. The Statutes of the order were amended in 1924, 1930 and 1936. Medals were in gold and silver.

The badge of the Order was five arms red enamelled star, ends with small balls, between the arms are leaflets. In middle of the star is silver lion from national Coat of Arms. The reverse or the Star is red enamelled with Coat of Arms of the former parts of Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and Carpathian Russia).

1st Class with collar - reserved for heads of state, introduced in 1924 and collar can be awarded separately.
1st Class - Grand cross - limited to 250 recipients
2nd Class - Grand Officer - limited to 400 recipients
3rd Class - Commander - limited to 900 recipients
4th Class - Officer - limited to 1500 recipients, cross was smaller than the cross of the II./III. class.
5th Class - Knight - limited to 3000 recipients, cross was similar to IV. Class, but in silver.
Gold medal
Silver medal

3rd Class
Commander Military

(with two crossed swords)

During World War II, the Order of the White Lion reached its height as an award to those who had helped liberate Czechoslovakia from occupation by Nazi Germany. Following the surrender of Germany in May 1945, a large number of foreign bestowals were made by presenting the Order of the White Lion to senior officers of the Allied Armies. Dwight Eisenhower and George S. Patton are two Americans which received the Order of the White Lion after the close of World War II. A similar Order with the same name, Military Order of the White Lion was instituted in 1945 and could be conferred upon both Czechoslovak citizens and foreigners.


Second World War (1939-1945)

Military Cross of the Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion (Czech)





Award Class

Gazette Date

Cox, D.S.O.

William Reginald



3rd Class


Note: Brigadier W. R. Cox was commissioned into the King's Shropshire Light Infantry but served with the Worcestershire Regiment during the 1939-45 War in N.W. Europe.

Promoted to Major on the 29th January 1942. He was appointed to Command the 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in July 1942 as Acting Lieut.-Colonel. On the 1st January 1943 the 11th Battalion was disbanded to form the basis of the reconstituted 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and Lieut.-Colonel Cox continued to command the 1st Battalion until September 1943 when he left to take up a staff appointment.

As Acting Brigadier he was awarded the D.S.O. on the 1st March 1945. He also received a Mention in Despatches (London Gazette 22nd March 1945). As Temporary Brigadier he received a seconded Mention in Despatches on the 4th April 1946.

As a Major (war substantive Lieut.-Colonel) he was promoted to full rank of Lieut.-Colonel on the 18th September 1946 and on the 20th April 1949 promoted to Colonel.

In 1948 when he was with B.G.S., Western Command, he was awarded the Military Cross of the Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion, 3rd Class, 1939. (Gazette date 14th May 1948).

On the 13th June 1953 he was promoted to Brigadier and held a staff position as Deputy Director of Infantry.

On the 1st March 1954 he was appointed Chief of Staff Southern Command and granted the temporary rank of Major-General. He held this staff role until 22nd March 1955.

Appointed General Officer Commanding Mid West District and 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division (T.A.) on the 25th March 1955.

Promoted to Major-General on the 28th March 1955.

Major-General Cox was awarded the Companion of the Order of Bath on the 2nd January 1956.

The following year, on the 5th November 1957, he was appointed Colonel of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He held this appointment until 5th November 1963.

Relinquished his appointment as General Officer Commanding, Mid West District and 53rd Infantry Division (T.A.) on the 6th January 1958.

Brig. W. R. Cox

On the 10th February 1958 he was appointed Director, Territorial Army, Cadets and Home Guard. He held this post until 20th August 1960 and the following day he retired from the Army but continued to remain on the Officers Reserve list until 13th June 1965.

Major-General William Reginald Cox, died at Salisbury on the day before his birthday on the 12th June 1988, aged 82. His funeral was held on the 17th June 1988 at Amesbury Church.