Re McPhail, my brother and I purchased the QSA and shooting medal from the City Coins auction a few years ago. At the time it was just the two items and it is a great shame the newspaper article has become lost along the way and it not preserved even in digital format.
Sadly City Coins as much as I respect them have been to to blame in the past.
About 5 years back I won about 4 Lots, all were described as having research/paperwork. However when I received them only two of the Lots had this research. I contacted a certain gentleman at CC, his reply dismayed me. He told me that all the paperwork and medals had been separated when they arrived. Wow, I was blown away to say the least and explained that this should never happen, the reply I received was that he though that collectors enjoy doing there own research and did not think it was such a big deal......! I went on to explain to him the importance of original paperwork and photographs. If they separated the items and pictures from the medals and these had no info written on it, how could they ever know to what group it belonged! About a week later I received some paperwork but not all, needless to say I was a little distressed
to say the least.
It now appears this problem has thankfully been resolved.
Reginald Gilbert Stirling was born on 30 December 1878, son of Major G. Stirling, of Melton Mowbray. He was educated at Harrow School 1892-94 and joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant on 25 January 1899, becoming Lieutenant on 7 January 1900. He served in South Africa 1899-1902, being present at the battle of Talana Hill, the Defence of Ladysmith and the battle of Wagon Hill.
An extensive and lucid account of the battle of Talana by Lieutenant Stirling was published in The Times of 8 December 1899:
‘When I got half-way up the hill I found myself next to Hambro, who had been wounded twice; we lay down under the rocks as the firing was very heavy. Hambro and I had to retire. I had my helmet knocked off with a piece of rock the shell hit. When I went up the hill a second time, Hambro was lying almost dead, with his legs reduced to pulp. Too terrible!... Colonel Sherston was dying, his groans were awful. Then an awful part happened - our artillery mistaking us for Boers, began firing on us. Colonel Gunning, who was just below me, stood up and yelled out, “Stop that Firing!” These were the last words I heard him speak, but I believe his last words were, “Remember you are Riflemen.’... When we got over the wall the scene was terrible. Three of our officers shot within five yards of one another, Pechell and Taylor dead, Boulthee wounded in the groin...’
The Times History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 records: ‘Colonel Gunning, who had so gallantly led the attack, was killed as he reached the crest. Among the other officers it is hard to single out names where all distinguished themselves, but Captain Nugent and Lieutenant Stirling of the Rifles, Captain Connor (mortally wounded) and Captain Pike of the Irish Fusiliers, and Captain Dibley of the Dublins may be mentioned as among the first to reach the crest of the hill.’
Captain Stirling was later extra-regimentally employed with the King’s African Rifles in Uganda 1902-03 (no medal). He retired from the army in 1905. During the Great War he was in the Reserve of Officers and served at home as Military Secretary, Southern Command.
An excellent pair of medals! Thank you for showing them. The KRRC is my favourite British regiment and, if I had not spent so much on Colonial medals, I would have had many more KRRC medals in my collection.