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TOPIC: Zulu War VCs

Zulu War VCs 1 week 5 days ago #55889

  • djb
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I will start this thread with a group of miniatures coming up for sale next month.

Picture courtesy of Dominic Winter

A unique and unusually interesting miniature 'Basuto Gun War' VC group attributed to Surgeon Major (later Colonel) Edmund Baron Hartley, VC, CMG Victoria Cross The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St George (CMG), Companion's breast badge, gold and enamel with riband buckle Badge of the Order of St John of Jerusalem South Africa 1877-79, one clasp, 1877-8-9 Cape of Good Hope General Service, 1880-97, three clasps, Transkei, Basutoland, Bechuanaland Queen's South Africa 1899-1902, three clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal King's South Africa, 1901-02, two dated clasps, mounted for wearing, QSA suspension post slightly offset but generally extremely fine; together with corresponding riband bar for the full size medals.

Colonel Edmund Baron Hartley, VC, CMG (1847-1919) was born in Ivybridge, Devon, and served with Cape Mounted Rifles from 1877-1902. Hartley was 32 years of age at the time of the so-called Basuto Gun War and won his VC for the following action:-

'On 5 June 1879 in South Africa, Surgeon Major Hartley attended the wounded under fire at the unsuccessful attack at Morosi's Mountain, Basutoland. From an exposed position, on open ground, he carried in his arms a wounded corporal of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The surgeon major then returned under severe enemy fire in order to dress the wounds of other men of the storming party'

Hartley was presented with his VC in 1881 after it had taken some time to be approved. The regiment's commanding officer was under the impression that Colonial Troops were not entitled to the VC. Hartley's full size group is displayed in the Royal Army Medical Services Museum in Surrey, having been purchased by the regiment at a Sotheby's Auction in 1955 at the then record price of £300

There were 13 recipients of the Cape of Good Hope General Service medal to qualify for all three bars, of which Hartley was the unique VC winner.

Estimate £1500-2000

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David Biggins
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