As we've reported, on May 18th Dix Noonan Webb is holding an auction to sell two collections: the Bill and Angela Strong Medal Collection and the Allan and Janet Woodliffe Collection of Medals Relating to the Reconquest and Pacification of the Sudan.
A set of medals relating to a Colditz escapee is one of the star lots of the former collection, but the other certainly has its highlights as well. One example is the magnificent group of twenty-four awarded to General Sir Henry Macleod Leslie Rundle, Royal Artillery, who was recommended for the Victoria Cross at the defence of Potchefstroom during the First Boer War.
It is difficult to summarise the whole set, but the most prominent are:
- The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, G.C.B. (Military) Knight Grand Cross set of insignia, comprising sash badge, silver-gilt and enamels, and breast star in silver with gold and enamel appliqué centre;
- The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, G.C.M.G., Knight Grand Cross set of insignia, comprising collar chain, silver-gilt and enamels, sash badge, large type, 123x87mm, silver-gilt and enamels, and breast star, silver-gilt and enamels;
- The Royal Victorian Order, G.C.V.O., Knight Grand Cross set of insignia, comprising sash badge and breast star, silver, silver-gilt and enamels, both pieces officially numbered '361';
- The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knight of Grace, neck badge and breast star, silver and enamel, enamel chips to both pieces;
- Distinguished Service Order, V.R., gold and enamels, minor chipping to reverse wreath
Rundle, from a naval family, nevertheless went into the army and saw active service in the 1879 Zulu War. This led to the first of several mentions in dispatches, followed by his nomination for the VC during the defence of Potchefstroom in the 1881 Boer War.
He finally rose to a position commanding a division in South Africa in March 1900 where, despite his personal bravery, was cautious in exposing his men to risks, earning the affectionate nickname 'Sir Leisurely Trundle'.
The set is accompanied by a substantial number of documents and photographs relating to Rundle's career. The whole lot is expected to sell for £20,000-25,000 in the sale which takes place in London, and should make an excellent investment.
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