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An important Knight Bachelor, Boer War

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000
ca. US$6,460 - US$8,075
Price realised:  £5,200
ca. US$8,398
Lot number 223, Views: 15

An important Knight Bachelor, Boer War C.B., C.V.O., Great War C.B.E. group of eleven awarded to Colonel Sir St. John Gore, Lieutenant of H.M. Bodyguard, late 5th Dragoon Guards, who commanded the cavalry engaged at Elandslaagte in October 1899 - an action that prompted General French to tell him: “You have had the honour of commanding the first real cavalry charge since the Crimea” Knight Bachelor’s Badge, 1st type breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, hallmarks for London 1929 in its case of issue; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with replacement swivel-ring suspension and riband buckle; The Royal Victorian Order, C.V.O. Commander’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, the reverse numbered ‘C740’, in its Collingwood Ltd. case of issue; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) 1st type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, 1 clasp, The Nile 1884-85 (Lieut. St. J. C. Gore, 5th Dr[gn. Gds.]), latter part of regimental title lost to bruising; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Lt. Colonel St. J. C. Gore, C.B., 5th Drgn. Gds.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Lt. Col. St. J. C. Gore, C.B., 5th Dgn. Gds.); Coronation 1911; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937; Khedive’s Star 1884-6, the Egypt Medal pitted and bruised, fine, the remainder somewhat polished but generally very fine or better (11) £4000-5000 Footnote C.B. London Gazette 29 November 1900. C.V.O. London Gazette 3 June 1925. C.B.E. London Gazette 7 January 1918. St. John Corbet Gore was born in January 1859 and was educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, Winchester and the Royal Military College Sandhurst. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 19th Hussars in January 1879, he exchanged into the 5th Dragoon Guards later in the same year and first saw active service in the Nile Expedition 1884-85, when he served in the Heavy Camel Regiment (Medal & clasp; Khedive’s Star). Steady advancement ensued and, after serving as Military Secretary to both Sir Baker Russell and Sir George Luck in Bengal, 1897-99, he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. And it was in this latter rank that he commanded the 5th Dragoon Guards out in South Africa, and indeed all the cavalry engaged at Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899. Gore’s role in the battle is described at length by David Biggins in Elandslaagte, Account and Medal Roll, from which the following extracts have been taken: Early skirmishing: ‘As the enemy retired, Major Gore pressed forward on the west of the railway with his own regiment, the 5th Dragoon Guards, and one squadron of the 5th Lancers. Gore’s objective was to turn the right flank of the position on which the Boers had posted their guns. The Boer gunners on the ridge saw them, and for a short period they were exposed to well-directed fire from a distance of around 1,800 yards (1,650 m). To escape this fire, the ten wire fences that enclosed the railway were cut by Captain Mappin and Sergeant Instructor Read and the two squadrons crossed over the railway line to the east and to a location not far from the Elandslaagte station from where they could see the reverse slope of the Boer position and thus any possible Boer retreat ... ’ Keeping an eye on the enemy: ‘Over to the left, near the station, Gore’s cavalry continued to watch and wait. The station building was searched and found to be empty except for some Boer hospital orderlies and a few prisoners who were quickly liberated. At one point, Gore and his staff, who had crept forward for a better view, were fired on by a group of 50 Boers and had to run back to their horses. Receiving no orders at all during the afternoon, Gore’s men had an anxious wait as they could hear the infantry engagement but see nothing of it ... ’ The charge: ‘A number of Boers had alrea

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Dix Noonan Webb
Title: Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (30 March 2011)
Date of the auction: 30 Mar 2011
Address: Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton St, Mayfair
W1J 8BQ London
United Kingdom
[email protected] · +44 (0)20 7016 1700 · +44 (0)20 7016 1799