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Lot 416, 17 Sep 99
DescriptionThe Boer War medal to Captain N. H. Vertue, East Kent Regiment, who was killed in action at Spion Kop whilst acting as Brigade Major to Major-General Woodgate
Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 2 clasps, Cape Colony, Relief of Ladysmith (Capt. N. H. Vertue, E. Kent Rgt.) good very fine £1500-2000
FootnoteCaptain N. H. Vertue was Brigade Major of General Woodgate’s 11th Brigade and was killed in action at Spion Kop on 24 January 1900. He was mentioned in General Buller’s despatch of 30 March 1900. Captain Vertue was one of three officers of the Buffs who were present at the Relief of Ladysmith, and one of only four regular officers of the regiment killed during the Boer War.
The following extract is taken from The Times History of the War in South Africa 1899-1900: ‘Woodgate, followed by his staff, walked along the trenches exposing himself recklessly as he encouraged the men and ordered forward reinforcements to the west....a few minutes later (8.45 a.m.) while standing near the left of the trench with Colonel Blomfield of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who was pointing out to him the Boer reinforcements coming up a path on the slopes below Aloe Knoll, Woodgate was mortally wounded through the head. He was carried to the trench, and a little later to the first dressing station, which had been established under the ledge in the rear of the big rock at the south-eastern end of the position. Captain Vertue, his Brigade Major, who had shown conspicuous gallantry, was killed immediately after, and with his death following upon Woodgate’s wound and à Court’s departure, the whole sequence of ideas on the summit was lost. But before that both he and Blomfield had made their way across to Colonel Crofton, commanding the Royal Lancasters on the left and informed him that Woodgate was dead and that he (Crofton) was senior officer on the Hill.’
Naunton Henry Vertue was born in January 1863, and educated at Clifton. He entered the East Kent Regiment in February 1884, being promoted Lieutenant in May 1890, and Captain in March 1893. He was adjutant of his battalion from May 1890, to May 1894, and served as A.D.C. to the Brigadier-General commanding in Ceylon from March 1897, to January 1899. At the time of his death, Captain Vertue held the appointment of Brigade-Major to the 11th Infantry Brigade in South Africa, commanded by Major-General Woodgate.