Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (30 March 2011)

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Date of Auction: 30th March 2011

Sold for £6,500

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The Great War K.C.I.E., Boer War C.B. group of ten awarded to Major-General Sir Herbert Raitt, who commanded the 1s Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment in the Boer War

The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, K.C.I.E., Knight Commander’s set of insignia, comprising sash badge, gold and enamel, and breast star, silver, with gold and enamel centre, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge, with later swivel-ring suspension and riband buckle; South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1878-9 (Lieut. H. A. Raitt, 80th Foot); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Wittebergen, Transvaal (Lt. Colonel H. A. Raitt, C.B., S. Staff. R.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Lt. Col. H. A. Raitt, C.B., S. Staff. Rgt.); 1914-15 Star (Maj. Gen. H. A. Raitt, C.B.); British War and Victory Medals (Maj. Gen. H. A. Raitt); Coronation 1911, privately inscribed, ‘Brig.-General H. A. Raitt, C.B.’, contact marks but otherwise very fine and better (10) £4000-5000


K.C.I.E. London Gazette 12 September 1919.

C.B. London Gazette 27 September 1901.

Herbert Aveling Raitt, who was born in August 1858, was commissioned in the 80th Foot in March 1878, direct from the 1st Durham Militia, and quickly witnessed active service out in South Africa in operations against the Sekukini, and afterwards in the Zulu War, when he was present at the storming and capture of that tribe’s stronghold (Medal & clasp).

Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion from February 1881 until June 1884, Raitt next served in Sir Charles Warren’s peaceful expedition into Bechuanaland, in the rank of Captain, and with command of a troop of the Diamond Field’s Horse. Attachment to the Egyptian Army under Lord Kitchener having followed, he was advanced to Major in February 1896, in which rank he was serving at the time of the outbreak of hostilities in South Africa, although he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and given command of the 1st Battalion in December 1900. Having earlier participated in operations in the Orange Free State and Orange River Colony from April-November 1900, including the action at Wittebergen, as Battalion C.O. Raitt remained actively employed in the same theatre of war until May 1902, gaining a “mention” (London Gazette 10 September 1901 refers), and the C.B.

Advanced to Colonel in February 1904, Raitt commanded the South Midland Division 1908-11 and, on promotion to Major-General in September 1912, was posted to India as the G.O.C. of the Mandalay Brigade from 1913-14.

Appointed G.O.C. Burma Division on the outbreak of hostilities, he held command in the Kachin Rising of January-February 1915, his resultant punitive operations receiving due recognition in the despatches of General Sir Beauchamp Duff, G.C.B., C.-in-C. India (
London Gazette 4 July 1916 refers):

‘Unrest, which had been brewing for some time among the Kachins, came to a head in December 1914, and January 1915, when punitive operations were undertaken. The columns originally consisted of Burma Military Police, but as the disturbance appeared more general and likely to spread, regular troops were ordered up to Myitkyina .... In February, Major-General H. A. Raitt, C.B., Commanding Burma Division, proceeded to Myitkyina to direct operations. In the Kamaing and Mogaung Jurisdictions, and the adjoining un-administered territory, six columns operated during January and February .... Opposition encountered was in all cases successfully overcome, the rebel stockades captured, and the implicated villages destroyed. In the country north of Myitkyina two columns were employed during the latter end of January and throughout February and these were equally successful in punishing the recalcitrant tribesmen. The country in which these operations were carried out is of a particularly dense and difficult nature. Major-General Raitt especially commends a night march carried out by a detachment of the 64th Pioneers over intricate country, followed by a successful attack on a rebel village.’

Raitt retired from his command in November 1918, was appointed K.C.I.E in 1919, and died at his home in Folkestone, Kent in November 1935.

Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including the recipient’s K.C.I.E. warrant, dated 3 June 1919, in its original envelope of issue, with the Statutes for the Order; his commission warrants for the ranks of Sub. Lieutenant, Militia Forces, dated 13 March 1876, and 2nd Lieutenant, Land Forces (80th Foot), dated 20 March 1878; his Contract of Employment with the Egyptian Army, dated 5 March 1894, and signed by Lord Kitchener; four studio portrait photographs; a letter from Sir Ian Hamilton regarding matters relative to the Territorials, dated 5 March 1911, and a War Office letter of appointment, dated 11 May 1912; and a copy of his obituary from The Times, dated 9 November 1935.

See following three lots for related swords.