Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to include a Fine Collection of Napoleonic Medals (25 March 2015)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2015


Estimate: £500 - £600

Four: Major B. D. A. Corbet, Life Guards

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (Capt. B. D. Corbet, 1st Life Guards) privately engraved either side of suspension, not renamed; 1914-15 Star (Major M. D. A. Corbet, L. Gds.); British War and Victory Medals (Major B. D. A. Corbet) mounted as worn; together with a mounted group of four miniature dress medals, all held in a Spink, Piccadilly leather case, good very fine (8) £500-600


Bertram D’Avenant Corbet was born in Grosvenor Square, London on 2 November 1869, the son of Henry Reginald Corbet and Anna Mary Elizabeth Corbet, nee Egerton. After a private education, he received a commission in the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1887. In 1890 he entered the 1st Life Guards and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1893 and Captain in 1899. Married Rosamond Withington in 1896. Served in South Africa, 1899-1900, going out with No. 6 Remount Depot and later served as A.D.C. to Major-General Brocklehurst, 3rd Cavalry Brigade. Served as A.D.C. & Master of Horse to the Governor-General of Australia, 1900-02. Served with the Royal Notts R.H.A., 1908-14. Returning to the 1st Life Guards in 1914, he entered France on 5 August 1915. Served as Temporary Major from 15 June 1915. Commanded Divisional Squadron, Guards Division, 1915. In October 1915, Major Corbet, Reserve of Officers, 1st Life Guards, was relieved of his active service command and returned to England to serve with the Reserve Regiment, 1st Life Guards. Attached to Observer Corps, Royal Defence Corps, 1916 and in November 1916 was 2i/c of the Observer Corps. His name was mentioned for valuable services rendered in connection with the anti-aircraft service in the U.K. (London Gazette 20 December 1917). Later in the war he was attached for administrative purposes to the Tank Corps. Captain Corbet was demobilized on 25 February 1919. In 1921, having reached the age limit, his name was removed from the R.A.R.O. and he relinquished his commission whilst retaining the rank of Major. His wife was awarded the O.B.E. in 1918 as Lady Superintendent of the Grosvenor Gardens T.M.C.A. Hut. Major Corbet died on 4 January 1938. With a quantity of copied service papers.

It is possible that Corbet was awarded an unnamed Queen’s South Africa Medal which he later had engraved. It is possible he was presented with his Q.S.A. on the occasion of the visit of the Duke of Cornwall and York to Melbourne in June 1901. All clasps confirmed - ‘Laing’s Nek’ rare to Life Guards.

With a quantity of copied service papers and other research.