Orders, Decorations and Medals (8 September 2015)

Date of Auction: 8th September 2015

Sold for £1,600

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

An inter-war C.M.G. group of five awarded to Colonel R. F. Peel, East Surrey Regiment, late Coldstream Guards: a grand nephew of the famous statesman Sir Robert Peel and himself a Member of Parliament, he latterly served as Governor of St. Helena

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 6 clasps, Belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast (Lieut. R. F. Peel, Cldstm. Gds.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Lieut. R. F. Peel, Cld. Gds.); British War Medal 1914-20 (Lt. Col. R. F. Peel); Coronation 1911, mounted ‘cavalry-style’ as worn and contained in an old Spink & Son leather case, generally good very fine (5) £1200-1500


C.M.G. London Gazette 2 June 1922.

Robert Francis Peel was born in April 1874, the son of Captain Francis Peel, a distinguished veteran of the Crimea and Indian Mutiny, and a grand nephew of the famous statesman Sir Robert Peel. Educated at Harrow, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards in February 1898 and saw action in the Boer War.

He was present in the advance on Kimberley, including the engagements at Belmont, Enslin, Modder River and Magersfontein; in operations in Orange Free State in February-May 1900, including the engagements at Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Vet River and Zand River; in operations in the Transvaal in May-June 1900, including the engagements near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill, and likewise, east of Pretoria in July-November 1900, including the action at Belfast, and was subsequently employed in Cape Colony from November 1900 until May 1902 (Queen’s Medal & 6 clasps; King’s Medal & 2 clasps).

Advanced to Captain in 1906, Peel retired from the Army in 1909 and took a commission as a Major on the Special Reserve; it was in this latter capacity that he was re-employed on the home establishment as C.O. of the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, during the Great War.

Peel, who had been elected to Parliament as a Unionist Member for the Woodbridge Division of Suffolk in 1910, was appointed Governor of St. Helena in 1920, in which capacity he was awarded his C.M.G. He died while still in office in August 1924.

Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including Downing Street letter of notification in respect of his award of the C.M.G,, dated 2 June 1922; his Harrow School report for July 1888; assorted family letters, including one from his wife, Alice, to her mother, describing St. Helena, 21pp., dated at Government House, 13 November 1920; printed copies of the Letters Patent in respect of his appointment to the Governorship of St. Helena; a large quantity of press agency cuttings regarding his appointment to the Governorship of St. Helena and his death in office in 1924.