The John Goddard Collection of Important Naval Medals and Nelson Letters (24 November 2015)

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Date of Auction: 24th November 2015

Sold for £15,000

Estimate: £12,000 - £15,000

The Defence of Legations medal awarded to Private C. W. Phillips, Royal Marine Light Infantry, who was killed in action on 29 June 1900, one of only 2 Royal Marines who were killed in the siege of Pekin

China 1900, 1 clasp, Defence of Legations (Pte. C. W. Phillips, R.M.L.I.) two edge bruises, otherwise nearly extremely fine £12000-15000


Provenance: Dixon, January 1987.

Private C. W. Phillips was killed in action at Pekin on 29 June 1900. During the entire siege the Royal Marine casualties amounted to 2 men killed, 1 officer (Captain Strouts) and 1 man died of wounds, and 21 men wounded. The medal to Captain B. M. Strouts, who was mortally wounded and appears on the official casualty list as ‘died of wounds’, is in the Royal Marines Museum.

In his report on the part taken in the defence of Pekin by the Royal Marine Legation Guard, Captain Edmund Wray, R.M.L.I., Commanding the British Marine Guard, gave the following entry for 29 June 1900: ‘I made an unsuccessful sortie at daylight to capture the Krupp gun, with a mixed force of British, German, and Russian Marines and Volunteers. It was discovered that the gun had been withdrawn. Captain Poole, with a force of British Marines and Volunteers, at the same time made an unsuccessful sortie to destroy the enemy’s barricade on the Imperial Carriage Park wall near the West Hanlin. On this occasion Corporal T. Johnson showed great bravery in covering the retreat, carried out under a very heavy rifle fire. Private Phillips killed on this day.’