Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (24 & 25 February 2016)

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Date of Auction: 24th & 25th February 2016

Sold for £8,500

Estimate: £3,500 - £4,000

The important and unique K.C.B. group of ten awarded to Colonel Sir Henry Hozier, Assistant Military Secretary to Lord Napier of Magdala, Times War Correspondent, Secretary to Lloyd's of London and the father of Lady Clementine Churchill

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, K.C.B. (Civil) Knight Commander’s set of insignia, comprising neck badge, silver-gilt, hallmarks for London 1902, and breast star, silver, silver-gilt and enamel, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; China 1857-60, 2 clasps, Taku Forts 1860, Pekin 1860 (Lieut. H. M. Hozier, 4th Bde. Rl. Arty.), correction to surname; Abyssinia 1867 (Lieut. H. M. Hozier, 2nd Life Gds. Asst. Mily. Secy.); Volunteer Decoration, V.R., hallmarks for London 1894, complete with top bar; Prussia, Iron Cross 1870, with 25 year oak leaf cluster; Prussia, Cross for the Campaign against Denmark 1866; Prussia, Medal for the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71, 5 clasps, Metz, Loigny-Poupry, Le Mans, Orleans, Paris; Prussia, Wilhelm Centenary Medal 1797-1897, mounted as worn where applicable, some contact marks and edge knocks to the earlier medals, otherwise generally very fine (10) £3500-4000

Footnote

K.C.B. London Gazette 1903.

Henry Montague Hozier, the son of a landed Scottish lawyer, was born in Lanarkshire in 1842. Educated at Rugby and the R.M.A. Woolwich, he was commissioned in the Royal Artillery and first saw active service in China in 1860, when he was present at the capture of the Taku Forts and Pekin (Medal & 2 clasps).

On his return home he transferred into the 2nd Life Guards in 1863 and entered the Staff College, passing out two years later with high honours. Having previously travelled extensively on the Continent he took part in the Campaign of 1864 between Germany and Denmark, and subsequently received an appointment to the topographical staff of the War Office. He next served as War Correspondent for the
Times during the conflict between Prussia and Austria and, on the restoration of peace, he acted as secretary to the commission on forming a reserve for the Army, and afterwards as Assistant Military Secretary to Lord Napier of Magdala, Commander-in-Chief of the expedition sent to Abyssinia (Medal).

Subsequently promoted Captain in the 3rd Dragoon Guards, he became Controller of Aldershot with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1870, but on the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he was appointed Assistant Military Attaché at the headquarters of the German Army, and later received the Iron Cross from the German Emperor. He used his first-hand knowledge to compile his well known book
The Franco-Prussian War: Its Causes, Incidents and Consequences, which he wrote in addition to several other histories, including The British Expedition to Abyssinia and Invasions of England.

In 1874 he left the Army and became Secretary to Lloyd's of London, where his principal responsibilities were the organisation of Lloyd's agents and sign stations around the globe, which may explain his early interest in promoting the use of radio-telegraphy. Both an organiser of high ability and a talented diplomatist, Hozier flourished in the society of businessmen. Noted as a 'gay and flamboyant' figure in the City of London, he was also highly regarded as an assiduous and effective lobbyist in Parliament. During his thirty-two years at Lloyd’s he never knowingly missed an opportunity to promote that institution in social and political circles. However, he also harboured political ambitions of his own and, in 1885, before the dissention in the Liberal camp, he contested Woolwich as a moderate Liberal but was defeated. For his many varied services he was created a K.C.B. in 1903.

The name of Sir Henry Hozier, his brilliant military career and distinguished service to Lloyd's aside, is destined to be best remembered for its association with one of the twentieth century's most dynamic figures, Sir Winston Churchill. In 1878, Hozier had married Lady Blanche Ogilvy, daughter of the 5th Earl of Airlie, and in due course they had a daughter, Clementine. However, the Hozier's marriage was not a success and they became estranged, so much so that Sir Henry did not even list his marriage in
Who's Who. Separation followed and Lady Blanche was compelled to bring her children up in somewhat reduced circumstances, in Seaford, Sussex and later still in France. Nevertheless, in the fullness of time, Clementine found happiness, her engagement to Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill being announced in the Times on Saturday 15 August 1908.

Her father drew his last breath in Panama, where the British Consul announced his death from phaemia in early 1907; sold with a copy of
Lloyd’s of London, by D. E. W. Gibb.