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

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Date of Auction: 24th & 25th February 2016

Sold for £4,400

Estimate: £3,500 - £4,000

A rare and impressive Great War German South-West Africa operations D.S.O. group of nine awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel S. Carter, South African Forces, who was wounded on the Shiloh Patrol in Rhodesia in 1896 and afterwards commanded the Umvoti Rifles 1908-24

Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel; British South Africa Company Medal 1890-97, reverse Rhodesia 1896, no clasp (Troopr. S. Carter, “L” Troop B.F.F.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek. South Africa 1901 (Lt. & Adjt. S. Carter, Umvoti M.R.); Natal 1906, 1 clasp, 1906 (Maj. S. Carter, Umvoti Mtd. Rifles), officially engraved naming in running script; 1914-15 Star (Lt. Col. S. Carter, 4th M.R.); British War and Bilingual Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Lieut.-Colonel S. Carter), these two late claims from the 1930s; Union of South Africa Medal 1910, unnamed as issued; Colonial Auxiliary Forces Decoration, G.V.R., the reverse officially inscribed, ‘Lt. Col. S. Carter, 4th M.R. (U.M.R.)’, obverse centre of the first slightly recessed, minor contact marks, generally good very fine (9) £3500-4000

Footnote

D.S.O. London Gazette 22 August 1918. The original recommendation states:

‘For consistently good work and extremely able leadership throughout the campaign. A Commanding Officer of marked ability and meriting reward.’

Samuel Carter appears to have commenced his career as an Assistant Native Commissioner in Rhodesia; certainly he saw action with ‘L’ Troop of the Bulawayo Field Force in 1896, when, on 29 March, he was wounded on the Shiloh Patrol (
London Gazette 5 April 1898, refers).

During the Boer War he served as a Lieutenant & Adjutant of the Umvoti Mounted Rifles, seeing action as part of the Ladysmith relief force, including Tugela Heights, and afterwards at Laing’s Nek.

Carter was likewise actively employed in the rank of Major during the Natal Rebellion in 1906, in which role he gained one of just 18 special mentions for ‘Meritorious Service’ awarded in the campaign; for an excellent account of the Umvoti Rifles in the Natal Rebellion, ‘Patriotic Duty of Brutal Repression, or Both?’, by Mark Coghlan, see the
South African Military History Society’s Journal in December 2006.

Having taken command of the Umvoti Mounted Rifles in 1908, Carter was awarded the Union of South Africa Medal in 1910, a rare distinction since the majority of such awards were granted to politicians, government officials and other civilians.

He then returned to an operational footing with command of the regiment in the 1914 Rebellion and in the German South-West Africa campaign, as part of the Central Force under Sir Duncan McKenzie, and was awarded the D.S.O. and mentioned in despatches (
London Gazette 22 August 1918, refers). Having also added the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Decoration to his accolades in July 1915, Carter remained in command of the Umvoti Mounted Rifles - re-titled the 4th Mounted Rifles - until 1924.

Sold with a quantity of copied research, including several photographs, some of them featuring Carter in the Natal 1906 operations and others at an earlier visit to his regiment by Russian Officers around 1900.