Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to coincide with the OMRS Convention (20 September 2002)

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Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £1,900

Estimate: £600 - £800

East and West Africa 1887-1900, 1 clasp, Niger 1897 (Lieut. W. T. Barton, Pembroke Arty.) good very fine and very rare £600-800


William Thomson Barton was born in about 1863, the elder son of Robert Hyde Barton of Chorley, Lancashire. He was granted a commission as a Supernumerary Second Lieutenant in the 1st Banff Artillery Volunteers, R.G.A., on 15 October 1887. By the close of 1888 he had gained his certificate of proficiency, leading to his promotion to Lieutenant on 15 December 1888. Barton was promoted Captain on 8 February 1890, and by December 1891, he had passed a School of Instruction for higher rank than that which he held.

In June 1893, Barton was transferred to the Militia, and was appointed a Lieutenant in the Forfar and Kincardine Artillery, R.G.A., based at Montrose. Just over a year later he moved again when, on 19 September 1894, he was appointed a Lieutenant in the Pembroke Artillery, R.G.A., and subsequently qualified as an Instructor of Artillery and of Musketry.

On 11 March 1896, Barton was seconded whilst employed with the Royal Niger Company, and took part in the expeditions during January and February 1897 for which he was awarded the medal and clasp for Niger 1897. Lieutenant W. T. Barton died at Asaba in the Royal Niger Company’s territories on 31 December 1897, as reported ‘by cable’ in The Times of 15 January 1898.

The clasp for Niger 1897 was awarded to just 24 British officers and 7 British N.C.O’s, attached or seconded to the Royal Niger Company. A further 15 British civilian employees of the R.N.C., including four medical officers and an Officiating Quarter-Master, also received this medal and clasp, as did approximately 650 natives of the Royal Niger Constabulary.