Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 & 20 July 2017)

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Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £4,200

Estimate: £3,400 - £3,800

A good Victorian C.B. group of three awarded to Major-General W. French, Royal Artillery, who commanded the Royal Artillery of the Kandahar Field Force during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1880

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge, gold (18ct., hallmarks for London 1881) and enamel, with integral gold riband buckle, in Garrard, London, case of issue; China 1857-60, 2 clasps, Taku Forts 1860, Pekin 1860 (Capt. W. French, No.3 B. 13th Bde. R. Art.); Afghanistan 1878-80, 1 clasp, Kandahar (Lieut: Col: W. French. R.A.) polished, generally very fine, the C.B. better (3) £3400-3800

Footnote

C.B. London Gazette 24 May 1881.

William French was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 27 June 1848, and was advanced to Captain on 1 April 1855. He served with the expedition to China in 1860 and was present at Sinho, Tangku, the capture of Taku Forts, the surrender of Pekin, and also during the operations against the Taepings in the vicinity of Shanghai, May and October 1862, including the capture of the walled cities of Tsinpoo and Tsolin, and the fortified city of Najow, the affair at Nanksiang, and the recapture of the walled city of Kahding. Advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel on 1 May 1873, he served during the Second Afghan War 1878-80, and commanded the Royal Artillery, Kandahar Field Force, during the Second Campaign, including the defence of Kandahar, the sortie to Deh Khwaja, and the battle of Kandahar (Brevet Colonel and Mentioned in Despatches). He retired with the rank of Honorary Major-General on 30 July 1881, and was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of that year.