Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (18 & 19 July 2018)

Date of Auction: 18th & 19th July 2018

Sold for £6,000

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A fine Great War K.C.M.G., C.B. group of eight awarded to Surgeon-General Sir Robert S. F. Henderson, Army Medical Services, who served as Director-General of the New Zealand Medical Services 1915-19; an Honorary Physician to H.M. the King, he was also a 19th Century England Rugby International

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, K.C.M.G. Knight Commander’s set of insignia, comprising neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband; Star, silver, gold appliqué, and enamel, with gold retaining pin, in Garrard, London, case of issue; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with full and miniature width neck ribands, in Garrard, London, case of issue; Coronation 1911, silver; Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 1 clasp, Suakin 1885 (Surgn. R. S. F. Henderson. Med: Staff.); India General Service 1854-95, 4 clasps, Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89, Chin-Lushai 1889-90, Burma 1889-92, top lugs removed (Surgn. R. S. F. Henderson. Medl. Staff.); India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (Major R. S. Henderson, R.A.M.C.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Maj: R. S. F. Henderson. R.A.M.C.); Khedive’s Star 1884-6, unnamed as issued, the group mounted by Rankin & Co., India, court-style in this order as worn; together with the badge of a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem in the Baluchistan Priory at Quetta; and the Badge of a Knight of the Order of the Temple in the Baluchistan Preceptory, both silver and enamel with top riband bar suspensions, light contact marks, toned, otherwise nearly extremely fine (11) £4000-5000

Footnote

K.C.M.G. London Gazette 14 October 1919:
‘For services rendered in connection with the War.’


C.B. London Gazette 10 August 1917:
‘For services rendered in connection with the War.’


Sir Robert Samuel Findlay Henderson was born in Calcutta on 11 December 1858, and was educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh. A keen Rugby player, he was captain of the University XV for three years, and was selected as a reserve for the Scotland International team. Moving to London, he trained at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, and played Rugby for Blackheath. Having not been awarded a cap by Scotland, he was eligible to play for England, and made his international debut for England against Wales in the Home Nations Championship (the precursor to today’s Six Nations) at Swansea on 16 December 1882, scoring one of England’s six tries in a convincing win; over the next two seasons he played a further four matches, two against Scotland and two more against Wales, winning all five.

Henderson entered the Army Medical Service as a Surgeon on 2 August 1884, and served in the Sudan, being present during the operations at Suakin, 1 March to 14 May 1885. Proceeding to India, he served in Burma from 1886-89; during the Chin-Lushai Expedition from 13 November 1889 to 30 April 1890; and with the Wuntho Field Force under the command of General Wolselsy against insurgents in Burma, 18 February to 17 May 1891 (Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 9 February 1892). After further service on the North West Frontier from 1897-98, Henderson proceed to South Africa and saw action during the Boer War, being present during operations in the Cape Colony, May 1901; in the Transvaal, May 1901 to April 1902; and in the Orange River Colony, April to May 1902.

In 1907 he was appointed Secretary to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, and the following year was appointed Secretary to the Principal Medical Officer in India, Sir Francis Trevor. He was also appointed an honorary Physician to H.M. the King in 1910. On promotion in 1914, he was posted as Assistant Director, Medical Services to the 4th Division at Quetta, and in 1915 transferred in the same role to the 17th Division. His final posting was as Director-General of the New Zealand Medical Services, with the rank of Surgeon-General, a post he held at the specific request of the New Zealand Government from 1 August 1915 until his retirement following the conclusion of the Great War.

For his services during the Great War Henderson was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 27 July 1917); created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1917; and created a Knight Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1919. From January 1908 until the outbreak of the Great War he also held the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle. He died in Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital, London, on 5 October 1924.

Sold with the Bestowal Document for the K.C.M.G., dated 3 June 1919, this torn and repaired;, with Central Chancery enclosure; Bestowal Document for the Knight of St. John of Jerusalem in the Baluchistan Priory at Quetta, this severely torn; Bestowal Document for the Knight of the Order of the Temple in the Baluchistan Preceptory, this torn and repaired; Bestowal Document appointing the recipient a 2nd A.D.C. for the United Orders of the Temple and Hospital, Province of Bengal, dated 14 January 1914, this torn and repaired; the recipient’s Passport, containing a photograph of the recipient; and various other research.

For the recipient’s related miniature dress medals, see lot 1146.