Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (17 & 18 July 2019)

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Date of Auction: 17th & 18th July 2019

Sold for £750

Estimate: £400 - £500

China 1900, 1 clasp, Taku Forts (J. Aldworth. Sto., H.M.S. Fame.) contact marks and edge bruising, nearly very fine £400-£500

Footnote

Approximately 61 medals with clasp Taku Forts awarded to the Destroyer H.M.S. Fame.

The destroyer Fame, under the command of Lieutenant Roger Keyes, R.N., afterwards Admiral of the Fleet, participated in a spectacular cutting-out operation, in concert with Whiting, on 17 June 1900, when both ships were ordered to capture four Chinese destroyers lying between Taku and Tongku - each ship towed into action a whaler manned by a dozen “Bluejackets”, all of them volunteers, on one of the last occasions boarding parties went into action with the cutlass.

In his subsequent report to the Rear-Admiral, China Station, dated 27 June 1900, Keyes stated:

‘After a slight resistance and the exchange of a few shots, the crews were driven overboard or below hatches; there were a few killed and wounded; our casualties were nil. No damage was done to the prizes, but the Fame’s bow was slightly bent when we closed to board, and the Whiting was struck by a projectile about 4 or 5 inches abreast a coal bunker. This was evidently fired from a mud battery on the bend between Taku and Tongku, which fired in all about 30 shots at us, none of the others striking, though several coming very close ... There was a good deal of sniping from the dockyard so I directed all cables of the prizes to be slipped and proceeded to tow them up to Tongku.’