Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (12 November 2020)

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Date of Auction: 12th November 2020

Sold for £3,600

Estimate: £3,600 - £4,600

The G.C.V.O., C.B., C.I.E. group of eleven awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Malcolm D. Murray, Seaforth Highlanders, Comptroller and Equerry to His Royal Highness Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria

The Royal Victorian Order, G.C.V.O., Knight Grand Cross set comprising sash badge, silver-gilt and enamels, the reverse officially numbered ‘589’, and breast star, silver-gilt and enamels, the reverse with gold pin for wearing and officially numbered ‘589’, complete with full dress sash in its Collingwood (Jewellers) Ltd. case of issued, this also numbered ‘G 589’; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Civil) Companion’s breast badge, converted for neck wear, silver-gilt, hallmarked London 1902; The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, C.I.E., Companion’s 3rd type neck badge, gold and enamels; The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Officer‘s breast badge), silver base metal and enamel; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 2 clasps, Cape Colony, Wittebergen (Capt. M. D. Murray, Sea: Highrs.); 1914 Star (Major M. D. Murray. C.V.O. C.B.); British War and Victory Medals (Bt. Lt. Col. Sir M. D. Murray.); Coronation 1911; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, generally good very fine or better (12) £3,600-£4,600

Footnote

G.C.V.O. London Gazette 23 June 1936: ‘Comptroller and Equerry to The Duke of Connaught; Deputy Ranger, Windsor Great Park.’ One of five appointments of the G.C.V.O. made by King Edward VIII prior to his abdication in 1936, an episode of events to which Sir Malcolm would have been a close witness.

K.C.V.O. London Gazette 3 June 1916: ‘Comptroller to H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught.’

C.V.O. London Gazette 25 June 1909: ‘Comptroller and Equerry to H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught.’

M.V.O. IV London Gazette 15 June 1905: ‘Comptroller and Equerry to H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught; the Marriage of Princess Margaret of Connaught.’

C.B. London Gazette 19 June 1911:’Coronation of King George V.’

C.I.E. London Gazette 30 March 1921: ‘For services rendered in connection with the visit of His Royal Highness The Duke of Connaught to India in 1921.

Malcolm Donald Murray was born on 9 July 1867, son of Brigadier-General A Murray, Royal Artillery, and great grandson of the 4th Earl of Dunmore. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders on 29 February 1888; Lieutenant, 4 September 1889; Captain, 1 February 1895; served as Adjutant to 1st Battalion from 1892 to 1896, when he was posted to the Depot at Fort George. In Cairo with the 1st Battalion in 1899, and transferred to the 2nd Battalion in South Africa 1899-1900, including operations in the Orange Free State, March to May 1900; operations in Orange River Colony, May to November 1900, including actions at Wittebergen (1st-29th July) and at Witpoort; operations in Cape Colony, south of the Orange River, 1900; operations in Cape Colony, north of the Orange River, including action at Ruidan. Invalided Home.

Served as A.D.C. to Major-General R. B. Lane, C.B., G.O.C. Malta, 1901-02. A.D.C. and extra Equerry to H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, 1902-07. Promoted to Major, 3 October 1903, but retired from the army to take position as Comptroller of the Household of H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, an office he held from 1907 until his death.

Recalled in 1914, he served on the General as G.S.O.3 and King’s Messenger Service at G.H.Q. in France and Belgium from 24 September 1914, and promoted to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on 15 March 1916. Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, 1929-36. Accompanied H.R.H. The Prince of Wales when the latter presented new Colours to the 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders at Dover in 1935.

Murray would have attended all the Royal State occasions during his time with the Duke of Connaught and no doubt been privy to many Royal family matters, the most prominent being the significant ‘Edward and Mrs Simpson’ episode which led to the King’s abdication.

During his career he received many foreign awards including Knight of the Swedish Order of the Sword; Order of Saxe-Coburg 2nd Class; Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia 3rd Class; Order of the Iron Crown of Austria 2nd Class; Order of St Anne of Russia 2nd Class; Order of the Lion of Zahringen of Bavaria 2nd Class; and Order of the Crown of Italy 2nd Class.

He met his death by drowning in Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, on 2 August 1938. He had taken luncheon with the Duke of Connaught at Bagshot Park and, as it was a hot day, he decided to go for a sail on Virginia Water, where he kept his own boat. While sailing on the lake Sir Malcolm got into difficulties, overbalanced and fell into the water. He did not come to the surface again.

His son, Lieutenant-Colonel Iain Arthur Murray, DS.O. . & Bar, served in WW2 in the Grenadier Guards and the Glider Pilot Regiment, of which he was C.O. of No. 1 Wing, being awarded the D.S.O. for Normandy and a Bar for the Crossing of the Rhine; he also served during the Battle of Arnhem. The Duke of Connaught (Prince Arthur) was a godfather to Iain Murray, taking Arthur as his middle name. Sold with comprehensive research.