Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (23 June 2021)

Date of Auction: 23rd June 2021

Sold for £1,700

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

The K.C.V.O., C.M.G. group of six awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Leetham, Royal Monmouth Engineers, late 20th and 13th Hussars, attached to Personal Staff of the Secretary of State for War 1914-18, and for some time Personal Assistant to Lord Kitchener

The Royal Victorian Order, K.C.V.O., Knight Commander’s set of insignia, comprising neck badge and breast star, silver-gilt and enamels, both pieces officially numbered ‘1153’ [see note below]; The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels; The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knight of Grace set of insignia, comprising neck badge and breast star, silver and enamel; Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 2 clasps, The Nile 1884-85, Suakin 1885 (Lieut: A. Leetham, 20th Hussrs.); Coronation 1902, silver; Khedive’s Star 1884-6, unnamed, the last three mounted as worn, the C.M.G. with slight enamel damage to centres, the Egypt pitted, fine, otherwise nearly very fine and better (8) £1,800-£2,200


Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, April 2006, since when a K.C.V.O. set has been added for display purposes.

Arthur Leetham was born in Hull on 1 March 1859, and was educated at King’s College School. In 1877 he joined the West Norfolk Militia and in 1880 was commissioned into the 20th Hussars, serving with them in Egypt during the Suakin 1885 campaign and in the Egyptian Frontier Field Force, 1885-86. In 1886 he exchanged to the 13th Hussars and in 1898 exchanged as a Captain to the Royal Monmouth Engineers, being advanced to Major and Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1903. For the years 1900-02 he was Private Secretary to Lord Raglan, the Under Secretary of State for War, and for the War Years, 1914-18 he was attached to the Personal Staff of the Secretary of State for War. During 1914-16 was for some time Personal Assistant to Lord Kitchener. He was created a Knight in 1914, was awarded the C.M.G. in 1918 and K.C.V.O. in 1924. He was sometime Vice-President and Secretary of the Royal United Service Institution, Vice-President of the Society of Nautical Research and Vice-President of the Society of Yorkshiremen in London, and of the Yorkshire Society. Lieutenant-Colonel Leetham died on 13 January 1933. Sold with copied research and roll extracts which confirm only the single clasp ‘Suakin 1885’ on his Egypt Medal - he is not entitled to ‘The Nile 1884-85’ clasp.