Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria, to include the Brian Ritchie Collection (Part III) (23 September 2005)

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Date of Auction: 23rd September 2005

Sold for £1,250

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

The Burmese War medal to Major-General A. B. Dyce, Madras N.I. and Brigade Major in the Arracan

Army of India 1799-1826, 1 clasp, Ava (Lieut. A. B. Dyce, Brig. Major) short hyphen reverse, officially impressed naming, nearly extremely fine £1000-1200


Archibald Brown Dyce, a younger son of Lieutenant-General Alexander Dyce, was born at Trichinopoly, Madras, on 1 October 1800. Originally intended for the Artillery he transferred as a Cadet to the Infantry and joined the 4th Madras N.I. in June 1817. He became Adjutant of the 1/4th in 1821, and in 1824 was appointed Major of Brigade to the 5th Brigade and served in this capacity under Brigadier Morrison in the Arracan during First Burma War. Promoted Captain in 1827 and Major in 1831, he returned to regimental duty with the 19th and 6th Madras N.I. He commanded the latter unit during service with the Field Force employed in Goomsoor in 1837, and the following year he commanded the Chicasole Light Infantry with the force under Major-General Wilson at Adoni

In 1839, he was appointed to the command of a force under the special orders of the Political Commissioner and was instructed ‘to secure the person of the Nawab of Kurnool’. Dyce’s Statement of Service records ‘While the Governor in Council laments that the humane efforts of Lieut. Col. Dyce to prevent bloodshed have been defeated by the infatuations of the Nabob of Kurnool’s followers, he states that he “cannot refrain from expressing the high sense he entertains of the gallantry and soldierlike conduct displayed by Lt. Col. Dyce, the Officers and men of the Detachments in the attack upon the Durzah at Zorapore.”’ After this affair on 18 October 1839, Dyce’s officers presented him with the ‘ex-nawab’s’ sword.

During the First China War of 1840-42, Dyce, then commanding the 14th Madras N.I., served in the Garrison at Hong Kong, following its capture in February 1841, and having transferred to the command of the 41st Madras N.I., was then ‘Directed to assume as senior officer the charge of Madras troops under the orders of Major-General Lord Saltoun, Comg. in China’. In 1847, while commanding the Northern Division of the Army in Madras as Brigadier, Dyce led the expedition to suppress the rising in Goomsoor and was vested with the full political authority in the disturbed districts. On the suppression of the outbreak he received the thanks of the Government. Appointed Major-General in June 1854, he was Colonel of H.M’s 105th (Madras Light Infantry) Regiment from 1862 until his death on 9 March 1866 at Grosvenor House, Southampton.

Refs: Hodson Index (NAM); Modern English Biography (Boase); IOL L/MIL/11/39; Hart’s Army List 1866.