The Collection of Medals to the Medical Services formed by Colonel D.G.B. Riddick

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Date of Auction: 22nd September 2006

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

A gold C.M.G. pair and rare Ashantee War presentation sword awarded to Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel V. S. Gouldsbury, Army Medical Department, Administrator of Gambia, 1877-84 and St. Lucia, 1891-96

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s breast badge, gold and enamels, with swivel ring and straight bar suspension, complete with gold ribbon buckle; Ashantee 1873-74, no clasp (V. S. Gouldsbury Esqr., M.D., Army Medl. Service, 73-74); 1821 Pattern Infantry Officer’s Sword, 32.5 inch blade by Henry Wilkinson of Pall Mall, London [No. 18824], etched with ‘VR’ scrolls and presentation inscription within panel, ‘Presented by Command of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies to V. Skipton Gouldsbury, M.D., for his Gallant Services during the Ashanti War of 1873’, the steel hilt with ‘VR’ cypher, traces of gilt, fishskin covered grip bound with copper wire, in its steel scabbard with two hanging rings, good condition, the medal with minor edge bruising, otherwise nearly extremely fine (3) £2000-2500


Valesius Skipton Gouldsbury was born on 17 March 1839 and was educated at Queen’s college, Dublin. He qualified as a M.D. and M.R.C.S. in 1862. Appointed Staff Assistant Surgeon on 30 September 1863 and Surgeon in September 1863, he served with distinction in the Ashantee War of 1873-74, being presented with a sword from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, for his ‘gallant services during the Ashantee War of 1873’. He was promoted to Surgeon-Major in April 1876 and was placed in command of the Salafa Expedition in 1876 and the Upper Gambia Expedition in 1881. Promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel in September 1883, he was placed on Retirement Pay with the honorary rank of Brigade Surgeon in October 1885. He was Civil Commandant at Accra, Administrator of Gambia, March 1877-February 1884 and Administrator of St. Lucia, March 1891-November 1896. Awarded the C.M.G. in May 1876, he died in London on 11 November 1896.