A Collection of Medals for the Ashanti 1895-96 Expedition

Date of Auction: 25th June 2008

Sold for £1,300

Estimate: £700 - £900

Pair: Captain & Quarter-Master W. Cox, Army Ordnance Department

South Africa 1877-79
, no clasp (Condr., Ord. Store Dept.); Ashanti Star 1896, edge bruise and light contact marks to first, otherwise very fine or better and a rare combination of awards (2) £700-900


William Cox was born in Ludlow, Shropshire in May 1851 and enlisted in London in August 1870. His subsequent overseas postings were to South Africa, November 1876 to December 1888; Jamaica, March 1889 to August 1892; and Africa (Gold Coast), November 1895 to March 1896.

‘He served with distinction in the Zulu War of 1877 and 1879, and in the Ashanti Expedition of 1895-96, receiving a Medal for the former, and a Star for the latter from the late Queen Victoria. Among his treasured curios was the King of Ashanti’s chair or throne, made of mahogany, seated with leather, and handsomely decorated with gold; and the King’s executioner’s stool or block. The Captain had suffered from attacks of intermittent malarial fever, from which he suffered in Ashanti. For his services in the mobilisation of the troops for South Africa for the war of 1899-1901, Captain Cox was personally thanked by the Duke of Connaught, the late Earl of Airlie, General Stockton and General Douglas’ (local newspaper obituary notice refers).

Having been commissioned back in June 1879, Cox was placed on the Retired List in the rank of Captain retired in April 1902, and he died in Ash, Frimley on 13 August 1908, after being stung by a “red headed fly” whilst fishing in the Basingstoke Canal - a carbuncle formed on his neck and blood poisoning set in causing his death; sold with further research.