A Collection of Medals to the 10th and 11th Hussars

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Date of Auction: 5th April 2006

Sold for £2,600

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

Army of India 1799-1826, 1 clasp, Bhurtpoor (J. Montague, 11th Lt. Dragns.) short hyphen reverse, officially impressed naming, contact marks, otherwise very fine £1200-1500


Ex Sotheby July 1896.

John Charles Montague enlisted into the 11th Light Dragoons on 15 October 1822, at the age of 19 years. He was at that time a National Schoolmaster and volunteered for a bounty of two pounds and twelve shillings. He served with the regiment in India and was present at the siege and capture of Bhurtpoor, where he volunteered for the storming party. He transferred to the 16th Lancers in December 1837, and with them served throughout the campaign in Afghanistan in 1838 & ‘39, and at the assault and capture of Ghuznee (Medal); in the action at Maharajpoor in December 1843 (Bronze Star), and at Aliwal and Sobraon in 1846 (Medal with clasp). He was discharged on 26 January 1847, in consequence of his being unequal to the active duties of a Dragoon.

Montague received his L.S. & G.C. medal in October 1847 and was appointed a Yeoman of the Guard at the Tower of London in the same year, eventually rising to the rank of Sergeant Major. He was present at the wedding of the Prince of Wales in March 1863, and at the inspections by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1874 and the Prince of Wales in 1875. His portrait, “Yeoman of the Guard”, painted in 1875, by Sir John Everett Millais is held in the National Portrait Gallery, which, ‘with his age-worn face and uniform of scarlet and gold, is strong in character, and perhaps the artist’s most splendid effort as a colourist.’

Montague, who was the last man in the Guard to wear the Army of India Medal, died at Brighton on 16 May 1878. Sold with full research.