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

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Date of Auction: 5th April 2006

Sold for £2,800

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

The Boer War D.S.O. group of three awarded to Major E. S. E. Harrison, 11th Hussars, Intelligence Officer and galloper to Major-General Brocklehurst, commanding 2nd Cavalry Brigade in South Africa

Distinguished Service Order, V.R., silver-gilt and enamels; India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Tirah 1897-98 (Captn. E. S. E. Harrison, 11th Hussars); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Laing’s Nek, Belfast (Major E. S. E. Harrison, 11/Hussars) good very fine (3) £2000-2500


Esmé Stuart Erskine Harrison was born on 21 September 1864, son of Lieutenant-General Broadley Harrison, 11th Hussars. He was educated at Wellington College, and was gazetted to the 11th Hussars on 9 May 1885. He became Captain in January 1892, and took part in the operations on the North West Frontier of India in 1897-98 (Medal with clasp). He was Adjutant from March to November 1898, and was promoted to Major in September 1900. He served during the South Africa War 1899-1900, as galloper to Major-General Brocklehurst, commanding the Cavalry Brigade in Ladysmith during the Siege, and afterwards as Intelligence Officer on the Staff of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade in Natal.

He was twice mentioned in despatches by Sir Redvers Buller, firstly in his despatch , dated Laing’s Nek, 19 June 1900, ‘...on the 12th [June] the occupation of Volksrust by Capt. E. Harrison, 11th Hussars, attached to 19th Hussars, with a small party of that regiment was very well affected, and the measures he took for the seizure of archives and telegraph instruments were well considered and proved of value’; and, secondly, in his despatch, dated 9 November 1900 (‘to be taken as a whole in connection with his despatch of March 30’), ‘Captain E. Harrison, 11th Hussars, intelligence officer, is bold, steady, and methodical, with plenty of dash; he is a good soldier and a good intelligence officer.’

Harrison was awarded the D.S.O. (London Gazette 19 April 1901) ‘in recognition of services during the recent operations in South Africa,’ the insignia being presented to him by the G.O.C. Egypt on 8 December 1901, he having re-joined his regiment there earlier in the year. Major Harrison died from a fall during a Polo match at Ghezireh, Egypt, on 1 November 1902. He bequeathed to the Regiment one of its most prized possessions, the Bhurtpoor Sword, which he had inherited from his father, General Broadley Harrison, and which is now displayed in the Royal Hussars Museum, Winchester. See Lot 106 for General Harrison’s medals.