A Fine Collection of Medals Relating to Rhodesia and South Africa

Date of Auction: 10th May 2017

Sold for £11,000

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

A fine Boer War D.S.O. group of nine awarded to Major J. A. Warwick, 8th South African Infantry, a member of the 1893 Pioneer Column, who raised and commanded Warwick’s Scouts in South Africa, was severely wounded at Hartebeestfontein, and afterwards served with the Field Intelligence Department

Distinguished Service Order, V.R., silver-gilt and enamels, mounted with second award bar (see note below); British South Africa Company Medal 1890-97, reverse Matabeleland 1893, 1 clasp, Rhodesia 1896 (Corpl. J. A. Warwick. Salisbury Horse); Queen's South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Capt: J. A. Warwick. Warwick’s Scouts.); King's South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Capt. J. A. Warwick. F.I.D.) naming re-engraved; 1914-15 Star (Major J. A. Warwick 1. Rhodn. Rgt.); British War and Bilingual Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Major J. A. Warwick.); Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, mounted Court style for display, good very fine (9) £3000-4000


D.S.O. London Gazette 19 April 1901: ‘John Abraham Warwick, Captain, Warwick’s Scouts. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.’

Note: Despite mention in his obituary notice of his being awarded a bar to the D.S.O. there is no evidence to support this.

John Abraham Warwick was born at Durban on 14 August 1871, son of Mark Warwick and Esther Linnell, both of Warwickshire. He was educated at St Cyprian's, Kimberley, and in Cape Colony, and served two years with the Bechuanaland Border Police, seeing active service in the Matabele War of 1893 and in the Matabele Rebellion of 1896. He served in the South African War, 1900-2, in Lieutenant Gifford's Horse and as Captain commanding a troop of Matabeleland Mounted Police, raised by himself for the duration of the war. He was mentioned in Despatches; received the King's Medal with two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. The Insignia were sent to the Commander-in-Chief in South Africa, and presented there. Captain Warwick was Managing Gold Mining Commissioner in Rhodesia. He was a member of the firm of Macandrew and Warwick, Engineers and Contractors, Bulawayo, and acting as Intelligence Officer with the 1st Division, Western District, he led the section known as Warwick’s Scouts. His sister married Mr R H Henderson, C.M.G., who was the Chief Citizen of Kimberley when it was besieged by the Boers.

In 1914 he enlisted for service in German South West Africa, first being a captain with the 1st Rhodesia Regiment and later being promoted major and adding a bar to his D.S.O. (sic). In March 1917 he was permitted to resign his commission on taking an appointment under the Civil Administration in East Africa, becoming a Customs officer at Mombassa, where he remained until his death on 14 May 1937.

Warwick’s Scouts was a small body raised by Captain J. A. Warwick early in 1900, primarily for the class of work indicated by their name. They saw service in many parts of the seat of war. After the relief of Kimberley they operated with Lord Methuen in the Boshof and Warrenton districts of the Orange River Colony. They accompanied that General eastwards towards Lindley, and saw some fighting there at the end of May and in June. Along with the remainder of Lord Methuen's column they were railed from Kroonstad to Krugersdorp in the Transvaal on 12th July, and advanced with him in a pursuit of De Wet northward to Olifant's Nek, where there was some fighting which Warwick's Scouts had two casualties. After this the corps saw endless marching and skirmishing in the Western Transvaal. On 16th February 1901 when operating with Lord Methuen, Captain Warwick was seriously wounded in the severe engagement a Hartebeestfontein. Captain J. A. Warwick and Lieutenant H. Macandrew were both awarded the D.S.O. for their services. The medal roll for this unit contains the names of two officers and 43
N.C.O.s and men.

Sold with original M.I.D. certificate dated 22 November 1916 (Lieutenant-General J. C. Smuts) and several news cuttings (some fragmentary) concerning his marriage, despatches, and death; together with copied research including record of service.