A Fine Collection of Medals Relating to Rhodesia and South Africa

Date of Auction: 10th May 2017

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,600 - £3,000

A good Boer War ‘Colenso’ D.C.M. group of five awarded to Sergeant William Wright, 7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, who was wounded whilst attempting to save the guns

Distinguished Conduct Medal, V.R. (Driver W. Wright. R.A.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-19025 clasps, Relief of Ladysmith, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1902 (--061 Dvr: W. Wright. 7th Bty. R.F.A.) this with first two digits of regimental number illegible as a result of edge bruising, clasps mounted in order stated and 2nd, 3rd and 4th clasps all tailor’s copies; 1914 Star, with clasp (98716 Bmbr. W. Wright. R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals (98716 Sjt. W. Wright. R.A.) first two medals with some heavy edge bruising and contact wear, therefore good fine, otherwise generally very fine (5) £2600-3000


D.C.M. London Gazette 26 January 1900.

In addition to the twelve D.C.M’s awarded to the 7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery for the final desperate attempt to save the guns at Colenso, Captain H. L. Reed gained the award of the Victoria Cross, the citation for which states: ‘Captain Reed, who had heard of the difficulty, shortly afterwards brought down three teams from his battery to see if he could be of any use. He was wounded as were five of the thirteen men who rode with him, one was killed; and thirteen out of twenty-one horses were killed before he got half way to the guns, and he was obliged to retire.’

William Wright was born in Battersea, London in 1881 and enlisted into the Royal Artillery in August 1897 at which time he gave his trade as being a labourer. He saw active service during the Boer War, his service papers noting gallant conduct ‘at Colenso 15 December 1899 assisting in the attempt to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, R.F.A.’ and ‘wounded in action at Colenso, South Africa.’ He stayed on serving with the Royal Artillery until his discharge in August 1913, being recalled for service the following year for the Great War where he served on the Western Front with the 8th Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery from 6 November 1914, before transferring to the Labour Corps.