The Late Bruce C Cazel Collection of British Campaign Awards

Date of Auction: 16th November 2009

Sold for £710

Estimate: £450 - £500

Five: Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Brown Thorburn, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Lieut., A. & S. Hdrs.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (Lt., A. & S. Hgrs.); 1914 Star, with clasp (Capt., A. & S. Highrs.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col.) some contact marks and edge bruising, very fine and better (5)


Adam Brown Thorburn was born on 14 October 1880, the eldest son of Sir Michael Grieve Thorburn, Lord Lieutenant of Peebleshire. He was educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Military Academy. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on 6 December 1899 and was advanced to Lieutenant in September 1901. With his battalion he served in the Boer War, participating in operations in the Orange Free State, February-May 1900; Transvaal, east and west of Pretoria, July-November 1900, including the action at Zilikats Nek; and operations in Orange River Colony, May-November 1900. Later in operations in the Transvaal and Cape Colony, November 1900-May 1902. Thorburn was promoted to Captain in May 1909 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion in 1912. With the onset of war, he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war in command of “A” Company, 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on 10 August 1914. He was promoted to Brigade Major in February 1915. On 26 September 1915, Major Thorburn was wounded in action during the battle of Loos. For his services he was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 15 June 1916). Recovering from his wounds he briefly returned to his battalion, June-July 1916, before being appointed to various staff positions. In September 1918 Thorburn was appointed Acting Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry. In May 1919 he was transferred to the 15th Battalion H.L.I., then serving as part of the British occupation force at Cologne. In March 1920 the 15th Battalion returned home and were demobilised; at which time Thorburn reverted to the rank of Major and was placed in command of “A” Company. 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders stationed in India. Then with the temporary rank of Colonel he was placed in command of the battalion, July-November 1920. Ill health forced him to return home on medical leave and in March 1923 he was placed on Half Pay. Lieutenan-Colonel Thorburn died in his sleep on 8 November 1932, while sailing aboard ship between Lerwick and Aberdeen. He was buried at Glenmoriston. With copied research, including obituary and modern photographs of the family memorial.