A Collection of Awards for the Boer War formed by Doug Jenkins

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Date of Auction: 27th September 2017

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £2,800 - £3,200

A Boer War D.C.M. group of eight awarded to Squadron Sergeant Major G. W. Mortiboy, 18th Hussars, attached Bethune’s Mounted Infantry, later City of London Imperial Yeomanry

Distinguished Conduct Medal, E.VII.R. (Serjt:-Maj: G.W. Mortiboy. Bethune’s M.I.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 6 clasps, Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (2734 Sq. Sjt. M: G.W. Mortiboy. 18/Hrs.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (2734 S. Serjt:-Maj: G. Mortiboy. 18th. Hussars); Defence Medal; Coronation 1902, bronze; Coronation 1937; Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (2734 Sq: Sjt: Maj: G.W. Mortiboy. 18th. Hussars.); Meritorious Service Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue (Sq. S. Mjr. G.W. Mortiboy. D.C.M. 18-Hrs.) very fine or better (8) £2800-3200


D.C.M. London Gazette 31 October 1902.

George William Mortiboy, was born in Edmonton, Middlesex, in 1864 and attested for the 18th Hussars in October 1884. He was promoted Corporal in May 1888 and Sergeant in September of the following year, and served with the Regiment in India from September 1891 to October 1898, being promoted Squadron Sergeant Major in May 1894. He sailed with the Regiment to South Africa in October 1898, and saw action during the Boer War, both with the 18th Hussars and subsequently on attachment with Lieutenant-Colonel Bethune’s Mounted Infantry from 20 December 1899:
‘While we were at Ladysmith a force under Colonel Bethune had been holding Greytown and the line of the Tugela, that force being five squadron’s Bethune’s Mounted Infantry, one squadron Umvoti Mounted Rifles, two 12-pounders, R.G.A., two 7-pounders, Natal Field Artillery, two Hotchkiss, Natal Field Artillery, and six companies of Imperial Light Infantry. This force I had directed to advance concurrently with our advance on Vermaak’s Kraal, and we established connection with it on the morning of 13th May. Colonel Bethune’s arrangements had been very good. He had seized during the night, with his left, the hills which commanded the southern sides of the pass up which we had approached. Shortly before noon we advanced up the pass. The enemy made a poor defence and fled, pursued by the Colonial mounted troops, and Natal was, almost without loss, cleared of the enemy.’ (General Buller’s Despatch, dated 24 May 1900 refers).

Mortiboy was twice Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 8 February 1901 and 29 July 1902), the first being in the Despatch quoted above, and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Returning home, he was awarded the 1902 Coronation Medal for forming part of the Coronation contingent, and received his Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 11 April 1903. He transferred to the City of London Imperial Yeomanry (Rough Riders) on 16 May 1903, and retired as Squadron Sergeant Major on 1 May 1911. He re-enlisted for service during the Great War in the City of London Yeomanry Reserve on 14 September 1914, and served throughout the War at home as regimental Sergeant Major, finally being discharged on 23 May 1919. He was awarded his Meritorious Service Medal in June 1939, and died in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on 12 March 1948.

Sold together with a silver three piece presentation tea set, by Joseph Rodgers and Sons, Sheffield, silver (Hallmarks for Sheffield 1910), the tea pot inscribed ‘Presented to S.S.M. G. W. Mortiboy by his comrades in the City of London Yeo. (Rough Riders) on his retirement 1st May 1911’; a silver 12-inch presentation salver, by Joseph Rodgers and Sons, Sheffield, electro-plated, inscribed ‘Presented to S.S.M. G. W. Mortiboy by the Members of Permanent Staff City of London Yeo. (Rough Riders) on his retiring 1st May 1911’; the recipient’s Bible, given to him by his grandmother, with handwritten details of his military service on the flyleaf; two photographs of the recipient; and various research, magazines, and pamphlets.