A Collection of Medals for Campaigns in Africa

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Date of Auction: 6th December 2017

Sold for £1,900

Estimate: £600 - £700

Four: Captain John Keenan, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 6 clasps, Talana, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek, Tugela Heights (4480 Cpl. J. Keenan, Rl. Dublin Fus:) unofficial rivets between top two clasps; King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (4480 Serjt: J. Keenan. Rl: Dublin Fus:); Africa General Service 1902-56, 1 clasp, N. Nigeria 1904 (2796 Serjt. J. Keenan. Rl. Dublin Fus.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (4480 C. Sjt: J. Keenan. R. Dublin Fus.) light contact marks, otherwise nearly very fine or better and rare (4) £600-700


John Kennan was born in 1880 in the Parish of St Paul’s, Dublin. He joined the 4th (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers at Naas on 27 July 1892, a messenger by trade. Following service in India, 1894-96, Keenan served with the regiment in South Africa (Queen’s medal with 6 clasps, King’s medal with two clasps). In 1903, while in Malta, he re-engaged for a further period of service and in the following year, after a brief period at Home, he was seconded to the West African Frontier Force, 26 July 1904, and spent the period July 1904 to February 1904 campaigning in the north-eastern region of Nigeria, attached to the Northern Nigeria Regiment of the W.A.F.F. (Medal with clasp). After his return from Africa, Keenan was promoted to Colour-Sergeant, and in 1911 was awarded the L.S. & G.C. medal with a Gratuity of £5. He was discharged at Naas on 26 July 1913, on termination of his second period of engagement. Recalled for service in World War 1, he was gazetted as temporary Second Lieutenant on probation on 18 February 1916, and as temporary Lieutenant and Adjutant, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, on 24 August 1917. He was promoted to temporary Captain, 2nd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, on 8 January 1917, and had the dubious privilege of prosecuting a comrade as a Court Martial, a detailed account of which was published in the Dublin Evening News. The malefactor, a professional billiards player named Joseph Brady was found not guilty, transferred to the 1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and was killed in action in France on 1 March 1917. Keenan himself died from ill-health in Dublin on 26 March 1917. His Great War service all being ‘at home’, he did not qualify for any medals (m.i.c. confirms). Sold with copied discharge papers and other research.