The McAlister and Bassage Family Medals

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Date of Auction: 28th February 2018

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Pair: Sergeant-Major J. Bassage, Melmoth Reserves, late 2/24th Foot

South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1877-8-9 (2452 Corpl. J. Bassage. 2.24th Foot.); Natal 1906, 1 clasp, 1906 (Sgt. Maj: J. Bassage, Melmoth Reserves) the first lightly polished, very fine, otherwise nearly extremely fine (3) £800-1000


John Thomas Bassage was born in Maidstone, Kent, on 25 July 1855. He served with the 2/24th Foot in South Africa 1877-79 and was discharged in Natal as a Corporal. He married Fanny Hendrietta Starkey in Pietermaritzburg on 10 March 1881, and had two sons, John James and Walter Frederick (See Lots 250 and 251). In 1903 the family moved to Melmoth, where a daughter, Isabella Edith, was born but she died in infancy. During the Natal Rebellion of 1906, Bassage was Sergeant-Major in the Melmoth Reserves, then aged 51. He moved back to Pietermaritzburg in 1911 and died in Durban at the age of 78. Sold with a photocopied photograph of the recipient in uniform wearing his Zulu War medal, with his wife and two young sons.