The John Nicholson Collection of medals to men who fought in the Kaffir Wars of 1834-53

Date of Auction: 25th September 2019

Sold for £900

Estimate: £500 - £600

South Africa 1834-53 (W. Woollen. 7th Dragn. Gds.) fitted with attractive silver ribbon slide inscribed Kaffraria’ and silver ribbon buckle, better than very fine and a scarce casualty £500-£600


William Woollen was born at Brothwell, near Rotherham, Yorkshire, and attested for the 7th Dragoon Guards on 15 April 1843, aged 20 years 4 months, a joiner by trade. He served for three years nine months, including one year six months at the Cape of Good Hope, and was discharged at Fort Beaufort on 12 March 1847 in consequence of ‘a gun shot wound of right scapula and shoulder.’ His conduct was described as ‘Good’, although once tried by District Court Martial in 1843, of which his papers note ‘Particulars not known in consequence of the Regimental Court Martial Book having been captured in the Kaffir War.’ The Regimental Surgeon states in his Medical Report: ‘I certify that I have examined Pte. William Woollen 7th Dgn. Gds. and find that he has received a gun shot wound of right scapula and shoulder, in consequence of which he is unable to raise his arm; the injury occurred whilst on duty in defending some waggons against an attack of Kaffirs on the 21st of May 1846 - they were proceeding at the time from Trompetters drift Post to Fort Peddie.’ Trooper Woollen was finally discharged at Horse Guards on 12 October 1847, and admitted to an Out-Pension at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, at the rate of 10d per diem.

Sold with copied discharge and pension papers together with other research.