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 £600

Estimate: £400 - £500

South Africa 1834-53 (J. Holton. Rl. Saprs. & Minrs.) two small edge bruises, otherwise good very fine £340-£400 £400-£500


James Holton was born in the Parish of St John, Portsea, Hampshire, and attested for the Royal Sappers and Miners in London on 17 June 1837, aged 22 years 6 months, a mason by trade. He served abroad at the Cape of Good Hope for 12 years, including service with the 10th Company in the Kaffir War of 1846-47, and in Western Australia for 6 years 6 months. Upon his discharge from the Royal Engineers on 16 June 1858, the Medical Report stated ‘Chronic Rheumatism. Invalided from Swan River, Australia, having completed twenty one years service & feeling incapacitated for the further active discharge of his duties.’ He had by then been awarded the L.S. & G.C. medal with Gratuity of £5. Sold with copied discharge papers.

James Holton received Prince Albert’s bronze medal and a present of a writing case for services at the Great Exhibition of 1851. He served in the 20th Company in Western Australia and arrived on board the Anna Robertson at Fremantle on 18 December 1851. His duties included that of Instructing Warder, overseeing the work of convict labourers. He was at King George’s Sound (Albany) Convict Depot from February 1852 to December 1855. He departed from Fremantle on 2 February 1858, on board the barque Dolphin, bound for London, to receive his discharge.