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

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Date of Auction: 25th September 2019

Sold for £460

Estimate: £240 - £300

South Africa 1834-53 (Serjt. M. Neilson. Rl. Arty.) contact marks, otherwise very fine £240-£300


Matthew Neilson embarked with the 5/4th Battalion R.A. in the Adelaide at Woolwich on 15 May 1841, and arrived at Simons Bay on 11 August 1841. Neilson remained on board and proceeded to King William’s Town. On 1 April 1842, 18 men of 5/4th with 1 Howitzer and 2 six-pounder guns left King William’s Town with Captain Smith on the epic overland march to the relief of the 27th Foot, besieged by the Boers at Port Natal, where they arrived on 4th May. 12 men of the 5/4th were killed or wounded in action with the Boers at the battle of Congella. They remained at Port Natal until 1846 when they returned to King William’s Town. Neilson was promoted to Bombardier on 1 August 1846. In December 1848 part of 5/4th were stationed at Bloemfontein to subdue the rebellious Boers. The Battalion returned to England in 1850.