A Small Collection of Medals to War Correspondents

Date of Auction: 16th July 2020

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,400

The rare ‘double issue’ pair of Queen’s South Africa Medals awarded to Captain J. N. Greenlees, Colonial Defence Force, who also served as a War Correspondent for The Times in South Africa during the Boer War

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Wepener, Transvaal, Wittebergen (Capt. J. N. Greenlees. Col: Defence Force.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, no clasp (Mr. J. N. Greenlees. “Times.”) officially re-impressed naming to latter, nearly extremely fine and a rare pair (2) £2,000-£2,400


James Neilson Greenlees was born in Glasgow on June 1852 at Glasgow, and was educated at Blair Lodge School and Edinburgh University. He arrived in South Africa 1871, and developed various business interests, including diamond prospecting, stockbroking, and running a wholesale mercantile business in Newcastle, Natal, where he was head of Municipality in 1883. Prior to the outbreak of the Boer War he was residing in Johannesburg, where he was a Director of several companies and was on the committee of the Stock Exchange.

Following the outbreak of the Boer War Greenlees was appointed War Correspondent to The Times and was with General French in the Colesberg District. He also joined the Colonial Defence Force under General Brabant in December 1899, serving as the General’s Aide de Camp, and went through all the division’s fighting, including the siege of Wepener, until January 1902, when, on the re-organisation of the Colonial Defence Force, he retired and returned to Johannesburg.