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General W T Dowding, RM - HMS Active
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Dowding's medals sold today at DNW for £11,000 hammer which is a quite astronomical price and around double that I would have expected.
A rare and important South Africa Medal pair awarded to General T. W. Dowding, Royal Marines, who commanded the R.M. Naval Brigade in South Africa from December 1877 until July 1879, gaining a brace of “mentions” and the Brevet of Major: a little over 30 members of the Royal Marines qualified for the ‘1877-8-9’ clasp, Dowding’s example being unique to an officer

South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1877-8-9 (Lieut. T. W. Dowding, R.M., H.M.S. Active); Jubilee 1897, silver, with original wearing bar, light contact marks, very fine or better (2) £1200-1500
Footnote
Townley Ward Dowding, who was born near Salisbury, Wiltshire, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Portsmouth Division, R.M., in June 1865. One of his early ship appointments was in H.M.S. Warrior, in which period he was advanced to Lieutenant.

Of his subsequent services in South Africa, the following extracts have been taken from his service record:

‘Commanded Royal Marines of Naval Brigade from December 1877 to April 1878; was present at the operations against the Kaffirs in the Transkei and at the engagement of Newmaxa and Zuinand, also in subsequent operations in the Peiri bush.

Mentioned in Despatch of General Officer Commanding the Troops at the Cape of Good Hope to War Office, 20 January 1878: ‘Most valuable assistance was rendered by the Royal Marines under Lieutenant Dowding’; further Lieutenant-General the Hon. Thesiger, C.B., to the Secretary of State for War, dated 29 July 1878, requests the Admiralty may be informed that Lieutenant Dowding, R.M., ‘gave him every satisfaction in the manner he exercised his command in the force engaged against the Kaffirs in March 1878.’

Zulu War 1879: Mentioned in Commodore Sullivan’s despatch of 3 February 1879 (Gazette 11 March 1879): ‘appears to have handled his men with skill, and to have shown here, as he did in the late war in Cape Colony, all the attributes of a good soldier.’

Landed in command of Royal Marines of Active from November 1878 to July 1879; was with No. 1 Column, present at the battle of Inyezane, also for two and a half months in Ekowe during the occupation; subsequently with No. 1 Column at the opening of Port Durnford and the operations near the Umlatoosi River (Mentioned in Despatches - Gazette 7 November 1879); specially promoted to the rank of Captain for services (Board letter, 17 November 1879); Brevet rank of Major in recognition of his services in the Field in South Africa in the years 1877-8-9.’

Dowding’s service record also confirms his award of the Jubilee Medal 1897, when he was serving as a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in the Chatham Division, R.M.

His final appointment was an Inspector of Marine Recruiting and he was appointment Colonel Commandant in October 1900 and a Major-General in October 1902. Having then been placed on the Retired List, he received advancement to General in November 1910 and died in September 1927; sold with copied service record and medal and clasp roll verification.
http://www.dnw.co.uk/auctions/catalogue/lot.php?auction_id=345&lot_id=784
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Any idea of purchaser? I can't open the link but I'm curious how it goes for 7x the estimate.

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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No idea at all. The view among several serious RM collectors is that it is a hell of a lot but two people at least must have wanted it for it to go that high.
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General W T Dowding, RM - HMS Active
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