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Militaria & Ethnographica - Sale Results September 2021

9th September 2021.

Rare medals awarded to Corporal John Rushton who fought in the Battle of Waterloo sold for £4,500 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Militaria and Ethnographic Sale on 8th September. The medals comprise a Military General Service Medal with clasp for Talavera, and the Waterloo Medal.

John Rushton, a labourer from Elston, Nottinghamshire, was born circa 1792. He enlisted in the 23rd Regiment Light Dragoons in 1808 and went on to fight at the Battle of Talavera in 1809, which took place southwest of Madrid as part of the Peninsular War. The 23rd Regiment bore the brunt of the British attack on the French Infantry, and Rushton was wounded alongside 3717 of his comrades. He was promoted to Corporal in 1815, and in the same year fought at Waterloo, and he is listed on the Waterloo Medal Roll. He was discharged in 1817 when his regiment was disbanded, was admitted as a Chelsea Pensioner in 1853 at the age of 61 and died in 1866.

A rare First World War Memorial Plaque in memory of Nursing Sister Emily Dawes sold for £3,000. Memorial Plaques were issued to the next of kin of all British Empire service personnel who died as a result of the First World War and were nicknamed the ‘Dead Man’s Penny’. Around the outside is the legend ‘HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR’, altered to ‘SHE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR’ for female personnel as in this case. Over 1.3m plaques were issued, of which it is thought that over 600 were awarded to women. Alice Emily Dawes, known as Emily, was born in London on 7th December 1889, and enlisted in the Army on 15th October 1917. She served as a Nursing Sister with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service but died of influenza and pneumonia on 23rd October 1918. Emily was buried in Bedford Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave. 

Sparking interest and selling for £700 and doubling the bottom estimate was a George III Brass Crossbelt Plate to the Loyal Macclesfield Volunteer Infantry, which was found buried in a garden in Harrogate. Also selling well was a Victorian Eastern Counties Railway Truncheon, which sold for £600 and a Japanese Shin Shinto Tanto (short dagger), which sold for £2,200.

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £59,480 with an 88% sold rate for 235 lots.


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