Auction sells soldier’s ‘exceptional’ medals

Horace Collier-Gates' medals
Horace Collier-Gates' medals

The remarkable military career of a Scarborough soldier is being highlighted as a collection of 20 of his medals goes under the hammer.

Described by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden as “an exceptional group of miniature orders, medals, and decorations, the lot represents the military achievements of Scarborough man Major Horace Collier-Gates.

Born in 1865, Maj Collier-Gates qualified as a doctor, but throughout his long life he was constantly attracted to the military, serving in many different capacity all across the world.

Maj Collier-Gates saw service as a trooper in the Mounties, as a Sergeant in the Bulawayo Field Force during the Matabele Rising, in Remington’s Scouts and with the late Lord Strathcona’s Horse during the Boer War.

His civilian medical training was also put to use in his military career as he served as an army doctor in the Sudan and during the Relief of Pekin.

At the outbreak of the First World War, although by then nearly 50-years-old, Maj Collier-Gates left medicine once again and joined the Royal Flying Corps where he trained as a pilot.

Following the First World War he joined the Legion of Frontiersmen.

Maj Collier-Gates’ extensive military service was decorated deservedly resulting in the group of 20 miniature medals which he wore regularly until his death in 1951.

The medals, pictured above, comprise of from left, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem; British South Africa Company Medal, with clasps for Rhodesia 1896 and Mashonaland 1897; the Queen’s Sudan Medal; the Queens South Africa, with five clasps for respectively Tugela Heights, Wepener, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek and Wittebergen; the King’s South Africa Medal with clasps for service in 1901 and 1902, the China Medal with one clasp for the Relief of Pekin; Natal Rebellion with one clasp dated 1906; the 1914 Star and Bar; British War and Victory Medals; Royal Humane Society Medal in bronze; the French Legion d’Honneur; the Belgian Order of Leopold with Swords; the French Medaille Militaire; the Croix de Guerre with Palm; the Belgian Croix de Guerre; the Russian Cross of St George in silver; the Khedive’s Sudan Meal with one clasp for The Atbara; the French Ministry of the Interior’s Medal for Acts of Self Sacrifice and the Ministry of War’s Medal for Self Sacrifice in Epidemics.

The auction of Maj Collier-Gates’ medals is being held on November 29 at Sotheby’s in London. They are expected to sell for between £600 and £800.