Lot Archive


№ 414


12 June 1991

Hammer Price:

A fascinating group to John David Candler Wilton, British Consular Service, late Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards and Ensign, Russian Preobrajensky Guards.

BRITISH WAR and VICTORY MEDALS (Lieut.); Russia, ORDER OF ST. STANISLAUS, Military, 3rd class breast badge in gold and enamel, with gilt swords and eagles, in case of issue; Russia, ORDER OF ST. ANNE, special distinction, bullion sword knot with integral length of St. Anne ribbon for attaching to the sword hilt; Preobrajensky Guards, officers badge in silver gilt and enamel, with Russian hallmarks; a similar badge in gilt metal and enamel for other ranks; group of three miniatures mounted for wearing with the ribbon only of St. Anne; a good quality gold and enamel circular jeton, obv. crowned cypher; rev. cyrillic inscription in four lines, awarded to Robert Wilton, in fitted case of issue, generally extremely fine (Lot)

John David Candler Wilton was born in St. Petersburg in 1897, Son of Robert Wilton, Russian correspondent of the New York Herald and of The Times, 1903-1918. John Wilton was enlisted in the ranks of the Preobrajensky Guards in August 1914 by Imperial decree. He served as a volunteer with a half squadron of mounted scouts and was promoted Ensign for distinguished service in April 1915. His commanding officer, Major General Count Ignatieff, wrote, 'During his whole service at the regiment he proved to be an excellent officer, with superior knowledge and skill, always successful in executing orders he received. In the operations under Vilno, commanding the half squadron, he brilliantly reconnoitred the ground on which the regiment attacked the Germans on the 16-29 August 1915, having against him superior forces of German Cavalry.' Wilton was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards, 18 March 1916, and proceeded to France with the second battalion. He was wounded and returned to England on 25 November of the same year, being placed on the half-pay list on 21 January 1919, on account of his wounds. Wilton joined the Consular service in 1920 and held several important posts including Vice-Consul in Vienna 1923-28, Acting Consul General in Rotterdam 1929-30, and Vice-Consul at Havana from February 1931. On 10th August of that year he was found shot in the Legation at Tegucigalpa, an automatic pistol by his side. A quantity of original documents accompany the group including his commission in the Grenadier Guards 1916; letter of appointment as Vice-Consul in Vienna; Royal Warrant of appointment as Vice-Consul at Havana; letter from the Marchioness of Milford Haven to his father, discussing the influence of Rasputin and offering a reward for news of the fate of her sister Grand Duchess Feodorovna; an English translation of General Ignatieff's citation, 1915, and various papers and newspaper cuttings concerning the career and death of John Wilton and his father.