Lot Archive


№ 55


20 October 1993

Hammer Price:

QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Defence of Ladysmith (Major C.E. Taunton, Natal Carbnrs.) very fine and an important Ladysmith casualty

Major Charles Edmund Taunton was killed in action on November 3rd, 1899 the first day of the siege of Ladysmith He was killed at End Hill, whilst on a reconnaissance from Ladysmith along the Colenso Road, west of Gun Hill. The Free State Commandos were closing in from the west and the Carbineers were dispatched to intercept them. The regiment took up position at End Hill and was immediately in -action. Major Taunton who was in command -, of 'A' Squadron on the extreme right, was killed instantaneously by a bullet whilst using his field glasses, in sublime contempt for danger, to look for snipers. Concerning this reconnaissance Sir A. Conan Doyle writes, the death of Major Taunton, Capt. Knapp, and young Brabant, the son of the general who did such -good service at a later stage of the war, was a heavy price to pay forth knowledge that the Boers were in considerable strength to the South.' Major Taunton was a keen man of business, well known in South African finance, and a director of many of the older gold mining companies. He was a Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute, and his name is inscribed on a memorial tablet in the hall of the building in London. His name is further commemorated in All Saints Church, Ladysmith, on a stained glass window, by a monument on the spot that he was killed, and on a tablet in Maritzburg Cathedral.