Auction Catalogue

20 August 2020

Starting at 10:00 AM


The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria

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№ 423


20 August 2020

Hammer Price:

Six: Captain J. W. Reid, 3rd Middlesex Artillery Volunteers and City of London Imperial Volunteers, later Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery, who commanded No. 1 Company, Mounted Infantry, City Imperial Volunteers during the Boer War

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (Capt. J. W. Reid. C.I.V.); 1914-15 Star (Lt: Col: J. W. Reid. R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals (Lt. Col. J. W. Reid.); Coronation 1911 (Col. J. W. Reid. R.F.A. (T.)) contemporarily impressed naming; City of London Imperial Volunteers for South Africa 1899-1900 Medallion, 76mm, bronze, the obverse featuring a seated female figure with sword, presenting the freedom of the city to a uniformed man in the City Imperial Volunteers, the reverse featuring the radiant sun of the British Empire shining behind a hill which is surmounted by a tall staff flying the Union Flag and C.I.V. Flag, guarded by two guns, the edge inscribed in large capitals ‘J. W. Reid, Captn. C.I.V.’ in fitted and embossed case of issue; together with the recipient’s related miniature awards, good very fine or better (6) £600-£800

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria.

View The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria


John Watt Reid was born on 14 July 1865. A Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 16 September 1885 and seconded for service as an Adjutant of the Volunteer Artillery on 1 January 1894. Promoted Captain on 19 November 1895 and appointed to the 1st Hampshire (Southern Division, Royal Artillery) Volunteers on 24 November 1897, he then served as Officer Commanding No. 1 Company, Mounted Infantry, City Imperial Volunteers, during the Boer War. He took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900, including operations at Paardeberg (17 to 26 February); operations at Vet River (5 and 6 May) and Zand River; operations in the Transvaal in May and June 1900, including actions at Pretoria and Diamond Hill (11 and 12 June).

Captain Reid is described in complimentary terms by Walter Woodford in his diary published under the title, ‘
C.I.V.M.I. South Africa 1900, “L” Co. At the Front’:
‘Captain Reid was a very able and popular officer, and very much liked by his men. He was too straightforward to be on good terms with the “Unpopular Staff Officer”, so it was decided that No. 1 Company should, in future, work independently under his command. The camp was better arranged and managed, and the men were much happier and more comfortable under Captain Reid’s charge.’

Reid was also probably responsible for saving Woodford’s life in defying the Senior Medical Officer’s refusal to have Woodford admitted to the hospital when suffering from pneumonia and enteric:
‘I went to see the senior medical officer, telling him that I felt much worse. I told him that I thought I had fever. He examined my pulse, and said he found no trace of fever. I was again given two tabloids but not allowed to go to hospital. I complained. Captain Ryan came to see me saying, “Now look here Woodford, the senior medical officer is my superior, therefore, I cannot do anything contrary to him”. In the afternoon the senior officer of my Company came to see me; he felt my pulse and took my temperature, which latter was 102 degrees. Captain Reid, on his own responsibility, ordered me to be taken at once to the hospital.’

Appointed Honorary Colonel Commandant of 3rd Middlesex R.G.A. (Volunteers) on 28 June 1901, Reid later served as Colonel, 5th London Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, resigning in 1913. Returning to duty on the outbreak of the Great War, he was appointed Temporary Captain, Royal Field Artillery on 2 September 1914 and Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel on 30 April 1915, proceeding to France on 24 July 1915 as Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery.

Sold with the recipient’s Freedom of the City of London certificate, this mounted in a glazed frame; together with an invitation to the 3rd Middlesex (R.G.A.) Volunteers Regimental Distribution of Prizes, 4 March 1903; a small quantity of wedding invitations, cards and menus; and a letter (with envelope) from Buckingham Palace, dated 11 July 1913, accepting the recipient’s resignation from the Command of the 5th London Brigade, R.F.A..