Raglan militaria collection auction to go ahead despite controversy


2015-06-26 13:37:52


Raglan militaria collection auction to go ahead despite controversy

The Raglan militaria collection auction features superb Crimean and Napoleonic items

The controversial auction of the Raglan militaria collection is to go ahead after a protracted legal challenge was dropped.

Raglan Collection MilitariaThis sword, which was included in the original sale, was presented to General Don Alava, the only man to have been present at both Waterloo and Trafalgar

The collection, which contains the most important items from the Crimean and Napoleonic wars, belonged to Lord Raglan, Fitzroy Somerset, who died in 2010. It was then passed to his nephew Henry van Moyland, who had originally planned to auction the militaria at Christie's in April 2012.

However, he faced protests from another nephew of Lord Raglan, Arthur Somerset, who filed a High Court action to bar the sale. Somerset died in July 2012, but his wife proceeded with the action until recently, when a compromise was reached.

The first Lord Raglan served as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, and married the Duke's niece, Lady Emily Harriet Wellesley-Pole. His medals, honorary awards and distinctions make up a large part of the offering.

Mr Van Moyland had hoped to sell the collection to the National Army Museum or the National Trust for Wales (Lord Raglan's estate, Cefntilla, is in Monmouthshire), but the public sale will now be held between May and July.

Included in the collection are some of the most important items of the period, including the bridle from the horse of Captain Louis Nolan, the man who delivered the orders that prompted the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Also starring is the hat cockade Marshal Blucher wore as he saved the day at the Battle of Waterloo.

While a compromise was reached between Lord Raglan's relatives, there remains opposition from campaign group Raglan Rescue, which believes the collection should be preserved for posterity.

Group organiser Bettina Harden told WalesOnline: "The worst possible outcome would be if the whole collection went to sale and all sorts of interested people paid incredible sums of money and they were lost to this country. That would be utterly tragic."

This is certainly the time to buy memorabilia from the Battle of Waterloo, with the 200th anniversary of the event coming up in 2015. Paul Fraser Collectibles has a strand of hair from the Duke of Wellington, as well as a strand from his greatest enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte.

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