In March, 2011, a rare group of 22 orders and medals came up for sale at Smiths Newent, a Gloucestershire-based auction house in England. Said to be the “pick of the lots”, they were valued at £15,000 and there was a healthy interest in these medals as they had belonged one of Britain’s top military surgeons, Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Thomas Sloggett. He came to South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War as principal medical officer at the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital and commandant for the district of Deelfontein in the Karoo. He was also deputy administrator of the Cape Colony from February 28, 1900, to August 23, 1902. While in this country, Col Sloggett indulged his interest in natural history and ecology and establishing a menagerie at the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital to educate and entertain the patients. Constantly searching for the unusual led him to discovered a rather rare little vlei rat which was named in his honour (Otomys sloggetti). Sloggett’s medals, awarded for service between 1916 and 1918, fetched £24,000 – the top price at the auction.
© Rose’s Roundup, June 2011 (No 209)
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