Unique Tibet Victoria Cross Group Expected To Realise £200,000-250,000 In Morton & Eden Auctio The only Victoria Cross awarded for the British campaign in Tibet will be sold by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden in a sale of Medals, Orders and Decorations on July 2
News-Antique.com - Jun 25,2014 - A unique group of medals including the only Victoria Cross awarded for the British campaign in Tibet is to be offered by specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden in a sale of Medals, Orders and Decorations. The sale is on Wednesday July 2.
The medal group awarded to Lieutenant, later Colonel, John Duncan Grant (1890-95), also includes the Distinguished Service Order and the Order of the Bath, and is expected to realise £200,000-250,000.
Grant, who was born in India but educated at Cheltenham College (1890-95) and Sandhurst, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1898 and joined the 8th Gurkha Rifles in 1902. The following year, he was part of a force sent to negotiate with the Dalai Lama to prevent Russian encroachment into India through Tibet, the 'roof of the world'.
However there were barriers on the way to the sacred city of Lhasa, including the strategically located and formidable Gyantse Jong, a fortress 200 miles from Lhasa, likened by some British observers to a landlocked Rock of Gibraltar.
The action to take the jong was seen by many observers, including The Times correspondent Perceval Landon, who filed the following eye witness account on the events of July 6, 1904:
"The rock of Gyantse is so steep that it seemed accessible nowhere except along the main approach which was well defended ... It was a fearful climb, and the top of it was crowned by a well-made wall flanked by two projecting bastions... At a little past three, a concentrated fire from all points was ordered to be directed upon the wall at the head of this steep climb. The common shell used by the ten-pounders was now employed with terrific effect, and one could see, second by second, a large ragged hole being torn open at this point. Clouds of dust arose and slowly drifted away to the west in the slight breeze, and whenever a lull in the cannonade allowed a clear sight, the breach was wider by a yard or two. A constant cataract of stone and brick fell down the face of the rock below, which here was almost sheer for forty feet. It was not shell alone that did this work. Magazine fire was concentrated at the same point, and under this whistling canopy of ball and shell, the Gurkhas were soon seen moving upwards and onwards from the houses at the base of the rock. It was a moment tense with excitement, Lieutenant Grant was in charge of the storming party, and soon the first figures appeared over the belt of houses and trees which hem in the rock on this side. Instantly the fire redoubled, and from three points a converging fire hammered and bit upon the wall above the heads.
"Absolutely confident in the skill of the gunners, the Gurkhas climbed on. Not a Tibetan was seen on the wall above, but through the loop-holes of the bastions a few shots were fired, at what was becoming point blank range, and