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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 214

(x) The 12th (The Prince of Wales's) Royal Regiment of Lancers

The regiment journeyed to South Africa as reinforcements in 1851, where it faced similar problems to the Dragoons in respect to the small Cape horses; weapons too were hardly ideal for the warfare which faced them, contemporary sources stating the men's lances became useful ridgepoles when makeshift tents were required. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Pole ordered all officers to carry carbines or rifles while his advanced guards used double barrelled carbines.

The Lancers helped to successfully clear the Waterkloof stronghold, but two squadrons were badly mauled in November 1852 when they moved against the Basuto chief Mosesh:

'Suddenly they were charged by a host of Basuto horsemen who had been concealed in dead ground. Tottenham and the men acting as rear-guard were enveloped by the enemy. Many were cut down, for in close work nine-foot lances were no match for assegais and light axes which could be used as swords or throwing weapons.'

Besides the Lancers lost with Tottenham, several men under Captain Oakes and a troop of the Cape Mounted Rifles were cut off early in the action. Desperate riding saved most ranks but some rode into a morass and were butchered. In total, 27 N.C.O.s and men of the 12th were killed.

South Africa 1834-53 (Capt. John W. Fox, 12th. Lancers.), edge bruising, otherwise very fine and toned

John Wilson Fox was born in 1825 and was educated at Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford. Gaining appointment as a Cornet in the 12th Lancers in May 1846, purchased a Lieutenancy in the following year and was present in operations in the Third War in South Africa (Medal). He purchased a Captaincy in July 1850 but sold his commission in 1854. A wealthy landowner, he resided at Statham Lodge, Warrington and Girsby House, Lincolnshire.

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