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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 145

A Great War C.M.G. group of four to Lieutenant-Colonel A. B. Nolan, Army Pay Department, late 3rd Dragoon Guards

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Companion's (C.M.G.) neck Badge, silver-gilt and enamel; British South Africa Company Medal 1890-97, Matabeleland 1893 reverse (Capt. A. B. Nolan 3rd Dragoon Guards); Queen's South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Natal, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Capt: A. B. Nolan. A.P.D.); King's South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Cpt. A. B. Nolan. A.P.D.), good very fine (4)

3 B.S.A.C. Medals for 'Matabeleland 1893' to the 3rd Dragoon Guards, this unique to an Officer.

C.M.G. London Gazette 3 June 1918.

Andrew Bellew Nolan was born on 3 June 1867. He became a 2nd Lieutenant with the 3rd Dragoon Guards on 5 February 1887 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 31 July 1889. He was promoted to Captain on 5 July 1893 and was sent out to South Africa as one of only three servicemen from the 3rd Dragoon Guards serving in the Matabele rebellion of 1893.

In July 1893, the Matabeles raided the Mashonas and then invaded the British settlement at Fort Victoria. It is not clear who instigated this action as King Lobengula was generally considered to be well disposed to the British. As action was considered necessary to defend the settlers and stop further Matabele encroachment, three mounted columns were organised; one at Tuli, one at Salisbury, and the third at Fort Victoria.

The Salisbury and Fort Victoria columns moved off and joined together at Intaba Zimbi (Iron Mine Hill), 16 October. They were attacked on the Shangani River, 24 October, and on the Mbembesi (M'Bembezu), 1 November. It transpired later that Lobengula had sent envoys to try to secure peace but, by mistake, they had been shot at Tati on or about 23 October, so the advance to Bulawayo was undertaken with the object of capturing Lobengula who had fled by the time his village was entered, 4 November. Messages were sent offering him safe conduct, but as no answer was received, on the 14th a force under Major Forbes was sent to capture him. On 3 December, it reached Shangani River and a small party of about 30 men under Major Alan Wilson crossed to arrest him.

Whilst these men were on the other bank, the river rose rapidly in flood, cutting them off. Here they were attacked by an overwhelming force of Matabeles, against whom they made their epic stand.

The Matabele chiefs eventually surrendered, 14 January, and Lobengula died of fever on the 23 January.

Nolan was the only Officer of the regiment present and was joined by Sergeant A. W. S. Donald and Lance Corporal J. Firm for the campaign. A total of 88 Medals were awarded to Imperial troops.

He was appointed to Paymaster with the Army Pay Department on 30 October 1897 and was allowed to take this Substantive rank on this appointment. He became the Staff Paymaster on 10 November 1904 and was also promoted to Substantive Major the same day. He was further given the promotion to 1st Class Assistant Accountant within the Army Accounts Department on 1 May 1905. Nolan was promoted to Substantive Lieutenant Colonel on 10 November 1909 and was given the role of 1st Class Accountant for the second time on 31 December 1909.

He remained in the United Kingdom for the duration of the Great War and was awarded a C.M.G. on 3 June 1918 for his wartime service.

Retired from the Army in 1923 and in a civilian capacity became Director of the Fairbanks Gold Dredging Company Ltd and died on 5 March 1932 at New Park, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland.

For his miniature Dress medals, please see Lot 345.

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