2018-04-24-2019-01-19 --- 2019-01-19 10:52:50--18
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LOT :126
Estimate EUR : €2,000.00 - €3,000.00
Auction Date : 24-04-2018


1916 "Defence of Trinity College" silver presentation cup awarded to Private Garnet Douglas King, issued by West & Son, Dublin and bearing the engraved inscription ''DEFENCE OF T.C.D. / SINN FEIN REBELLION / EASTER 1916,'' to one side and name of recipient on the other.


Following the outbreak of fighting on Easter Monday 1916, Trinity college was immediately closed to secure the grounds. The element of surprise could have left the college in a vulnerable position but the early actions taken by the Officers Training Corps (OTC), university employees and handful of students who were on site, ensured the successful defence of college. The OTC were deployed to the roof with orders to shoot any men not wearing uniforms and so presumed to be rebels.


As most British army personal were caught up with the fighting on mainland Europe and so by Wednesday, the military presence on the campus was augmented by the arrival of soldiers from various regiments who were on leave in the city at the time, as well as some Colonial soldiers (from South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and they effectively took over the operations in the college for the remainder of the week. The cup in question was awarded to one of these Colonial soldiers, Private Garnet Douglas King of the South African Infantry, 4th Regt. He is referred to in a handwritten letter from dated 10 May 1916 from Gerard Fitzgibbon to William Hugh Blake, We had five Anzacs, two, or perhaps three, CanadiansǪ. Three South Africans, one in a kilt (Pte G.D King)Ǫalmost all men on leave or sick furlough in Dublin.


For the early part of the week, the situation was critical, particularly as the colleges strategic position was of great importance to the British. It commanded the heart of the city, between two key rebel strongholds the GPO and St Stephens Green. By maintaining control of the campus, they impeded communication between those two points and were able to inflict considerable damage to the Irish Volunteers. For the British the importance of the successful defence of the college and the surrounding environs, (the Bank of Ireland at College Green was not occupied by the Rebels) can not be underestimated.


After the Rising ended, the Board passed resolution of thanks to those who had assisted in its defence and it was decided to issue Souvenir silver Cups to those who had participated. On Saturday August 5th in the Provost gardens of Trinity College, a presentation was held to commemorate the gallant conduct of OTC and soldiers of the British and Colonial armies. Two large silver presentation cups were presented to Provost Mahaffy and the Commandant of the OTC Captain E.H Alton. Replicas were awarded to remaining troops, including Private King. In a letter written by King to the Lieutenant of the OTC dated August 10th 1916, he askes that silver cup be sent to his mother Mrs. Annie Marie King in Natal, South Africa as he is leaving for France the following day. There is a further letter dated September 11th 1916, from the Lieutenant to Mrs. King, stating her sons wishes but in view of the uncertainty of transit and also the high cost of postage, we propose to retain it here for the present. This would come sooner than anticipated when Pte. King was wounded in action and died on April 4th 1917 aged 28. A telegram records his burial in Etaples Military cemetery in Northern France.




Hammer Price : €5,000.00
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