ENGLISH 16TH LANCERS VICTORIA CROSS WINNER’S LANCE CAP.
A most magnificent last pattern lance cap once the property of Lieutenant Viscount Alexander Edward Murray Fincastle VC., 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers. The helmet hardly worn, no moth damage to the ribbed sided mortarboard top, we mention this as on the lance caps this is the most susceptible part being in wool. The helmet is a large size, standard pressed felt construction. A very minor distortion to the area of the skull where the mortarboard top joins the skull itself. All of the gilt lace to the mortarboard top, the area between the skull and the mortarboard top, around the base of the helmet virtually mint bright. A few strands loose to the bullion weave on the short peak on the left hand side. The heavily gilded hand bullion embroidered pompom excellent with its red velvet laying behind the intertwined ‘GVR’ scroll. The helmet plate is the King’s crown dating the helmet from 1911 , complete with all the Battle Honours of the 16th Lancers. The skull itself is superb with its virtually unworn condition light cream Morocco leather liner. Some finger marks behind the front peak. The ‘A. Stone & Sons, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich’ upper inner silk good with small areas missing behind the forehead area of the helmet where the silk has shot slightly and the remains lay within the accompanying named tin. The helmet is also complete with its black swan feather plume, correct officers plume holder, a set of gilded cap lines, its original tin, which has suffered from a slight bit of corrosion to the exterior but is with its name label ‘A.E.Murray Esquire VC 16th Lancers’. Virtually all the japanned finish from the tin has gone, with its accompanying plume tin, which does have some of the japanning remaining. Born April 1871 in London, commissioned 16th Lancers, sent to India, Aide de Comp to Governor General of India from 1895 to 1897, promoted Captain December 1895. In 1896 he accompanied the expedition to the Sudan and saw action in the Mahdist War. On the 17th August 1897 on the Tirah campaign in upper India. He and accompanying officer and men came under heavy fire, Fincastle went to the rescue of a lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, awarded the Victoria Cross for this action 9th November 1897. In 1899 he was posted to South Africa, fought in the 2nd Boer War and was present at the Relief of Kimberley (One of the Battle Honours on the helmet plate). In late 1901 he raised Fincastle’s Horse (31st Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry and was appointed in command of the Battalion). IN 1907 Murray’s father died, he succeeded to the family title becoming the 8th Earl of Dunmore. He returned to active duty in 1914 for World War One serving as a Staff Officer on the Western Front, he was awarded the DSO during the Battle of the Somme, was mentioned in Despatches four times and wounded twice. Died London 29th January 1962 age 90. This must have been his second helmet, the first would have been with the Victorian crown and would have had the name label without the addition of VC, after the First war he had many different public appointment's and being of wealthy extraction would have refreshed his uniforms, a lance cap with a George the 5 th pom pom is very unusual to find,A most beautiful helmet with a fantastic history of a gallant officer.