Sale of Lord Raglan collection 'tragic'
THE chairwoman of a Gwent civic society has called for a "tragic" sale of war memorabilia from the home of Lord Raglan to be stopped.
Next Wednesday [APRIL 4] London auctioneers Christie's are to sell a private collection of historic medals, arms and armour from Cefntilla Court on behalf of Lord Raglan's heir and nephew Henry van Moyland.
Ann Morse, chairwoman of Usk Civic Society, claims the auction is not what the Monmouthshire lord would have wanted.
Meanwhile it has emerged that Lord Raglan's heir has put Cefntilla Court on the market at a guide price of £2 million.
Ms Morse said Usk Civic Society, which Lord Raglan served as president of from 1973 until he died in 2010, was shocked by the sales: "We are pretty sure that he would have wanted it all kept together."
She said that the house was given to the son of the first Lord Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, in recognition of his father's achievements as a soldier and to be with the family for perpetuity.
FitzRoy Somerset, Lord Raglan's great-great-grandfather, commanded British forces in the Crimean War and gave the order that resulted in the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade.
"It's an important, almost unique collection of military memorabilia concerning not only Wellington's campaign in the Napoleonic wars, but also the Crimea War."
Lord Raglan, and I suspect his predecessors, regarded themselves as custodians of the collection and the house."
She said it would be better, if the collection can't be kept at the house, for it to be handed to an organisation such as the National Army Museum or the National Trust.
A national Raglan Rescue campaign has been launched against the sale, hoping that a delay will allow time so institutions, friends and family can raise funds to buy the collection, thought to be worth more than £750,000.
Emma Woollcott, lawyer for Mr van Moyland, said he and Lord Raglan's lawyer Jonathan Stephens are legally entitled to sell the estate's assets."
Our client has no desire to contribute further", she added.
For more information on the campaign visit www.raglanrescue.co.uk.
CEFNTILLA Court, Lord Raglan's ancestral home, could be yours at a guide price of £2 million.
The home with 62.5 acres of land, 15 bedrooms, four reception rooms and a garden is being sold by estate agents Knight Frank.
The grade two listed country house includes garaging for at least five cars, and a three bed cottage.
The original Jacobean house, likely build in the early 1600s, fell into disrepair but was rescued in 1856 by the Raglan Memorial Committee, who purchased the house and estate for the widow and descendants of the first Lord Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset.
Items for sale at the Chrisitie's auction next week include honorary awards and medals awarded to the first Lord Raglan and Crimean artefacts such as the bridle reputedly worn by the horse of the first casaulty of the Charge of the Light Brigade, Captain Nolan.
A total of 300 lots are on offer, with arms, armour, furniture, silver, books, Indian weapons and other items from the collection being sold.
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