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I aquired this set of miniatures recently. They are attributed to Lt Col HB Cuming who was Commanding Officer of the Kaffrarian Rifles. The Cape of Good Hope GSM, QSA and KSA are named ! His colleagues had his name engraved on the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration. The QSA has 4 bars - Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen and Wepener. I was very fortunate to get this one. What do you think?

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Great catch - very rare to get "named" miniatures. Cheers Captain Albert

I aquired this set of miniatures recently. They are attributed to Lt Col HB Cuming who was Commanding Officer of the Kaffrarian Rifles. The Cape of Good Hope GSM, QSA and KSA are named ! His colleagues had his name engraved on the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration. The QSA has 4 bars - Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen and Wepener. I was very fortunate to get this one. What do you think?

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Excellent Len!

A really great miniature group. As you know, I am a fan of attributed miniature groups, and this one would be competing for pride of place for sure.

Well done. Very nice catch.

Best regards

Thomas

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Thanks for the feedback guys - I appreciate it.

Hopefully I can display another interesting miniature group soon.

Regards

Len

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I was astounded to come across this post about my grandfather's medals. They were stolen from the family in South Africa and we have been trying to track them down for years, and are so pleased you have been looking after them so well. We would be fascinated to know from whom you bought them, and where. We do hope to hear from you soon, sincerely Maggie Law (nee Cuming).

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Well - this is interesting. First time I recall someone coming forward like this. Mrs. Law - how did you come to learn of these,

I expect from one of our members who was browsing ? The original post was back in 2011.

For the present you must wait to see if Len contacts you. If he misses the post we may contact him on your behalf - however,

only as a reminder. Any decisions taken are between you and nothing to with the Forum.

I am assuming that you had the main medal group stolen as well as the miniatures. ? The other question is - when did the theft

take place - was it a burglary - and was it reported to the Police - also, where were the medals (address) at the time of the theft ?

Best wishes - please contact me should you have any queries that we at GMIC may be able to help you with. Mervyn Mitton

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I was shocked when I received an email this morning!

I have responded to Ms Law and we will discuss the issue.

Len van der Walt

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Hello Mervyn and Len.

Thank you Len for replying to my post. As I said in my email reply , I have forwarded the email to my Mum , who is the Grandaughter of Helier B. Cuming. I was with her on Saturday and we were searching for any information on Colonel Cuming. My Google search turned up Len's post about the medals, so I joined the group to be able to contact Len. We had given up hope of ever finding them. We were delighted to discover they were still around, because after the theft , we assumed that they , along with a quantity of jewellery had been sold and melted as scrap metal.

Both the miniatures and the originals were stolen , but at different times I think, but my Mum ( Maggie Law) should be able to fill you in with more details. They were stolen in South Africa in the 1980's I think.

We have photographs of Helier in his uniform and much information about his date and place of birth and life in the Kaffrarian army.. He was father to my mother's father.

I'm sure she will contact you soon Len, you have my email address, but I added hers in my original message.

Many thanks

Gabrielle ( great granddaughter of HB Cuming )

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How great is that. Would be nice to see the photos.

Edited by Spasm

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Just a final update on this matter.

In the end I reluctantly offered to sell the Miniature group back to the family but they declined the offer feeling that the price was too high.

I am happy about that because I actually did not want to sell.

I now deem this matter to be closed.

Thank you to all who assisted and offered advice and guidance on how to deal with this matter.

Regards

Len

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Interesting...

I don't know how the law applies in SA but assuming it runs along the same lines as the UK then you do not own 'good title' and therefore the medals still belong to the original owners. If there was an insurance pay out then the insurance company would own the medals. I wonder what would happen if the legal owner claims the medals back through the courts. In the UK I believe there would be some compensation pay out to the person who lost money through buying something they didn't know was stolen and was then claimed by the legal owner.

I obviously wasn't party to all the advice and guidance given on how to deal with the matter but if these had been my medals and they were stolen I certainly would not be paying money to get my property back.

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As I understand from the daughter - the medals were stolen in the 1980's - there is no record of a police report

and it isn't even established that they were stolen in Sth. Africa. They think it was probably Zambia or, Rhodesia.

I think that under the circumstances Len has behaved quite honourably - without anything to back the claim, he

has been willing to sell them to the Lady whose Husband they belonged to. And, in my view he is entitled to

ask a fair market price - let the family prove past theft that has been recorded in SA and it might become a different

matter. However, on their word alone that is not sufficient. Mervyn

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To all concerned, the full size medals were stolen in S.A in the 80's and we await confirmation of WHEN the miniatures were stolen from the wife of Colonel Cuming ( my mother's grandmother ) in what was then Rhodesia. As you can imagine it is a tad difficult to get information from there now.

Old Contemptible , I believe there is legislation in South Africa with regards to stolen goods being bought by someone and this is being looked at by a lawyer in South Africa.

Len's price of £400 was way above what we have been assured is a market value for these items, and as my mother informed him , to have to pay that kind of money for something that legally belongs to us is contemptible. We asked Len to provide the name of his seller who may be able to assist us with other items that were stolen at the same time, but he has declined to pass on this information.

My mother is 81 and this has all been very distressing to her. She was delighted when we discovered her grandfather's medals were still in existence , and to think of Len's children holding on to my heritage is sickening. My own children should be able to look at what their fore father earned as an honourable member of the Kaffrarian Rifles. He was also awarded a CB . If you Google Colonel HB Cuming, you will be able to see part of his army career. You may even find a photograph of him seated with his soldiers, looking proud and serious.

His son , my grandfather, served in Egypt during the 2nd World War and also did himself proud in the engineering dept. of the army, where he designed a small mobile fire engine.

To Len these are pretty bits of collectible metal on some ribbon that a gentlemen earned, that have a monetary value to him. To me they are proof of where I come from. I feel incensed by all of this and believe with all my heart that they belong back in my family. It is good to know there are some people on this site that still believe in the old fashioned element of honour. This is how I imagine our fore fathers behaved, with honour.

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I regret that I am now closing this subject. The matter is a private one between Len and the family and should

not be discussed as a general subject. Mervyn

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