The 5ft 4in (1.62m) long scarves were created in the last months of Victoria’s life in 1901. She specified they would be distributed to four British and four colonial soldiers. The recipients were selected by ballot, with units of soldiers choosing the most deserving among them.
One of these scarves will be offered at London saleroom Spink & Son on July 26, together with the medal group of the original recipient – William Thomas Colcough (1872-1955) of the 2nd Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment.
The saleroom says: “Exact details of Colcough’s service are not available but it is clear from the clasps attached to his Queen’s South Africa Medal that he was in the thick of the action with his battalion from the end of 1899.
“That he earned the respect of his comrades is beyond doubt since it was they who voted, almost unanimously, that he was the one NCO in the battalion most deserving of the scarf.”
The scarf remained in his family and was consigned to Spink by a direct descendant. It is the only one of the eight Victoria scarves currently recorded in private hands.
The estimate is £8000-12,000.