The East Surrey Regiment
The President’s Gong
"Presented to the Officers of 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment. From the Officers of 17th Battalion The North Sydney Regiment.
Australian Miltary Forces 1936
The Chinese Ornaments
The Dogs: “From the Emperor’s Summer Palace Pekin. Presented to the Mess of the 31st Regiment by Lieutenant F W H D Butler 31st Regt”.
The Vases: “Presented to the Mess of the 31st Regiment by Lieutenant A Gow. 31st Regt”.
These Ornaments were taken from the Emperor of China’s Summer Palace during the loot of Pekin in the Chinese War of 1860.
Whilst Major Toby Taylor was PMC he had these ornaments valued. They were valued by a 'Ming' expert from Spinks, Antique and Oriental department, London. The expert was overwhelmed at the collection. The little figure in the centre, like a dragon on top of a barrow was, he recalls quite unique. The Emperor would not have had any inferior items or rubbish in his palace.
He remembered the name Gow very well, because he had valued similar pieces for the Gow family. Lieutenant Gow, quite sensibly kept some pieces for himself. Gow told the story how he had 'rescued' it all from a French soldier who was taking it away in a wheelbarrow! He had 'saved’ it by his actions. That was his story anyway. At least some of the 'loot' was given to his regiment. At one of the disposal of silver sales held in the late 1950s early 1960s these pieces were disposed of.