The Military Order of the Dragon, U.S.A. as originally issued on silk ribbon with fitted ‘Pagoda’ top bar, Colonel Reginald Ernest Picton, C.B.E., Royal Engineers.
The beautiful Order of the Dragon breast badge, was produced by Bailey Banks & Biddle, of Philadelphia, the top bear bearing their hallmarks.
The organisation was formed during the China War in 1900 by a number of the Officers of the China Relief Expedition in order for the war not to be forgotten and to keep the vast number of Officers of many nations together in perpetuity as they returned home to their homes.
Engraved on the reverse; “Captain Reginald E. Piction, Royal Engineers, No. 472.”
Born on 26th December 1863, at the age of 23, he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers.
Four years later in 1890, he is present on the Somali Coast with the Zaila Field Force, taking part in the ‘Affair at Hussain Zareba’.
During the Boxer Rebellion, he was first Adjutant of the Royal Engineers Headquarters, followed by being posted as Garrison Engineer to the Walled Tartar City.
After this he was Adjutant R.E. of the Line of Communications in October 1900.
He earned the medal with bar Relief of Pekin, having taken part in the Battle of Beicang (Peitsang) on 5th August where the Japanese spearheaded the attack to force the Chinese army into a retreat, he also saw action at Yangtsun (Yangcun) on 6th August this large scale battle forced the Chinese away from Beijing although taking only minor casualties, leading to the next week forcing their way into the walled city and reaching the Legations.
For his service in China he was mentioned in despatches in the Gazette of 21st November 1902;
“The Engineer, Transport and Supply, Post Office, Army Veterinary Department, and Ordnance Departments have all worked well. The force being, however confined to the railway, most of these departments have not had as much heavy work as they would have otherwise had.
As Garrison Engineers, Tientsin, Captain Picton, Royal Engineers, has however had much hard work in dealing with landowners, householders, merchants and allied officers and has done it well.”
He continued his career in India with a number of postings as Officiating Commanding Officer, Royal Engineers, being stationed back in India between the wars,
Army and Navy Gazette 26th August 1907, Major R.E. Picton, R.E., Officiating assistant Commanding Royal Eng., Derajat Brigade, is granted seventy-one days privilege leave from Aug 3.
Army and Navy Gazette 17th April 1909; Majors R.E. Picton, Officiating C.R.E., Dera Ismail Khan, H.R. Stockley, superintendent of instruction, 1st Sappers and Miners, have arrived home from India on leave.
The Army Gazette 26th March 1910 stating; Major R.E. Picton, on return to India from leave, was appointed officiating Assistant C.R.E. At Nowshera.
Promoted to Lieut Colonel in 1911, Army and Navy Gazette; Lieut Colonel R.E. Picton, who has just been promoted to that rank, has been for some time past Assistant C.R.E., Civil District, Quetta.
During WW1 he was serving as a Colonel in India, for his services he earned a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. announced in the London Gazette on 11th June 1920 for wartime service.
He died on 1st January 1932, his obituary in the Derby Daily Telegraph 25th April 1932;
MILTON COLONEL’S WILL
£3,432 ESTATE FOR HIS BROTHER
Colonel Reginald Ernest Picton C.B.E., late Royal Engineers, of Brancote Lodge, Milton, Derby, who die on January 1 Last, aged 68, left estate of the gross value of 3,432 5s 9d, with net personalty £3,252 12s 11d.
Probate has been granted to his brother, Llewellyn Caradoc Picton of the above address, the sole executor.
Col. Picton served in the Royal Engineers, and did extensive service abroad. When he retired from the Army, he spent most of his time out of the country, but when in England stayed with his brother. He was a Carnarvonshire gentleman.