Napoleonic Literature
Medals Which Were Awarded to Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artilery for Service in the Peninsular War 1808 to 1814

This article was graciously provided to me by Colonel M.J.N. Richards, Regimental Secretary of The Royal Artillery Institution, London, England, a non-profit charitable institution. The Royal Artillery Institution publishes The Journal of the Royal Artillery, in which this article was originally published.  This article was published in Vol. LI. No. 6. of the journal.


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403


MEDALS WHICH WERE AWARDED TO OFFICERS

OF THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY FOR

SERVICE IN THE PENINSULAR WAR-1808 to 1814.

BY MAJOR (BT. LIEUT.-COLONEL) J. H. LESLIE, R.A. (retired list).

PRIOR to the year 1806 war medals, as we understand them now, were unknown. From that date until the conclusion of the Peninsular War in 1814, their award was limited to Officers only. In making a selection of Officers to whom medals should be granted, the choice of a commander of the Forces was restricted to the following ranks:—

    General Officers.
    Commanding Officers of Brigades.
    Commanding Officers of Artillery and Engineers.
    Adjutant-General and Quarter-Master-General.
    D.A.-Generals, and A.Q.M.-Generals, having the rank of Field
        Officers, and being at the head of the staff with a detached
        Corps, or distinct Division of the Army.
    Military Secretary, having the rank of Field Officer.
    Commanding Officers of battalions, or corps equivalent thereto;1
        and officers who may have succeeded to the actual command
        during the engagement, in consequence of the death or removal
        of the original Commanding Officer.

    The Regulations for the award of medals (London Gazette of 11 September, 1810, and of 9 October, 1813) laid down "that one meda12 shall be borne by each officer recommended for such distinction," and "that for the second and third events, which may be subsequently commemorated in like manner," an officer should bear "a gold clasp attached to the ribbon to which the medal is suspended, and inscribed with the name of the battle or siege to which it relates."



    1  This included Officers of Artillery in actual command of "troops" of Horse Artillery, or "brigades" of guns, irrespective of their rank. The term "brigade" is synonymous with the "battery" of to-day.
    2  The name of the battle was engraved on the reverse of the medal.

Vol. LI.  No. 6.


404

    If a person became entitled to a fourth award, a gold cross was given "in substitution of the distinctions previously granted," with the name of one of the four battles engraved on each arm of the cross. Clasps were added on the ribbon of the cross as required.
    Medals which would have been awarded to officers, had they not been killed in a battle or siege (or had since died), were transmitted to their families.
    The medals were of gold, those for General officers being 2.1 inches in diameter, and those for other officers 1.3 inch, the name of the recipient being engraved on the rim.
    The cross in design is that known as Maltese, 1.5 inch wide, with ornamental border: in the centre a lion statant, in relief. The back of the cross is the same as the front. The name of the recipient is engraved on the edges of the arms.
    The clasps rneasure 2 inches by 6 inch, and, within a border of laurel, is engraved the name of the battle, or siege, for which it was granted.
    The ribbon—crimson with dark blue borders—is 1.75 inch wide.
    During the whole of the Peninsular War—i.e. from 1808 to 1814—only 619 medals were awarded to officers of the British Army (including those serving in the Portuguese Army) for 18 different battles, actions, sieges, and captures of fortresses. Of this number, 48 (see List A) were conferred upon officers of the R.A.
    One of the rules governing the award of medals was "that an Officer shall receive a medal only for a particular action, in which the corps to which he belongs has been engaged with musketry." For this reason officers of the cavalry at Busaco did not receive a medal, and in all Wellington's recommendations the rule was most rigidly adhered to.
    For the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo in January, 1812, the medal was awarded for the storm only, i.e. for the assault and capture. The officers of the besieging and covering forces did not receive it, and none of the Head Quarters' Staff. Two Artillery officers only (Borthwick and Dickson) received it.
    Writing to Lieut-General Sir Stapleton Cotton, Bart., K.B, on 16 November, 1813, Wellington said that at the battle of Fuentes de Oñoro "there was a very heavy cannonade upon the troops, in which many were lost; but the officers of no corps were returned


405

in the list for medals whose corps had not been engaged with musketry with the enemy. That is the rule, and I cannot depart from it." [Wellington's Dispatches. 1838. Vol. Xl, pp. 294-5.]
    It will thus be seen that to win a medal in the days of the Peninsular War was no easy matter.
    In 1847 a silver general service medal, with clasps, was authorized (Horse Guards' General Order, dated 1 June, 1847) for conferment "upon every officer, non-commissioned officer and soldier of the army, who was present in any battle or siege," etc., etc., for which gold medals had previously been awarded.
    The order applied only to men living in 1847, and not to relatives of those who had died. The qualification for the medal was not so stringent as for the original medal, in that the "engaged with musketry" condition was not enforced.
    Nine Artillery officers, as shown in the footnotes of list A, received it, with clasps for battles, sieges, etc., at which they had been present, but whose "troop" or "brigade" had not been engaged with musketry ; or, because their rank did not at that time entitle them to the gold medal.
    The original medal rolls of claimants of the silver medal have been examined by me at the War Office. They are in bad condition, torn and damaged. They are generally headed:—
    "Return of oifficers now, or lately, serving in the Army whose claims to receive
        medals under the General Order of 1 June, 1847, have been examined and
        allowed, showing the regiments in which they formerly served and the battles
        or sieges referred to in the said order at which they were severally found to
        have been present."
    These returns are signed by at least 4 General Officers, who were, apparently, specially appointed to check and verify claims. The work was most punctiliously carried out, as is seen from the remarks which were inserted when a claim was disallowed.
    The following is given as an example. A veterinary-surgeon claimed clasps for Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, San Sebastián, and Toulouse. The examining board remarked, "No duty could devolve on a veterinary surgeon at a siege, but Vet. Surg. —— served with the army at the periods of actions.


406

Allow actions, disallow sieges." And so Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and San Sebastián were cut out.
    In addition to the nine officers, as mentioned in the foot-notes of List A, the silver medal was awarded to 81 officers of the Royal Artillery. One (2nd Captain P. Faddy) received the naval general service medal with clasp for San Sebastián, having been serving in the Fleet.
    List B gives the names of these officers.

List A.

    Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery to whom gold crosses, medals and clasps were awarded during the Peninsular War—1808 to 1814—showing the Battles, Sieges, etc., for which they were awarded.
    These are indicated by reference numbers which correspond with those given in the list of "Officers to whom Her Majesty has granted silver medals," published for the first time in the Official Monthly Army List of April, 1849.
 

  2. Roleia. 15. Badajoz.
  3. Vimiera. 16. Salamanca.
  4. Sahagún and Benavente.  18. Vittoria.
  5. Corunna. 19. Pyrenees.
  7. Talavera. 20. San Sebastián.
  9. Busaco. 22. Nivelle.
10. Barrosa. 24. Nive.
11. Fuentes de Oñoro. 25. Orthes.
12. Albuera. 26. Toulouse.
14. Ciudad Rodrigo.

    It would be interesting if the present resting-place of these crosses and medals could be ascertained and placed upon record. Some are known, as here noted. Information as to others is desired.

Dickson, A. In the Museum of the R.A. Institution, Woolwich.
Frazer, A. S. In the collection of Colonel A. E. Whitaker.
Greene, W.       ,,         ,,       ,,   Messrs. Vickers, Ltd., Sheffield.
Robe, W. In the Museum of the R.A.I., Woolwich.
   ,,   , W. L.    ,,                   ,,                      ,,
Sillery, C. D. The property of a descendant of C. D. Sillery.


OVERLEAF OF PAGE 406


 

GUNNER THOMAS ROLLAND'S SILVER MEDAL, WITH 13 CLASPS,
FOR SERVICE IN THE PENINSULAR WAR, 1808 TO 1814.

He belonged to Captain Robert Lawson's company, 8th battalion, R.A.,
now (1925) 87th Field Battery, R.A., the only R.A. unit which served
in the Peninsula throughout the war.

The medal is the property of the R.A. Institution, and was purchased
in March 1895, for £23-10.


407


 
NAME. No. in
List of
R.A.
Officers.
Rank at time
of 1st award.
Award. Battles, sieges, etc.
Baynes, h. 1092 2nd Capt. Medal. 7.
Bean, G.   914 Captain      ,,          1 clasp 18. 25.
Borthwick, W.   552 Maj.-Gen. Large medal 14.
Brandreth, T. A.   990 Captain Medal.     1 clasp 19. 26.
Buckner, R.   746 Major      ,,          2 clasps 18. 20. 22.
Bull, R.   845 Captain      ,,                ,, 9. 11. 16.
Cairnes, R. 1106 2nd Capt.      ,,          1 clasp 18. 19.
Carmichael, L. 1007 Captain      ,, 24.
Carncross, J. H.   727 Major Cross.      2 clasps 16. 18. 19. 22. 24. 25.
Dickson, A.   844 Captain (k)      ,,          6 clasps 9. 12. 14. 15. 16. 18. 20. 22. 24. 26.
Douglas, R.   958        ,,      ,, 16. 18. 19. 22. (a)
Downman, T.   742 Major Medal. 16. (b)
Du Bourdieu, S. 1001 Captain      ,, 18.
Duncan, A.   740 Major      ,, 10.
Dyer, J.   751 Major Cross.      1 clasp 19. 20. 24. 25. 26.
Eliot, W. G.   971 2nd Capt. Medal. 3. (c)
Framingham, H.   624 Lieut.-Col. Cross.      1 clasp 7. 9. 11. 15.16.
Frazer, A. S.   765 Captain      ,,                ,, 18. 20. 22. 24. 26.
Gardiner, R. W.   979       ,,      ,,          2 clasps 10. 15. 16. 18. 25. 26. (d)
Greene, W. 1105 2nd Capt. Medal. (n)  [Note 1] 16.
Harding, J.   542 Colonel      ,, 5.
Hawker, J.   771 Captain      ,, 12.
Holcombe, H. F.   895       ,,      ,, 15.
Howorth, E.   484 Colonel Large Medal.     2 Clasps 7. 9. 11.
Hughes, P. J.   915 Captain Medal. 10.
Jenkinson, G. 1032 2nd Capt.      ,, 25.
Lane, H. B. 1062       ,,      ,, 26.
Lawson, R.   943 Captain Cross.     1 clasp 7. 9 .11. 16. 18.
Macdonald, R.   858       ,, Medal. 16.
Maxwell, S.   966       ,,      ,,         2 clasps 18. 24. 25.
May, J.   883       ,, Cross.     3     ,, 15. 16. 18. 20. 22. 24. 26.
Michell, C. C. 1486 1st Lieut. (k) Medal.    1 clasp 18. 26. (e)
Michell, J. 1004 Captain      ,,               ,, 25. 26. (f)
Morrison, W.   934       ,, Medal. 3.
Mosse, C. 1101 2nd Capt.      ,, 24.
Parker, J. B. 1117       ,,      ,, 18. (g)
Ramsay, W. N. 1019       ,,      ,,         1 clasp 18. 24.
Raynsford, R. T.   809 Captain Medal. 3.
Robe, W.   654 Lieut.-Col. Cross.     1 clasp 3. 7. 9. 15. 16.
Robe, W. L. 1390 1st Lieut. Medal.          ,, 22. 24.
Roberts, W.    928 Captain Medal. 10.
Ross, H. D.   890       ,, Cross.     2 clasps 9. 15. 16. 17. 22. 24. (h)
Sillery, C. D.   827       ,, Medal. 7.
Smith, J. W.   877       ,,      ,,          1 clasp 18. 20. ( i )
Tulloh, A.   801       ,,       (k) Cross. 15. 18. 22. 24.
Turner, G.   974       ,, Medal.     1 clasp 25. 26.
Viney, J.   685 Major      ,,                ,, 2 & 3. ( j ). 5.
Wilmot, E.   912 Captain Medal. 5.

Silver Medal was awarded in 1847 with clasps for:
    a 20.
    b 4. 5. 14.
    c 2. 3. 7.
    d 2. 3. 7.
    e 15.
    f 15.
    g 18. 20. 25. 26.
    h11. 14. 19.
    i 22. 24.
j Reckoned as one battle.
k Serving in the Portuguese Artillery.

Note 1:  The footnote for this entry is definitely an "n", which I have verified with a high powered magnifying glass. I believe this should be an "h" because "h" and "n" look alike and no letter used in the footnotes, except "h" resembles "n".


408

List B.

Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery th whom the silver General-service medal was awarded in 1847, for service in the Peninsular War.
 

Name. No. in
List of
R.A.
Officers.
Rank at time of
1st award.
Battles, Sieges, &c.
Arbuthnott, The Hon. W. 1217 1st Lieut. 7. 9.
Barttelot, G. (e) 1299            ,, 9. 11. 14. 15. 16.
Bayly, F. 1473 2nd    ,, 9.
Baynes, G. M.   914 1st     ,, 19. 22. 26.
Bedingfield, F. 1087 2nd Capt. 10.
Bell, W. 1242 1st Lieut. 22. 24. 26.
Belson, G. J. 1235            ,, 9. 11. 14. 15. 18. 19. 22. 24. 25.
Bent, W. H. 1449 2nd Leiut. 12. 15.
Blachley, C. 1171 1st Lieut. 9. 11. 16.
       ,,        H. 1221            ,, 16. 18. 20. 22. 24.
Bloomfield, J. 1516 2nd    ,, 18. 20. 22. 24. 25. 26.
Bourchier, D. M. 1166 1st     ,, 9. 14. 15.
Brereton, W. 1258           ,, 10. 18. 19. 20. 25. 26.
Bridges, E. J. 1438           ,, 18. 19. 22. 24.
Campbell, P.   879 Captain 7.
Carter, T. 1220 1st Lieut. 9.
Cater, T. O. 1465 2nd    ,, 10.
Cator, W. 1134 2nd Capt. 10.
Chester, J. 1010           ,, 4. (Benevente only).
Cox, T. (a) 1349 1st Lieut. 5. 15.
Dansey, C. C. 1138 2nd Capt. 15. 16. 17. 20. 22. 24.
Darby, J. 1126 1st Lieut. 5.
Deacon, C. P. 1124 2nd Capt. 20.
Dundas, W. B. 1150           ,, 14. 15.
Dunn, W. 1188 1st Lieut. 9. 12.
Dyneley, T. 1114 2nd Capt. 14. 16. 18. 19.
Edwardes, D. J. 1297 1st Lieut. 18. 20. 22. 24.
Elgee, W. 1384           ,, 7. 11.
England, P. V. 1261           ,, 18. 22.
Evelegh, H.   747 Captain 4.
Eyre, J. 1381 1st Lieut. 5.
Faddy, P. 1157 2nd Capt. 20. (c)
Ford, G. 1550 2nd Lieut. 26.
Forster, H. 1329 1st      ,, 4. 5.
Furneaux, W. 1455            ,, 14.
Gordon, C. E. 1162 2nd Capt. 20. 22. 24. 25.
Graham, R. C. 1312 1st Lieut. 2. 3. 5.
Greatley, T. W. 1080 2nd Capt. 4. 5.
Grimes, R. (d) 1462 2nd Lieut. 14. 15.
Harding, R. 1322 1st      ,, 16. 18. 20. 25. 26.
Hardinge, R. 1318            ,, 18. 20. 25. 26.
Hunt, R. B. 1155 2nd Capt. 15.
Ingilby, W. B. 1464 2nd Lieut. 9. 11. 14. 16.
James, G. 1503            ,, 18. 19. 22. 25.
Leathes, R. M. 1268 1st      ,, 5.
Lempriere, W. C. 1205            ,, 4. 5.
Lindsay, W. F. (b) 1185            ,, 11.

    a  Serving in Portuguese Army.
    b  Naval General Service Medal.
    c  Assumed the additional surname 'Carnegie' in 1816.
    d  Assume the surname 'Cholmley' instead of Grimes, in 1852.
    e  Whilst serving in the R.A. his surname was Barttelot-Smyth, but on the death of his Father in 1837, he relinquished the name Smyth, which had been assumed by his Father. Consequently when the medal was awarded, his surname was Barttelot only.


409


 
Name. No. in
List of
R.A.
Officers.
Rank at time of
1st award.
Battles, sieges, &c.
Litchfield, R. 1453 1st Lieut. 18. 25. 26.
Lock, W. E. 1338            ,, 2. 3.
Love, J. 1489 2nd    ,, 14. 15. 16.
Louis, M. 1244 1st     ,, 18. 20. 22. 24.
Macbean, A. 1529 2nd    ,, 18. 20. 22. 24.
Macbean, F. 1228 1st      ,, 5.
MacDonald, A. 1174            ,, 9. 11. 16. 18. 19. 20. 25. 26.
MacLeod, H. G. 1392            ,, 7. 9.
Manners, C. 1397            ,, 10.
Monro, F. 1598 2nd    ,, 16. 18. 22. 24.
Moor, H. R. 1176 1st      ,, 9. 11. 14. 15. 16.
Morgan, E. 1558 2nd     ,, 26.
Morgan, H. 1459 1st      ,, 19. 20. 26.
Newland, R. 1229            ,, 16. 18. 25. 26.
Palliser, H. 1523 2nd    ,, 18. 20. 25. 26.
Parratt, H. M. 1445 1st     ,, 20. 22. 24. 25. 26.
Pascoe, J. 1415 2nd    ,, 9. 15. 16. 18. 20. 22. 24.
Pester, H. 1470           ,, 10.
Phillips, R. F. 1353           ,, 16. 18. 19. 20. 22.
Powe, W. G. 1074 2nd Capt. 7. 14. 15. 16. 19. 20. 22. 24.
Powers, J.     36 Qr.-Master 5.
Raynes, W. A. 1313 1st Lieut. 5. 10.18. 19. 22. 24.
Shaw, C. 1468           ,, 20. 22. 24.
Sinclair, J. 1207           ,, 5. 15. 18. 19. 20. 22. 24.
Swabey, W. 1327           ,, 14. 16. 18.
Story, R. W. 1488           ,, 20.
Townshend, J. 1456           ,, 22. 24.
Tweedie, M. 1471           ,, 26.
Whinyates, E. C. 1002 2nd Capt. 9. 12.
Willis, G. B. 1420 1st Lieut. 15.
Wood, J. H. 1281           ,, 18. 19. 20. 22. 25. 26.
Woolcombe, R. 1325           ,, 11.
Wright, F. 1280           ,, 5.

    1st Lieutenant henry Finlay Cubitt (1310) was entitled to the silver Medal with 4 clasps—Vittoria, Pyrenees, Orthes, and Toulouse. He died on 12 August, 1848.
    1st Lieutenant Thomas Newton-King (1346) was entitled to it, with clasp for Corunna. He died on 8 May, 1854.
    Their names are not included in the list, and it is assumed that they did not apply for the medal.


END



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