Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (7 March 2007)

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Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £5,500

Estimate: £4,000 - £4,500

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 2 clasps, 16 July Boat Service 1806, 24 May Boat Service 1814 (John Dearness) very fine £4000-4500

Footnote

Ex McKenzie 1873 and Cheylesmore 1930. Approximately 51 of the first clasp issued and 12 of the second - but see note below.

John Dearness served as an Ordinary Seaman in the boat of H.M.S. Monarch on 16 July 1806, when twelve boats (one selected from each of the line-of-battle ships Conqueror, Prince of Wales, Revenge, Polyphemus, Monarch and Centaur, together with three from the Indefatigable and three from the Isis) succeeded in cutting out the French 16-gun brig-corvette Caesar, with a crew of eighty-six men, fully prepared for resistance, in the Verdun Roads, off the river Gironde.

John Dearness was still rated as an Ordinary Seaman on board the Hogue at the time of his second boat service action in 1814. However, the date of his action was 8 April (destruction of 27 vessels in the Connecticut River by six boats from Hogue, Endymion, Maidstone and Boxer - 24 clasps issued) and not 24 May (capture of L’Aigle by the boats of the Elizabeth - 12 clasps issued). The Admiralty clasp application lists show John Dearness entered for each of these actions but with a confusing cross reference that leaves one uncertain as to his actual entitlement. However, as he is present throughout the period on all musters of H.M.S. Hogue and never appears in the musters of the Elizabeth during the same period, it is safe to say that a clerical error by the Admiralty led to the issue of the incorrect boat service clasp.