Orders, Decorations and Medals (19 & 20 March 2008)

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Date of Auction: 19th & 20th March 2008

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

Military General Service 1793-1814, 1 clasp, Sahagun & Benevente (James Chatterton, 7th Light Dragoons) edge bruising, nearly very fine £1000-1200


James Chatterton was born in the parish of Bennington, near Boston, Lincolnshire, where he enlisted in the 7th Hussars in August 1804, aged 18 years.

The Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel R. Hussey Vivian, arrived in Corunna in November 1808 and, having fought at Sahagun and Benevente - in which battles Chatterton was present as a member of Captain Loveless’s Troop - returned to England via Corunna in January 1809, Chatterton being embarked in the transport Sykes. The regiment did not return to the Peninsula until September 1813, when, still under Vivian, it was engaged at Orthes in February 1814, where it made a number of charges, but, as revealed by the medal roll (WO 100 refers), Chatterton’s claim to the “Orthes” clasp was disallowed, for he had been taken P.O.W. in a skirmish on 28 December 1813. He rejoined the depot ‘From a French prison’ on 8 May 1814, and returned to duty in the Regiment on 25 July 1814, in good time for the forthcoming Waterloo campaign.

At Waterloo, the 7th Hussars formed part of the 5th British Cavalry Brigade, with the 2nd Hussars K.G.L. and the 15th Hussars. The Brigade was heavily involved in the retreat from Quatre Bras and the great battle itself, making several charges during the day. The 7th formed the rear-guard during the retirement from Quatre Bras, where, oddly enough, the enemy advance-guard was the 7th (French) Hussars. The two regiments manoeuvred against each other the whole way from there to the final position at Mont St Jean.The 7th, 380 strong, lost 56 killed and 99 wounded during the Waterloo campaign; returning to England from Paris in July 1816.

Chatterton was discharged in Manchester in February 1819 on reduction of the Regiment, with 14 years 230 days service, plus 2 years for his presence at Waterloo, with a “good” conduct record (WO 97/28 refers), and he died, aged 68 years, in Butterwick in Bennington, in April 1854.