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

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Date of Auction: 19th & 20th March 2008

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Military General Service 1793-1814, 4 clasps, Talavera, Albuhera, Vittoria, Toulouse (W. Green, Farrier, 3rd Drag. Gds.) one or two edge bruises, otherwise good very fine


William Green enlisted in the 3rd Dragoon Guards in October 1806, and was disembarked at Lisbon in April 1809, as a Farrier in Captain Micklethwaite’s Troop.

Subsequently present at Talavera that July, when the 3rd formed part of the rearguard in the retreat, the Regiment next went into action in April 1811, in a skirmish near Los Santos, where over 200 French prisoners were taken. Then in the following month, on the 16th, and heavily outnumbered, it was one of only three British cavalry regiments present at Albuhera, where it was continuously engaged throughout the day. So, too, with distinction in the ‘combat of Usagre’, a day or two later, a model cavalry action in which three enemy regiments were boxed-in around a bridge - 250 of them being killed or wounded and a further 80 taken P.O.W.

Having then comprised part of the covering force on the disastrous retreat from Burgos in 1812, the Regiment made several charges during the battle of Vittoria in June 1813, and, finally, on 10 April 1814, it was present at Toulouse, although not engaged. The 3rd then marched through France and up to Calais, arriving home in July 1814, but was not present at Waterloo.

Transferred to the Regimental Depot in July 1815, Green was discharged ‘time expired’ in October of the following year. Interestingly, in the 1851 Warwickshire census, there was a William Green, Master Blacksmith, aged 69 years, living at 34 Church Street & Court, Rugby, with his wife Elizabeth - if one and the same man, he would have been 24 years of age on enlistment.