Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,100

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Military General Service 1793-1814, 1 clasp, Egypt (J. McNaughton, R. Sappers & Miners) edge bruising and contact marks, otherwise very fine £800-1000


Only 7 clasps for Egypt were issued to the Royal Sappers and Miners.

John McNaughton was born in 1771 in Edinburgh, and was attested there for the Royal Sappers and Miners on 28 December 1792, joining the company in Woolwich. During the naval mutiny at the Nore in 1797, led by Richard Parker, McNaughton and the other sappers in the Medway area were employed in strengthening the fortifications, renewing the furnaces for heating red-hot shot at Tilbury Fort, and in repairs to the blockhouse and batteries at Gravesend. In April 1800 he joined a special detachment of 33 sappers, under Major Mackerras RE, accompanying the 17,000-strong force to Egypt (for services of the Royal Sappers and Miners in Egypt see Lot 389).

After his return from Egypt, McNaughton was next employed in the construction of Martello towers on the Sussex coast, at the time of the projected invasion by Napoleon. He afterwards saw service for many years in Newfoundland, which had become a station of the Corps in 1807. Detachments of sappers arrived there at St John's from Plymouth on H.M.S.
Isis in July 1807, and from Portsmouth on H.M.S. Vestal in July 1808. A small detachment of sappers had been transferred from the company at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in August 1807.

McNaughton later returned to Woolwich to the 8th Company 3rd Battalion, where he was found unfit for active service through Debility, on 23 January 1817, with 24 years 2 months service, aged 45. He was pensioned at 1s. 4d. per day from the 24 January, to reside in Edinburgh. He had received War Prize money in 1806 for the operations in Egypt, and his MGS medal with single clasp Egypt was authorised in 1848, when he was 77. He died on 30 April 1853, aged 83. Sold with full research.