Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Military General Service 1793-1814, 3 clasps, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Orthes (P. McCulloch, Corpl. Royal Sappers & Miners) very fine £800-1000


Peter McCulloch was born at Kinnaird, near Perth, in 1788 and enlisted in the Corps as a Wheeler on 24 October 1811, aged 23. One year later, on the 4 November 1812, he embarked at Portsmouth on the frigate Nemesis, with other sapper detachments, bound for the Peninsula. There he joined the 8th Company 2nd Battalion, then stationed on the Lines of Torres Vedras in Portugal. In 1813 McCulloch's company, with Sub-Lieutenant Turner, was attached to the Light Division and encamped with the 43rd Foot, the Monmouthshire Light Infantry. At night while the Toro bridge was burning, the company repaired the broken arch with ladders, trees and planks, under the direction of Lieut. E. Matson RE, and McCulloch was also present with the company at the battle of Vittoria on the 21 June 1813.

He then served at the siege of St Sebastian from 11 July to 8 September 1813, where his company occupied the Chofre Hills, engaged in the construction of batteries and trench communications. He was afterwards present at the battles of Nivelle on 10 November 1813, Nive from 9-13 December 1813, and in the actions in front of Bayonne. The company was also present with the column under Marshal Beresford at the battle of Orthes on 27 February 1814. They subsequently built several pontoon and flying bridges on the march from Orthes, and just before the battle of Toulouse on 10 April 1814. The company left Toulouse after the battle, and on 22 June 1814 they sailed from Pauillac for Portsmouth in mid-July, and then sailed for New Orleans in December 1814, arriving too late for the American War. McCulloch was promoted to Corporal in 1815 and was discharged on 15 December 1818, having completed 7 years 76 days service. He returned to Perth and was later admitted to Out-Pension at Dundee in July 1832. The medal roll shows that McCulloch claimed clasps for Vittoria, St Sebastian and Orthes, was disallowed Pyrenees, but also authorised in the margin for additional clasps for Nivelle, Nive and Toulouse. Sold with full research.