Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £900

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

Military General Service 1793-1814, 3 clasps, St. Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive (W. Ridley, R. Saprs. & Miners) good very fine £1000-1200


Ex Graveson Collection 1989 and Dean Collection 1992.

William Ridley was attested for the Royal Sappers and Miners, as a wheeler, on 29 April 1812, when he joined the 2nd Company 2nd Battalion. His Company arrived in the Peninsula on 20 August 1813 and was employed in the closing stages of the siege of St Sebastian. Ridley’s company moved on into France and was present in the action at Vera, and were also present at the battle of Nivelle, where on 11 November 1813 they constructed a trestle bridge across the Nivelle river, below Sarre, 5 miles south-east of St Jean de Luz. They also took part in the battle of Nive in December. In early January 1814, the company, with Sub-Lieutenant Stratton, were sent back to Socoa, adjacent to St Jean de Luz, to assist in the construction of a ‘chasse-marée’ bridge across the River Adour, in preparation for the Siege of Bayonne. The bridge was finally ready for the passage of troops on 26 February 1814, and the sapper company then moved on to take part in the siege of Bayonne which ended in April. They left Bayonne on the 22 June 1814, sailing from Pauillac, arriving in Portsmouth in mid-July.

In 1815, the company was hurried off to Ostend where it was attached to the 1st Division. After the victory at Waterloo, the company advanced into France on the road to Paris. Cambrai capitulated without a shot, but at Peronne the commandant refused to surrender and the town was taken by storm (see Lot 399 for further details). Ridley's company then served with the Army of Occupation in France, until theyfinally left in January 1816, returning to England. He received War Prize money for thePeninsula, and for Waterloo and the Capture of Paris. On 1 March 1816 he was transferred to the lst Company 4th Battalion in Gibraltar, and served there until he was discharged on 11 April 1817. Sold with full research.