Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

Military General Service 1793-1814, 2 clasps, St. Sebastian, Toulouse (David Brotherton, Serjt. Royal Sappers & Miners) good very fine £1000-1200


David Brotherton was born in West Gordon, Berwick, in about 1790, and was attested into the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners in Edinburgh on 10 June 1809. He was a Carpenter and joined the 8th Company 2nd Battalion, then stationed in Portugal on the Lines of Torres Vedras. In June 1811, Brotherston was promoted to 2nd Corporal, then to Corporal in March 1812, and to Serjeant in November 1812. He served at the siege of St Sebastian from 11 July to 8 September 1813, where his company occupied the Chofre Hills to construct trenches, embrasures and batteries for bombarding the citadel.

The sappers then moved on into France, and were all present at the battle of Nivelle on 10 November 1813. Brotherston also served with his company at the battle of Nive, and in the actions at Bayonne from 9-13 December 1813. In 1814 the company was attached to Marshall Beresford's column, and Brotherston was present at the battle of Orthes on 27 February 1814, and the battle of Toulouse on 10 April. Although present at these actions he subsequently only claimed clasps for St Sebastian and Toulouse.

The company left France from Pauillac on 22 June 1814, bound for Portsmouth and New Orleans, but arrived in America just at the end of hostilities. They returned to Woolwich in early June of the same year on the transport
Dawson. In June 1815 the company left Woolwich and rushed to Ostend and the Netherlands. Under Sub-Lieutenant P. Johnson, the company left Antwerp at 2am on 18 June, and Sjt Brotherston arrived at the battle of Waterloo on the same day having done a forced march of 28 miles. The company was congratulated by Sir James Carmichael Smyth RE for arriving in such rapid time. He received War Prize money for the Peninsula, and for Waterloo and the Capture of Paris. After Waterloo he was stationed in Paris with the Army of Occupation for three and a half years, being promoted to Colour Sergeant in November 1818.

Following his return to England, he spent seven years with a company in Gibraltar. In the Special Proceedings for his discharge, held on 7 October 1833, he was recommended for an award for Meritorious Conduct, his record having been ‘Most exemplary’. He was discharged at Chelsea on l November 1833, after 24 years and 215 days service, and pensioned to reside in Woolwich. He later received the Long Service & Good Conduct medal which was was sent to the Board of Ordnance for him on 19 June 1834. He died in his late sixties in Canterbury on 8 December 1858. Sold with full research.