Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (26 March 2009)

Date of Auction: 26th March 2009

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,400

Military General Service 1793-1814, 3 clasps, Talavera, Busaco, Albuhera (Peter Grace, 66th Foot) light contact marks, very fine and better


Ex Murray Collection 1891

Private Peter Grace was taken prisoner at Albuhera (WO 25/1967 refers

The 2/66th suffered severely at Albuhera where they formed part of Colborne’s brigade, together with the 1/3rd, 2/31st and 2/48th. Following the orders of General Stewart these regiments advanced in column against the French left flank which they engaged in a bloody storm of musketry. Whilst this infantry duel was going on the 2nd Hussars and 1st Lancers of the Polish Vistula Legion pounced on the helpless British soldiers. The 1/3rd Buffs were the first to be ridden over, followed by the 2/48th Northamptons and the 2/66th Berkshires. The 2/31st Huntingdons, being furthest from the initial point of attack, had time to form square and were able to drive off the French cavalry which had, in any event, almost run out of steam. The Polish Vistula Lancers appear to have behaved with unwarranted cruelty towards the wounded; two officers of the 2/66th were reported to have been speared while lying disabled by earlier wounds, and another officer believed that the Poles were all drunk.