Orders, Decorations and Medals (22 June 1999)

Date of Auction: 22nd June 1999

Sold for £5,900

Estimate: £5,500 - £6,500

A fine Peninsular Gold Medal group awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel A. C. W. Crookshank, Commanding the 12th Caçadores at the Battle of Salamanca where they captured the ‘Eagle’ of the 22nd Regiment of French Infantry

Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal for Salamanca
(Lieutt. Coll. A. C. Crookshank) complete with gold ribbon buckle; Military General Service 1793-1814, 5 clasps, Roleia, Vimiera, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Salamanca (“Brevet Lieut: Col: C. W. Crookshank K.H.” 33rd Regt.) privately impressed naming, the medal presumably acquired later by his family to represent that which he would have received had he lived to claim it; France, Order of the Lily, small breast badge in silver and enamels, suspended from a gold crown; Portugal, Commander’s Decoration for Salamanca, gold and enamels, fitted with gold ribbon buckle, enamel chipped on reverse centre; Portugal, Officer’s Cross for 3 Campaigns, silver-gilt and enamels, the centres in gold and enamels, fitted with gold suspension bar and gold ribbon buckle, the group contained in an old velvet-lined wooden display case, unless otherwise described, extremely fine (5) £5500-6500


See colour illustration on back cover.

Arthur Charles William Crookshank was appointed Ensign, 68th Regiment, 12 January 1799; Lieutenant, 26 March 1800; Captain, 38th Regiment, 18 September 1802; Major, 29th October 1809; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, 4 June 1814.

As a Subaltern, this officer served in the West Indies, chiefly in Martinique, where he embarked with the flank companies of his regiment against the Danish Islands, in the expedition commanded by General Sir C. Trigg, then Commander-in-Chief of that station, after the completion of which service he had two attacks of yellow fever which obliged him to return home. As a Captain, he served in Ireland during the disturbances of 1803.

Crookshank next served in the expedition against the Cape of Good Hope in 1805, under Sir David Baird, from whence he embarked for South America, and was present in the different campaigns under Colonel Blackburn, Sir S. Auchmuty, and General Whitlock. He received four wounds at the attack and assault on Monte Video, and was made prisoner with the light troops under Brigadier-General Crawford at the storming of Buenos Ayres. On his return from South America he was appointed to the Duke of Richmond’s staff, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, where he remained until his regiment embarked for Portugal.

With the 38th Regiment, he served in the first campaign in the Peninsula, and was present at the battles of Roleia and Vimiera in August 1808. Returning to England, he subsequently took part in the expedition to Walcheren and suffered much from that climate. He returned to Portugal in 1810 as Major in the 2nd battalion, 38th Regiment, and from a desire of being more actively employed, entered the Portuguese service under Lord Beresford with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was present at the battle of Busaco in September 1810, where he commanded the flank companies of the brigade of Brigadier-General Spry, and also in the pursuit of the French, under Marshal Massena, from the lines of Torres Vedras. In May 1811, he fought at the battle of Fuentes D’Onor.

A few days previous to the battle of Salamanca, he received a musket wound when endeavouring to procure a ford across the river Douro, in front of the village of Pollus, in Spain. At the battle of Salamanca itself, Crookshank commanded the 12th battalion of Caçadores, which took the ‘Eagle’ of the 22nd Regiment of French Infantry, which he later had the honour of presenting to Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham, commanding the division. In this action he also had two horses shot under him.

Crookshank was present at the surrender of Madrid, and on the retreat from Burgos was seized with a most violent fever, which, as well as from relapse of former illness, and his wounds, obliged him to resign his command in the Portuguese service, on the advice of his physicians. In England he was placed on the half-pay of the 38th Regiment but in July 1814, he exchanged into the 2nd battalion 11th Foot, stationed at Gibraltar, where he served until that battalion was reduced in March 1816 and he once again returned to England. In September 1817, he was placed on the full-pay in the 33rd Regiment. In testimony of his services, Lieutenant-Colonel Crookshank was presented with the freedoms at large of the cities of Dublin, Londonderry, and Limerick, and received the Gold Medal for the battle of Salamanca. Sometime after 1815, Lieutenant-Colonel Crookshank appears to have dropped his first name, Arthur, and is subsequently shown in the Army List with the initials ‘C. W.’ only. He was made a Knight of Hanover, circa 1832, and died in 1838, nine years before the Military General Service Medal was authorised in June 1847.