Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (5 July 2011)

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £4,400

Estimate: £2,800 - £3,200

A fine ‘Looshai’ expedition C.B. group of four awarded to Major-General William Joseph Fitzmaurice Stafford, Bengal Army

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) Companion’s breast badge, gold and enamel, hallmarks for London 1858, complete with gold buckle on ribbon, minor enamel damage to wreaths; Indian Mutiny 1857-59, 1 clasp, Delhi (Capt. W. I. F. Stafford, 4th Punjab Infy.) note incorrect initial; China 1857-60, no clasp (Major W. J. F. Stafford, 22nd P.N. Infy.) engraved naming; India General Service 1854-95, 1 clasp, Looshai (Colonel W. J. F. Stafford, 22nd Nat. Infy.) good very fine (4) £2800-3200


William Joseph Fitzmaurice Stafford was born at Winscombe, Somerset on 18 April 1819, the son of Colonel John Stafford and his wife Frances Maria Stafford. He received a classical and mathematical education at La Flèche College, France. He was nominated as a Cadet for the East India Company’s Bengal Infantry by E.I.C. Director John Thornhill, at the recommendation of his father, then a Major-General. Stafford passed the Military Committee at East India House, London on 29 July 1840 and embarked for India on the Vernon on 31 July 1840. Ranked as an Ensign in September 1840 and posted to the 36th Bengal Native Infantry in February 1841, he qualified as an interpreter in December 1843. Promoted to Lieutenant in July 1844 and appointed an Interpreter and Quartermaster in the Bengal sappers and Miners in April 1845 but rejoined the 36th N.I. at his own request in July 1845. Served as Adjutant of the Hurriana Light Infantry in October 1845 and became 2 i/c of the unit in March 1849. Promoted to Captain in February 1853, he was Commandant of the Hurriana Light Infantry from April 1854 until the unit mutinied on 29 May 1857. Present at the siege and capture of Delhi. Succeeded to the command of the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers on the day of the assault, 14 September 1857, and commanded the 1st Punjab Infantry during 17-20 September. Stafford was wounded (contusions) in two places on 14 September 1857. Served as Brigade Major with the Hurriana Field Force under General H. C. van Cortlandt, C.B. and was selected to command a detachment sent to cooperate with Brigadier Showers against Khajjar, at the surrender of which place he was present in October 1857. For his services he was mentioned in despatches and thanked by Sir John Lawrence. Commanded the 22nd Punjab Infantry in the affair at Kukrowlie and at the taking of Bareilly - for which he was mentioned in Lord Clyde’s despatch, G.O. 8 May 1858. For his services in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny he was granted the brevet of Major and awarded the medal with clasp. He then served in China in command of the 11th (later 22nd) Punjab Infantry, operating in the vicinity of Shanghai and capturing a number of stockaded villages. He also commanded a mixed force at the relief of Tsinpoo. For his services he was awarded the medal without clasp.

Stafford was promoted to Major in February 1861 and to Lieutenant-Colonel in March 1866. Served in the Looshai expedition, 1871-72, in command of the 22nd Regiment Native Infantry. For his services he received the thanks of the Government of India, was awarded the medal with clasp and was created a C.B. Stafford was then placed in command of the Eastern Frontier District for five years from October 1872, commanding the Duffla expedition, 1874-75 for which he received the thanks of the Government of India.

Stafford retired as a Major-General on 10 March 1878 and died on 29 August 1887.

With copied research.