Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (23 September 2011)

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Date of Auction: 23rd September 2011

Sold for £16,000

Estimate: £16,000 - £18,000

A rare Peninsula War and Waterloo group of four awarded to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick von Rossing, K.H., Hannoverian Army, late 1st Line Battalion, King’s German Legion, who was severely wounded at the siege of Burgos in September 1812, slightly wounded before St Sebastian in August 1813, and dangerously wounded at the storming of the churchyard at St Etienne in February 1814

Military General Service 1793-1814, 9 clasps, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive (Fredk. von Rossing, Capt., 1st Line Bn. K.G.L.); Waterloo 1815 (Lieut. Fred. Rossing, 1st Line Batt. K.G.L.), old replacement clip and ring suspension; Hannover, Medal for Volunteers 1813, unnamed as issued; Hannover, Medal for Volunteers in the King’s German Legion 1814, unnamed as issued, together with his original riband bar, including K.H., with double-pin device for wearing, right hand side of ‘Salamanca’ clasp sprung, contact marks and edge bruising, otherwise very fine and better (4) £16000-18000

Footnote

Frederick Christian von Rossing was appointed an Ensign in the 1st Line Battalion, King’s German Legion in January 1806, aged 15 years, and shortly thereafter was embarked for the Mediterranean. Having then also been employed in the Baltic operations of 1807-08, he was embarked for the Peninsula, where he was advanced to Lieutenant in May 1809 on the eve of his part in the campaign on the Douro and battle of Talavera.

Von Rossing saw further action at Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, the skirmish at Morisco, and battle of Salamanca, prior to being severely wounded at the siege of Burgos on 22 September 1812, but had rejoined his regiment in time for the battle of Vittoria and the operations against Tolosa in June 1813. Again wounded on 31 August 1813, this time slightly so in the operations before St. Sebastian, he was subsequently present at the crowning victories of Nivelle and Nive.

Then, in 1814, he was dangerously wounded at the storming of the churchyard at St Etienne, before Bayonne, on 27 February. It was intended that the centre of the enemy’s position should be attacked by the Line brigade of the K.G.L. (1st, 2nd and 5th); the right by the 1st and 2nd Light brigade, and the left by the guards. However, the movement against the centre was commenced before that against the flanks, and the brunt of the action fell upon the line battalions of the Legion. Stormed and captured at the point of the bayonet, the intrenched positions on the heights of St Etienne became the object of a French counter-attack late in the afternoon. This was successfully driven back with the bayonet, as was a renewed attempt half an hour later before the French finally gave up their prize. The loss of the Legion on the 27th February was extremely severe, with no less than four officers dead and 23 wounded, for the most part severely, and some 300 casualties amongst the rank and file. ‘The officers, setting a noble example to their men, exposed themselves with a degree of intrepidity which nothing could exceed, and justly entitled them to a high place in the official account of the engagement.’

Following service in the Army of Occupation in the South of France, von Rossing was ordered north with his regiment to the Netherlands, thereby ensuring his subsequent employment in the Waterloo campaign. He was advanced to Captain in September 1815. Later given the Brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Hannoverian Army, and appointed K.H., von Rossing latterly resided at Rossing, near Calenburg, Hannover, no doubt in the family castle which stands there to this day.

Sold with copied research, certain documents listing him as Ferdinand, rather than Frederic.