Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 - 21 June 2013)

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Date of Auction: 19th - 21st June 2013


Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Military General Service 1793-1814, 6 clasps, Corunna, Barrosa, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive (Wm. A. Raynes, Lieut. R. Arty.) in its named card box of issue, dark toned, extremely fine £5000-6000


Sold with a good quantity of original documents including his hand-written ‘Journal of the Campaign and Siege of Tarifa 1811-1812’; hand-written ‘Brigade Orders 31 Decr. 1811 & 5 & 9 Jany. 1812’ concerning the Defence of Tarifa and signed by Colonel J. B. Skerrett; a parchment bound pocket book ‘taken out of a French soldier’s knapsack at Vittoria 1813’, in which he continues his ‘Journal’ from May 1813 to July 1814, also containing numerous notes and various letters, many pages used by Lieutenant Raynes to record various routes of march, etc.; detailed statements of the services of Brevet Major W. A. Raynes; an original ‘field order’ from Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Frazer, dated 22 February 1814, instructing that Lieutenant Raynes ‘with 3 non comd. officers and four gunners with spikes will cross with the first Party and spike the guns of the battery at the mouth of the Adour, which being accomplished Lt. Raynes will return to the left bank of the Adour and take charge of the Rocket Detachts. on that side...’, with subsequent notes by Raynes listing the names of the bombardiers and gunners that successfully performed this task; a manuscript notebook kept by Lieutenant Raynes containing various ‘Scraps’ and ‘Original Anecdotes &c’, signed and dated twice, 1816 and 1823; and a book ‘Picked up on the field at the Battle of Vittoria 21st June 1813’ by Lieutenant Raynes, titled ‘Aide-Mémoire a l’usage des Officiers D’Artillerie de France’, Paris, 1809 (lxxx + 468pp).

William Augustus Raynes was appointed a Gentleman Cadet in the R.M.A. at Woolwich on 8 May 1804; obtained a Second Lieutenancy in the Royal Artillery 26 April 1806; and was promoted First Lieutenant on 22 October 1806, in Captain Percy Drummond’s Company, 3rd Battalion. He describes his consequent war services thus:

1807 - Served at the siege of Copenhagen.

1808-9 - Served with the Expeditionary Force sent to Sweden under Lt. Genl. Sir John Moore, which afterwards proceeded to Portugal. Was with the Army under Sir John Moore, on the advance into Spain and subsequent retreat to Corunna, with Capt. Drummond’s Brigade of Lt. 6 Pounders attached to the Rear Guard of Infantry.

1809 - Exchanged into Capt. Alexr. Dickson’s Company, 1st Battalion.

1810 - Served at the Defence of Cadiz during July, in the Puntalis Fort and the Batteries of the Isla de Leon.

1811 - Served with the Expeditionary Force under M-Genl. Graham terminating in the Battle of Barrosa.

1811-12 - Volunteered to join Captain Hughes’ Compy. 9th Battn. and served with it at the Defence of Tarifa when besieged by the French Army. Was present in all the previous Field Operations under Colonel Skerrett, and was mentioned in Public Orders and Despatches for conduct in a Sortie from the Town on the 22nd December - “To Captains Livesay and Somershall of the Light Comps 47th and 87th Regts. and to Lieut. Raynes of the Royal Artillery who, on the 22nd December, made a sortie with a Field Piece and with the greatest intrepidity drove a very superior force of the enemy’s light troops from their strong position in front of the Convent, the fire from the gun doing great execution”.

1812 - Returned to Cadiz 29th Jany. and resumed former duties with my Compy. in the Batteries of the Isla de Leon.
Volunteered to join Capt. Roberts’ Compy. 10th Battn. and proceeded with the Force under Colonel Skerrett, which landed at Huelba, and marched to the attack of Seville, which place was taken by Assault, and Marshal Soult’s Rear Guard driven out of it, on the 27th August, on which occasion Col. Skerrett was pleased to say that the Lt. 5.5 inch Howrs. under my command had “galled the enemy severely” at the attack of the Bridge.
Rejoined my Compy. in Septr., commanded by Second Captn. Rick Cairnes, who brought up with it a 9 Pr. Field Battery from Cadiz. Marched from Seville 1st Octr. with a Corps of 6000 men, under Col. Skerrett, which was ordered to join Lord Wellington’s Army.
Joined the Force under Lt. Genl. Sir R. Hill, at Aranjues, and was present at the affair of the Puente Largo, and continued in command of the Field Battery during the Retreat to Portugal, Captain Cairnes having been left behind at Seville, severely wounded by the blowing up of a Powder Mill upon which occasion the gallant Lt. Col. Duncan was killed and Second Captn. Bedingfield severely wounded.

1813 - Was present at the Battle of Vittoria, Blockade of Pampeluna, Battles of the Pyrenees and Nivelle, and the operations before Bayonne with the left Column of the Army.
In the action of the 28th July the Guns attached to the 4th and 6th Divisions of the Army not being up, I was detached with a Hy. 5.5in. Howr. and two 9 Pounders, in support of those Divisions, and got into action at the moment the Enemy was pressing rapidly, and in great force, along the high road leading to Pampeluna, and had nearly succeeded in separating those two Divisions. At the close of this sharp Affair M. General Packe, who commanded the 6th Division, came up to me, and, putting his hand on my shoulder, said “You have done very well Sir, and had better now move your Guns a little to the rear for the night” - and in a letter which I received from him some time afterwards, the M. General says “Your Guns were brought up at a most important moment and were served with all the gallantry for which the Corps is remarkable.”
Was present at the Affair of the Nive 10th December, but not engaged.

1814 - On the 11th Feby. Captain Cairnes having been posted to the Horse Brigade, and the horses of the Battery turned over to the Pontoon Train, Colonel Dickson’d Compy. was left under my command. Received an Order 19th Feby. to march up to Uragne, and take over a supply of Rockets from Capt. Lane.
Was present at the Action of the Adour called the “Passage of the Adour” 23d Feby. On this occasion I commanded a Party of Volunteers, from my own Compy., and crossed the River in boats at daybreak with the first attacking Party - the object was to storm the Battery at the mouth of the River and spike the Guns - however, very little resistance was made and on rushing into the work we found that the Guns had been withdrawn during the night. I was then directed, by Lt. Col. A. Frazer, to take charge of the Rocket Detachment on the left bank of the Adour, having Lieuts. Bridges and Elgee with Asst. Surgeon Kenny under my command. Two of the enemy’s Gun Boats were blown up by these Rockets and the Sappho Frigate driven further up the river.
Continued in front of Bayonne until Feby. 27th and was then ordered, in Command of Col. A. Dickson’s Compy., down to Renteria and Passages, in order to prepare the Battering Train for the intended Siege of Bayonne - 70 Pieces of Cannon were landed from the shipping, mounted, and completed in stores &c. &c. in the space of twelve days, by Col. Dickson’s Compy. and a small detachment of the Artillery of the King’s German Legion. This was a very laborious duty and Lt. Col. Hartmann said “It was well performed”.
On the 20th May, Second Capt. Charles Close joined and took command of the Compy. which embarked for England on the 20th June following.

In his book of Brigade Orders, listed above, Lieutenant Raynes makes clear his strong opinion of Colonel Skerrett’s words of approbation given to Lord Proby in his Tarifa despatch: ‘Colonel Skerrett has done great injustice to the brave troops he commanded, by coupling Lord Proby’s name with his thanks to them. His Lordship possessed no “Military skill, zeal or activity” and was little better than a Poltroon - and was never under fire when he could in any possible way avoid it - he was frequently “indisposed” which always looks rather suspicious before an enemy.’

Raynes was promoted to Captain on 26 June 1823, and Brevet Major on 28 June 1838. Retired on Full Pay he was latterly Barrack Master at Castletown, Isle of Man, and died there on 29 October 1850.

Sold with copied statement of services and other research.