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

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Date of Auction: 19th - 21st June 2013

Sold for £8,000

Estimate: £8,000 - £10,000

An exceptional Peninsula War group of three to Sergeant Jacob Cooe, 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers), together with a fragment of the 2nd Battalion Regimental Colours

Military General Service 1793-1814, 11 clasps, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse (J. Cove, Serjt. 88th Foot); Army L.S. & G.C., W.IV.R. (Jacob Cooe, Serjeant 88th Regiment Foot. 1836) official correction to one letter of surname, fitted with original steel clip and rectangular bar suspension; 88th Foot Order of Merit, 2nd Class for 11 actions, these as for M.G.S. (Jacob Cooe) fitted with original ‘shell’ claw and bar suspension inscribed ‘Peninsula’, together with an embroidered silk fragment of the 2nd Battalion Regimental Colour cut up in 1816, the Order of Merit very fine, otherwise nearly extremely fine and rare (3)


Ex Tombs Collection 1918, Phillips Collection 1925, and Jourdain Collection.

Jacob Cooe (also variously spelt Covy, Cov, and Cove) was born at Hastings, Sussex, and enlisted as a Boy on 4 July 1805. His brother Isaac enlisted at the same time and both boys were employed as Bandsmen. He was appointed Drummer on 15 April 1809, and proceeded with the Regiment to Portugal, serving throughout the war in the Peninsula and Southern France until early in 1814, when he accompanied the regiment to North America. He returned to France in June 1815 and served with the Army of Occupation until May 1817, when the regiment returned to Edinburgh, remaining there until June 1819.

He was appointed Private on 24 February 1820 and remained stationed in England until June 1821, when the regiment removed to Ireland. Appointed Corporal on 24 April 1825, and to Sergeant on 21 August 1826, he accompanied the regiment to Corfu and remained there until February 1832. Back in England, stationed at Chatham and then Dover, he fell sick in February 1835 and was sent to the Regimental Hospital at Charles Fort, Kinsale. In June 1836 he proceeded to the Invalid Depot at Buttevant and was discharged at Dublin on 29 June 1836, suffering from ‘impaired health’. He entered Kilmainham as a pensioner the following month, at which time he had total service of 24 years, which did not include 7 years under age. He was then aged 42 and his conduct was described as ‘most exemplary’.

Both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 88th fought in the Peninsula with great distinction. The 2nd Battalion returned home after the capture of Badajoz, its effectives being transferred to the 1st Battalion, and continued as a home battalion until disbanded at Clare Castle in January 1816. The colours were lodged with the Agent of the regiment acting on behalf of the Colonel, Lord Beresford. ‘Ultimately,’ it is recorded in the regimental history, ‘it would appear - between 1820 and 1830 - the Colours of the 2nd Battalion, 88th, were cut up and distributed among officers of the regiment. A large piece is now in the possession of a descendant of one of the officers then serving in the Connaught Rangers, General W. H. Eden, C.B., who joined the 88th as a captain from half-pay of the 6th Foot in August 1826, and served with the regiment until August 1839... Two other fragments of the 2nd Battalion Colours are in Lieut.-Colonel Jourdain’s possession.’

The medals are accompanied by an old ivorine display label which reads ‘Fragment of the Regimental Colour which was in the possession of Sergt. Jacob Cooe, 88th Regt. and his medals for services in the Peninsular War’.