Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 & 20 September 2013)

Date of Auction: 19th & 20th September 2013

Sold for £7,200

Estimate: £6,000 - £7,000

Waterloo 1815 (Ensign T. A. Sinclair, 2nd Batt. 44th Reg. Foot.) fitted with original steel clip and silver bar suspension, light edge bruising and contact marks, otherwise nearly very fine £6000-7000


Thomas Aubrey Sinclair was born in 1796/7, the son of Lieutenant-General Patrick Sinclair, of Lybster, Caithness, and younger brother of Lieutenant Temple Frederick Sinclair, 2/44th Foot, who was severely wounded at the storming of Badajoz, 6 April 1812.

In seeking an appointment to the 44th Foot in March 1815, he wrote in a letter to General Sir Harry Calvert: ‘I beg leave now to say that I am with the 44th Regt. in which my brother is a Lieutenant & that if as I hope there will be a campaign on the frontiers of this country this summer, I intend to join the Regt. as a Volunteer. I have written my father not to purchase an Ensigncy, there being 5 or 6 vacancies without purchase in the 44th, to one of which thro’ your goodness and the recommendation of the commanding officer I may perhaps have the fortune to be appointed. At all events I expect to have the honour of bearing arms with the regiment & would prefer remaining with it as a Volunteer when there is a prospect of service, to purchasing an Ensigncy in a regiment at home.’

Thus it was that the plucky Sinclair was appointed Ensign, from Volunteer, in the 2nd Battalion 44th Foot, on 4 May 1815, becoming the battalion’s junior Ensign. Of the eight Ensigns present with the battalion at Waterloo, six were to become casualties, five on the 16th at Quatre Bras and one on the 18th, thus presumably leaving the colours to be carried by the only two remaining Ensigns - Dunlevie and Sinclair.

The battalion was disbanded in February 1816 and Sinclair was placed on half-pay on 25 March of that year. He later became a Stipendiary Magistrate at Granada, where he died unmarried.