Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to include a Fine Collection of Napoleonic Medals (25 March 2015)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2015


Estimate: £2,500 - £3,000

Waterloo 1815 (Assist. Surg. Ja. Ambrose, Royal Horse Artillery) neatly plugged and fitted with replacement steel clip and ring suspension, edge bruising and polished, otherwise nearly very fine £2500-3000


James Ambrose was appointed 2nd Assistant Surgeon in the Ordnance Medical Department on 4 September 1806, becoming Assistant Surgeon on 11 November 1811, and Surgeon on 5 January 1816. At Waterloo he was troop surgeon to Mercer’s troop of Royal Horse Artillery, and is mentioned several times in Mercer’s Journal of the Waterloo Campaign:

‘After leaving Sir G. Wood’s, I find no notice of further transactions until the evening, when, accompanied by Ambrose (our troop surgeon), I set off to ride home by the Rue de St Denis and La Chapelle. Returning through La Chapelle accompanied by Ambrose, a fellow sitting on his cart drove against him. Ambrose’s temper is rather peppery, and he repaid the affront by a cut across the shoulders with a horsewhip.

The carter, standing up in his cart, fell furiously on Ambrose in return with his whip, and a regular battle ensued, Ambrose trying to mount the cart, the other keeping him down and flogging him. In a twinkling a crowd assembled, and from reviling soon came to active operations; but I rode round the cart and prevented interference. At last they began to throw stones. This was too much. I drew my sword and charged in all directions, everywhere scattering the wretches like chaff, and thus kept the cowardly herd at bay until Ambrose succeeded in mounting the cart and breaking the fellow’s whip over his own back, when, the crowd becoming very serious, he jumped on his horse, and we made our retreat, not, however, without a shower of stones, none of which touched us, and being obliged two or three times to turn on our persecutors, who followed us some distance. At last we effected our retreat.’

Ambrose retired on half pay in October 1816 and was later surgeon of the South Mayo Militia. He died at Westport, Ireland, on 17 April 1824.