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

Sold for £5,500

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

A Guelphic Medal group of four awarded to Sergeant Henry Frehrking, 5th Line Battalion, King’s German Legion, who was captured but escaped from prison at Burgos in 1812

Guelphic Medal for Bravery 1815 (Thorschreiber Heinrich Frehrking) impressed naming, fitted with silver clip and small ring suspension; Military General Service 1793-1814, 9 clasps, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vittoria, St Sebastian, Nivelle, Nive (Heinrich Frehrking, Serjt. 5th Line Bn. K.G.L.); Waterloo 1815 (Serj. Henry Frehrcking, 5th Line Batt. K.G.L.) fitted with silver clip and bar suspension; Hanoverian Medal for the K.G.L. 1841, contact marks to the earlier pair but generally good very fine or better (4) £6000-8000


Ex Sir Godfrey Dalrymple White Collection 1946; and from the Collection of Napoleonic War Medals formed by the late R. W. Gould, M.B.E.

Sergeant Henry Frehrking served in the 5th Company at Waterloo and had applied on at least three occasions for the Guelphic Medal which, on 13 March 1843, had been regretfully refused since he was unable to back up his Bayonne claim with documents. Finally his case was reconsidered and passed on 14 August 1843, and published on 22 October 1843:

‘For gallantry in escaping from prison at Burgos in 1812 and during the enemy sortie from Bayonne on 14 April 1814. With Sergeant Schaefer was captured by the enemy during a sortie by the latter from Burgos on 18 October 1812, and imprisoned with Sergeant Erdfelder in the citadel. In November they succeeded in escaping and after many adventures were able to rejoin. Frehrking was at the time a Corporal and was promoted Sergeant as a reward’ (Their adventures are recounted at length by Von Wissel).

‘During the enemy sortie from Bayonne on 14 April 1814, the enemy was on the point of being thrown back when the 7th Company was sent forward on reconnaissance. They had gone far forwards when a murmur of voices was heard. Lieutenant Köhler, the Company Commander, halted them and went forward, with the Sergeant and one or two others, to investigate. They had hardly advanced 100 paces when they received a heavy fire, which mortally wounded the officer. Frehrking brought him back to the Company. On hearing the noise, the Battalion also came up and the 7th Company was sent off to the right flank to capture a place occupied earlier on. Frehrking was now in command of the Company; he drove the enemy from their posts and defended these against repeated and vicious enemy attacks with the most praiseworthy zeal, until an English Company came to his assistance.’ (Ref Von Wissel p88 and p190, much condensed)

This much belated issue of the Guelphic Medal is fitted with a silver clip and ring suspension and is named to Frehrking in the occupation he held in 1843 of Thorschreiber, or doorman.