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 £4,200

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A very scarce first and second China Wars pair to Boatswain’s Mate Thomas Burns, Royal Navy

China 1842, 1 clasp, China 1842 (Thomas Burns, H.M.S. Endymion) fitted with original suspension, the clasp loose on ribbon as issued; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., V.R., wide suspension (T. Burns, Boatsns. Mte. H.M.S. Implacable 20 Yrs.) both medals with finely engraved silver ribbon brooches, light contact marks, otherwise very fine (2) £4000-5000


Ex D.N.W., June 2005.

Thomas Burns was born in the Parish of St Germans, Cornwall on 21 January 1825, and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aboard H.M.S.
San Josef on 22 May 1840, aged 15 years 3 months. He joined Endymion in November 1840 and participated in this vessel in a number of operations ashore and off the coast of China during 1842.

He joined
Comus in February 1856, now rated as a Bosun’s Mate, and in 1857-58 saw service once again in Chinese waters which was to lead to him receiving the very rare clasp ‘China 1842’ to be worn with his First China War medal. His L.S. & G.C. medal was awarded on 19 December 1864, whilst serving aboard Implacable, from which ship he was finally discharged ashore on 19 April 1873.

Thomas Burns is confirmed on the medal rolls as one of the 101 recipients of the 1st China War medal with ‘China 1842’ and/or 2nd China War clasps. An analysis of these recipients reveals 43 R.N. ratings, of whom just eight also received a wide suspension L.S. & G.C. medal. Sold with copied record of service and full service history.