Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (24 & 25 February 2016)

Date of Auction: 24th & 25th February 2016

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,600 - £3,000

Pair: Captain T. Box, 1st Bengal European Light Infantry, killed in action at the battle of Ferozeshuhur, 21 December 1845

Ghuznee 1839, unnamed as issued, straight bar suspension; Sutlej 1845-46, for Ferozeshuhur 1845, no clasp (Capt., 1st E.L.I.) good very fine (2) £2600-3000


Thomas Box was baptised in Buckingham on 17 May 1806. A Cadet in 1822, he arrived in India on 13 May 1823. Appointed an Ensign in May 1823; Lieutenant in August 1824 and Captain in July 1836. Serving with the 1st Bengal European Light Infantry, he was killed in action at the battle of Ferozeshuhur, 21 December 1845.

On the night before the battle, ‘the officers talked freely amongst themselves of the engagement which was to be fought on the following morning; one of them only, Captain Thomas Box - ‘Jerry’ Box as he was familiarly called - showing a total absence of any excitement or emotion. Box had proved himself in many a fight a fearless soldier, and was beloved of his men, but on this night he was in low spirits and being questioned as to the cause he simply said: “I feel I shall get a shot right slap in the face.” This remark caused some merriment, for all knew Captain Box to be constitutionally brave, and no one believed the presentiment.’

Nevertheless, on the following day, in the midst of battle ‘As the line approached the enemy’s entrenchments, the fire from their batteries increased in violence, the round shot and grape tearing through the ranks and leaving considerable gaps. Here Captain Box received the shot he had foretold, which struck him “right slap in the face”; a bullet passed through his head, and he fell from his horse stone dead.’ (ref. regimental history) - with copied extracts.