Orders, Decorations and Medals (28 July 1993)

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Date of Auction: 28th July 1993

Sold for £6,200

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

The important Peninsula and Waterloo pair awarded to Lieutenant-General Sir Colquhoun Grant, G.C.H., K.C.B., Colonel of the 15th Hussars, Brigade Commander in the Peninsula and at Waterloo

FIELD OFFICER'S GOLD MEDAL, for Sahagun and Benevente, the reverse officially engraved 'Cavalry. Spain, 1808', 1 clasp, Vittoria (Lieut. Col. Colqn. Grant, 15th Lt.Dns.) the glass lunettes sometime replaced, the medal with contact wear to the obverse, otherwise very fine, fitted with gold ribbon buckle; WATERLOO 1815 (Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant, K.C.B.) fitted with steel clip and ring suspension, contact wear, nearly very fine (2)


Lieutenant-General Sir Colquhoun Grant entered the 36th Foot as Ensign, September 1793 and joined the regiment at Trichinopoly; Lieutenant 1795; exchanged to the 25th Light Dragoons 1797 and served with them in the Mysore campaign and was present at the capture of Seringapatam in 1799; Captain, 9th Dragoons, 1800 and promoted Major in the 28th Light Dragoons the following year; Lieutenant- Colonel, 72nd Foot, 1802, and was wounded at the head of his regiment at the recapture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806; appointed to command the 15th Hussars in August 1808 and distinguished himself at the cavalry charge at Sahagun on 21 December, 1808 (wounded and awarded gold medal). Early in the morning of the 21st the 15th Hussars, under Lord Paget, encountered a body of French Dragoons retiring towards the bridge at Sahagun. Outnumbered two to one, the British cavalry immediately charged the enemy who withstood the initial rush, but were quickly dispersed, pursued, and overtaken with great slaughter; the Hussars further distinguished themselves during the retreat of the British Army to Corunna. During the next three years Grant was employed in England and was actively employed during the 'Luddite' and other disturbances. He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Prince Regent in 1811 and promoted to Colonel. He accompanied his regiment to the Peninsula in 1813 and commanded the Hussar Brigade at the action at Morales where he was again wounded. He also commanded the Hussars at the Battle of Vittoria, 21 June 1813, where he led them in a series of gallant charges against a superior enemy (clasp to gold medal). He commanded a Brigade composed of the 13th and 14th Light Dragoons until the end of the war in 1814 when he was promoted to Major-General. He was appointed K.C.B. in June 1815. Grant, who was one of the most dashing Hussars in the service, commanded a Brigade composed of the 7th and 15th British Hussars, and the 2nd Hussars K.G.L., at Waterloo where he had five horses killed or wounded under him. During the battle his 'prompt, judicious and fortunate movement of the Brigade, from the designed attack of the (Polish) Lancers ... restored confidence to this part of the line which seemed in some danger, and may justly be considered an event of the utmost importance.' Grant was awarded the Netherlands Order of Wilhelm, 3rd class, and the Russian Order of St. Vladimir, 3rd class, for his services at Waterloo. He was appointed Colonel, 12th Lancers, 1825, and of the 15th Hussars in 1827; Lieutenant-General, 1830; Member of Parliament for Queensborough, 1831. General Grant died at Frampton, Dorset, on 20 December 1835, aged 72 years. For the cavalry actions at Sahagun and Benevente, two large and six small gold medals were awarded. All were officially engraved 'Cavalry. Spain, 1808' rather than with the name of the particular action. Furthermore, as there was at that time no provision for clasps in respect of subsequent actions, the large gold medal awarded to The Marquess of Londonderry, was additionally engraved 'Talavera 1809'. Londonderry subsequently earned a gold cross but his large medal is still in existence.