Orders, Decorations and Medals (4 December 2001)

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Date of Auction: 4th December 2001

Sold for £1,100

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

Military General Service 1793-1814, 1 clasp, Toulouse (Fredk. Cobbold, Lieut. 1st Dgns.) contact marks, otherwise very fine £1000-1200


Frederick Cobbold was born circa 1790 and was appointed Cornet in the 1st Dragoons on 23 August 1810; Lieutenant, 15 August 1811; Lieutenant, 10th Hussars, 1822; Half-pay, 2 February 1830. Lieutenant Cobbold served in the Peninsula with the 1st Dragoons and was present at the battle of Toulouse. Lieutenant Cobbold died at Ipswich on 11 February 1870.

Sold with a copy of his Will and other research including copied extracts from the Peninsula War Officers Club Journal 1811-16 - 1st Royal Dragoons which contains some amusing anecdotes of Cobbold’s arrival in France as a young naive Lieutenant where he was preyed upon by some of his more senior officers. Similar anecdotes are recounted in a regimental history:

‘Before long yet more young and green officers arrived - the “Ruler” was down at the base combing out the depot - among them Frederick Cobbold whom Osborne Barwell immediately took under his wing, instructing him how to eat and drink like a gentleman. He also started to play practical jokes on him. He told him that it was the done thing for a new arrival to give a dinner party to which Barwell and his friends invited themselves and polished off all the wine and brandy that he, Cobbold, had brought out from home. He had also brought two greyhounds, and Barwell told him that, “as he had not got good enough horses to correspond to them, it was his duty to ride over to Villa Franca and present them to Dashwood and Brunghurst.” These two were presumably friends of Barwell. The innocent swallowed this, and on his return said that it was perfectly clear that he had done the right thing! Cobbold, too, was ostentatiously over-zealous. He would never leave the men alone and particularly annoyed Major Purvis who was in command of the regiment at the time and in the habit of giving a whist party at his house every night “at which the officers stepped in at their pleasure and talked and played cards”. One night the conversation turned on fowls and Cobbold started boasting that he could get one whenever he wanted. As a matter of fact they were stolen. So, as Wellington was strict against looting, the Major seriously thought of bringing Cobbold to a court martial but decided that the fellow was too “green”.’