Orders, Decorations and Medals (29 November 1996)

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Date of Auction: 29th November 1996


Estimate: £650 - £750

Meeanee Hyderabad 1843 (Cornet W. A. A. Thomson, 9th Regt. Bengal Light Cavalry) engraved in fine running script, fitted with contemporary cilp and swivel-bar suspension, contact wear, therefore good fine


Ex Payne and Lovell Collections.

Lieutenant Colonel William Thomson was born in December 1823 and joined the 9th Bengal Light Cavalry as a Cornet in 1842. Appointed an A.D.C. to Sir Charles Napier during the following year, he was mentioned in despatches for his conduct as the General’s Orderly Officer at the battle of Meeanee. He was one of only two officers similarly recommended again for services at the battle of Hyderabad.

His brother later recalled in his memoirs,
Reminiscences of Colonel Anstruther Thomson, how William had lost a seal during the course of the fighting at Meeanee. Bearing the family crest and motto “Honesty is Good Policy”, it was discovered on the battle ground by a private soldier who later presented it to a half-caste woman. That might well have been the end of the tale but due to an amazing succession of events, the seal finally found its way back to William’s widow thirty-seven years later.

After his services on Sir Charles Napier’s Staff, Thomson became Adjutant of the 15th Irregular Cavalry. Thereafter, he served eleven years on the Governor General’s Bodyguard under Lord Dalhousie and Lord Canning, and at the time of his death in 1865, he was Political Agent at Moorshedabad. Sold with further research.