The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals (Part 2) (12 February 1997)

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Date of Auction: 12th February 1997

Sold for £750

Estimate: £600 - £700

Three: China 1842 (J. J. Crawford, Asst. Surgn., H.M.S. Plover); Baltic 1854-55, unnamed as issued; China 1857-60, 1 clasp, Fatshan 1857, unnamed as issued, light contact marks, otherwise good very fine (3)

Footnote

John Irwin Crawford entered the Navy on 1 June 1838 as Assistant Surgeon aboard the COLUMBINE employed at first at the Cape of Good Hope and then on the coast of China, where he was present at the capture of Canton, the attacks upon Chapoo and Woosung, and at the operations up the Yang-tse-Kiang. In September 1842 he was transferred to the PLOVER and on 3 April 1843 he was promoted to the rank of Surgeon. He next served in the BITTERN on the coast of Africa, in the MÆANDER in the Pacific, and in the HORATIO, guard-ship at Sheerness and at Hull. On 22 March 1854 he was appointed Surgeon of the HANNIBAL and went with French troops to the Baltic, from where he returned, after the fall of Bomarsund, with troops and prisoners of war, who suffered much from cholera, to Brest. In the same ship, which bore the flag of Sir Houston Stewart in the Black Sea, he participated in the operations against Kertch, Sebastopol and Kinburn, thus gaining entitlement to the Crimean medal with Sebastopol clasp and the Turkish medal.

Crawford sailed to the coast of China in RALEIGH, to which ship he had been appointed Surgeon on 17 October 1856, but on 14 April following, RALEIGH, on her way from Hong Kong, struck on an uncharted pinnacle of rock off the S.E. coast of Macao. She was so badly holed that she had to be beached between the Koko and Typa Islands, where she became a total wreck. Commodore Keppel exhibited great resource in getting away his ship’s company without the loss of a single man, and later in removing all the guns and the ship’s stores. In consequence, Crawford was appointed, as additional, to the CALCUTTA, in which ship he was present at the destruction of a flotilla of war junks up the Fatshan branch of the Canton river, 1 June 1857. Since he never informed the Admiralty, at the end of the second China War, that he was already in possession of a first China War medal, he was issued with a second China War medal with clasp. If the Authorities had known of his earlier award, he would have been issued with ‘China 1842’ and ‘Fatshan 1857’ clasps to add to his earlier award. Doctor Crawford was promoted to Fleet Surgeon on 28 July 1864 and retired on 1 April 1870.