Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (19 & 20 July 2017)

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Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £12,000

Estimate: £8,000 - £10,000

A fine K.H. pair awarded to Major-General John Cox, late 95th Rifles, Colonel of the 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers), who served throughout the Peninsular War and at Waterloo with the 95th (Rifle Brigade), being wounded by a musket ball at Vimiera, in the head at Redinha, a compound fracture of the left arm at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo while clearing the left breach, and left leg badly fractured (ball lodged) in driving the enemy from the heights of Tarbes

The Royal Guelphic Order, K.H. (Military) Knight’s breast badge, gold and enamels; Military General Service 1793-1814, 10 clasps, Roleia, Vimiera, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes (John Cox, Lieut. 95th Rifles.) nearly extremely fine (2) £8000-10000


John Cox was born in the Parish of St Anne, Dublin, on 22 May 1790, was appointed Ensign on 16 March 1808, and promoted to Lieutenant in June 1809; Captain, December 1819; Major, August 1828; Lieutenant-Colonel, February 1837; Major-General, December 1855; Knight of Hanover, K.H.

‘Major-General John Cox, with the exception of a few months, served throughout the whole of the Peninsular War with the 95th (Rifle Brigade) commencing with the first affair at Obidos, 15th Aug. 1808. He was also engaged with the enemy in the following battles, sieges, actions and affairs: battles of Roleia and Vimiera, and surrender of Lisbon; subsequent campaign in Spain with Sir John Moore’s army, including its retreat, outpost affairs at Talavera, night defence of the post of Barba del Puerco against very superior numbers, affairs of Gallegos and Bequilla; action at Almeida, and defence of the bridge against every effort to force it; affairs at Mora Morta and Jula; battle of Busaco; affairs at Alenquer, Aruder and Santarem; defence of the lines of Torres Vedras; actions with Marshal Massena’s rearguard at Pombal, Redinha, Condeixa, Caza Nova, Foz d’Aronce, Ponte de Marcella, Freixadas and Sabugal; at Almeida five successive days; at Marialva Bridge; battles of the 3rd and 5th of May 1811 at Fuentes d’Onor; affairs at Naves d’Aver and Forcaylos; siege and storming of Ciudad Rodrigo; action at San Milan; battle of Vittoria; actions with the French rearguard at Echarrianos, Pampeluna and forcing the heights of Echelar; at Vera and carrying the entrenchments in its pass; battles of the Pyrenees; several affairs at outposts; battles of Nivelle and Nive; action at Tarbes; victory of the 18th of June at Waterloo and capture of Paris.

He was wounded at Vimiera by a musket ball; received a contusion in the head at Redinha, a compound fracture of the left arm at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo while clearing the left breach, and left leg badly fractured (ball lodged) in driving the enemy from the heights of Tarbes. Joined the army in Belgium under the Prince of Orange in the autumn of 1814. Served the Waterloo campaigns in that country, and with the Army of Occupation in France, until its embarkation for England in 1818. He has received the War Medal and ten clasps.’

Cox served in Captain Jonathan Leach’s Company at Waterloo and , according to his entry in Hart’s Army List for 1862, ‘defended a battery with his Company’. Awarded a K.H. for his services, he was appointed Colonel of the 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers) on 13 October 1860. Major-General John Cox died at Cheltenham on 7 February 1863. His tomb in St Mary’s Cemetery, Cheltenham, bears the following inscription:

‘To the beloved and cherished memory of Major-General Cox, K.H., Colonel of the 88th Regiment, who died in Cheltenham, February 7th, 1863, deeply regretted; a brave and distinguished Peninsular and Waterloo soldier, having received the War Medal with ten clasps; and a sincere and humble Christian.’

Cox’s Waterloo medal is believed to be held by the Royal Green Jackets Museum at Winchester. Sold with research including copies of two unpublished letters from Cox to Lieutenant Siborn describing his observations at Waterloo.