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

Date of Auction: 19th & 20th July 2017

Sold for £13,000

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

A fine K.H. Waterloo pair awarded to Colonel James Forlong, 43rd Light Infantry, late 33rd Foot, who was severely wounded in the chest at Waterloo

The Royal Guelphic Order, K.H. (Military) Knight’s breast badge, gold and enamels, in its original case of issue, this with weak hinges and lacking one clasp: Waterloo 1815 (Lieut. James Forlong, 33rd Regiment Foot.) fitted with original steel clip and contemporary silver bar suspension, the first lacking crown device from reverse centre, otherwise extremely fine, the second with edge bruising and contact marks, therefore good fine (2) £6000-8000


Provenance: Bonhams, September 1994; exhibited at Spink Waterloo Exhibition 2015.

Sold with an unsigned portrait in oils on board, approx. 9in. x 7in., of Furlong in uniform wearing his K.H. and Waterloo medal, in gilt scrolled frame with label on back of R. & J. Finlay, Printsellers & Booksellers, Glasgow; together with a small shield painted with his arms and awards; and a letter from Wellington at Walmer Castle, in his own hand and signed, “I was very sorry to learn this morning that you had not been invited to dine here this day”, dated 17 October 1838, in envelope sealed and addressed to Forlong, and with another, addressed in another hand, sealed and postmarked ‘FREE 24 DE 1838’.

James Forlong was born in Lanarkshire and commissioned an Ensign in the 33rd (Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment in March 1813. He served with the 33rd in the campaigns of 1813-14 in Germany and Holland, including the actions at Merxem, 13 January 1814; the bombardment of Antwerp; and the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom, 8 March 1814. Promoted Lieutenant in December 1814, he subsequently served during the Waterloo campaign at Quatre Bras, 16 June 1815, where he was severely wounded, suffering a fracture to his right collar bone and having a ball lodged in his right breast.

Promoted Captain in September 1821, he transferred to the 43rd Monmouthshire Light Infantry in April 1825. Promoted to Major in July 1828, and to Lieutenant-Colonel in May 1841, he commanded the 43rd for the next decade, retiring from command in 1851, ‘owing to advanced age and frequent fits of suffering, induced by an unextracted bullet received at Quatre Bras.’ In recognition of his services he was appointed a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1835. He later emigrated to Canada, and died in Toronto.