Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (9 & 10 May 2018)

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Date of Auction: 9th & 10th May 2018

Sold for £4,800

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Waterloo 1815 (Lieut. John Whitney, 1st Batt. 71st Reg. Foot.) fitted with original steel clip and ring suspension and silver ribbon buckle, good very fine £5000-6000

Footnote

Provenance: Mackenzie Collection 1934.

John Whitney/Witney was appointed Ensign in the 11th Foot, from the Wexford Militia, on 5 October 1808. He took part in the expedition to the Walcheren in July 1809 and was promoted to a Lieutenancy in the 71st Foot on 19 October 1809. He served with the 71st in the Peninsula from September 1813 to April 1814, being present at the battles of Nivelle, Nive, and Toulouse, and also at the battle of Waterloo.

The 71st played a full part in this great battle at Waterloo. Assigned to Adam's Light Brigade (along with the 1/52nd and 2/95th) on the right of the battlefield, they first endured over two hours of intense artillery fire. When they moved, they left many dead and wounded on the ground. They then repulsed seven cavalry charges, during one of which the Duke, attended only by his trumpeter, took refuge in their square. Towards evening, following the example of the 52nd and with the 95th in close support, they charged the Guard and drove it back. Leading the final advance, the 71st assaulted the Guard's reserve positions and captured a battery, one of whose guns they turned around and fired at the retreating enemy. This is thought to have been the last shot of the battle. An original painting of this incident entitled ‘The Last Gun at Waterloo’ is in the Regimental Museum.