Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (16 April 2020)

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Date of Auction: 16th April 2020

Sold for £4,800

Estimate: £2,600 - £3,000

Five: Able Seaman (Pensioner) John Murphy, Royal Navy

China 1842 (John Murphy, Petty Offr. H.M.S. Blenheim); Baltic 1854-55, unnamed; Crimea 1854-56, 1 clasp, Sebastopol (Jno. Murphy. H.M.S. “Hannibal”) clasp loose on ribbon as issued, contemporary engraved naming; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., Anchor obverse (John Murphy Master at Arms H.M.S. Tyne 21 Years); Turkish Crimea 1855, British issue, fitted with Crimean suspension, unnamed, light contact marks, otherwise good very fine and a very rare group (5) £2,600-£3,000


John Murphy was born at Cobh, County Cork, in 1807, and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 3rd Class in H.M.S. Semiramis on 27 September 1823, and rated Ordinary Seaman on 30 May 1825 (presumably his 18th birthday). He was drafted to Windsor Castle on 30 May 1828, and rated Able Seaman on 1 October 1828; drafted to Stag on 21 June 1831 and to Malabar on 19 October 1832. He was next drafted to Hercules on 18 February 1839, and to Blenheim on 15 January 1840, in which ship he was promoted to Quarter Master, 22 March 1841, and earned his China 1842 medal. He was discharged from Blenheim on 28 March 1843, and entered Tyne as an Able Seaman on 17 June 1843, being advanced to Captain of the After Guard on 1 August 1843, and to Ships Corporal on 3 December 1843. He was discharged from Tyne on 7 January 1847, with over 21 years and 3 months adult service, qualifying him for pension and Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

Murphy returned to the Royal Navy on 14 December 1850 as an Able Seaman (Pensioner) in St George, in which ship he earned the Baltic medal (sent to Royal William 18 March 1856). On 14 November 1854, he was drafted to Hannibal in which ship he earned the Crimea medal with Sebastopol clasp. He next entered Algiers on 25 January 1856, and was finally drafted to Royal William on 10 August 1856. The Description Book for Royal William records that he was then single, aged 49, and that he was discharged on 25 November 1858, having been ‘Missing 21 days & supposed to have been drowned.’ Sold with full research.