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

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Date of Auction: 16th April 2020

Sold for £4,600

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

An extremely rare ‘1848 raised date’ M.S.M. group of three awarded to Colour Sergeant W. Overitt, 1st European Bengal Fusiliers

Ghuznee 1839, reverse contemporarily engraved ‘Corporal William Overitt, H.C. 1st. European Regt.’; Sutlej 1845-46, for Ferozeshuhur 1845, 1 clasp, Sobraon (Serjt. W: Overitt 1st. E:L:I:); Honourable East India Company Meritorious Service Medal, V.R., with 1848 below bust (Color Sergt. Wm. Overitt. 1st. Euro: Bengal Fusrs. 16th. Novr. 1849.) all with top silver riband bars, suspension post refurbished on first, edge bruising to last, contact marks, very fine, the last extremely rare (3) £3,000-£4,000

Footnote

William Overitt was born in St. Botlot’s, Essex, in c.1810, and attested for the H.E.I.C.’s Infantry at London in April 1829. He embarked for India in Princess Charlotte of Wales on 5 June of that year, and remained there for the rest of his life. Posted to the 1st Bengal European Regiment, he was present in the attack and capture of Ghuznee in 1839, whilst holding the rank of Corporal, and served during the 1st Sikh War (the regiment having been renamed the 1st Bengal European Light Infantry in 1840), whilst holding the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the H.E.I.C. Meritorious Service Medal on 16 November 1849 per Bengal Government General Order 425, and was granted an annuity of £14 14s as a reward for distinguished and meritorious service, whilst holding the rank of Colou
r Sergeant (the regiment having been renamed the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers in 1846). He was pensioned on 28 June 1850, and died at Dum Dum on 13 April 1877. Four years later, following the Childers Reforms in 1881, his old Regiment was renamed the Royal Munster Fusiliers.


Fewer than 10 ‘1848 raised date’ Meritorious Service Medals are believed to have been awarded to the British Army, and the Honourable East India Company M.S.M. with the raised date must be equally rare- the only other example to have appeared at public auction in recent years sold in these rooms in September 2004 as part of the Brian Ritchie collection.