Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (16 December 2003)

Date of Auction: 16th December 2003

Sold for £6,800

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Army of India 1799-1826, 3 clasps, Assye, Argaum, Gawilghur (Lieut. Jas. Smith, 12th N.I.) short hyphen reverse, officially impressed naming, together with a portrait miniature of the recipient in uniform, oils on ivory, unsigned, polished, otherwise very fine and a rare casualty £5000-6000


James Smith was born in 1784 and joined the Indian Army in 1801, being appointed as an Ensign to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Regiment, Madras Native Infantry. His commissions for the ranks of Ensign and Lieutenant both bear the date 20 July 1801. Lieutenant Smith was wounded at the battle of Assaye, 23 September 1803, Wellington’s most famous victory in India. He is one of only five officers who were wounded and lived to claim their medal. He afterwards took part in the battle of Argaum and the storming of Gawilghur at the end of that year. Promoted to Captain in June 1813, Smith was invalided out in April 1818, on account of his wounds, and placed on the strength of the 1st Native Veteran Battalion, in which unit he is still shown in 1856. Captain Smith died on 5 June 1859 and was buried in St Mary’s Cemetery, Madras. His Army of India medal was issued from the Adjutant General’s Office on 1st April 1852.