A Fine Series of Peninsular War Medals

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Date of Auction: 19th March 2008

Sold for £620

Estimate: £700 - £900

Military General Service 1793-1814, 1 clasp, Maida (Saml. Smith, 35th Foot) refixed suspension claw, edge bruising and heavily polished, thus fine £700-900

Footnote

Ex Glendining’s, May 1903; only 16 Military General Service 1793-1814 Medals are known to have survived to members of the 35th Foot.

Samuel Smith, a frame work knitter, was born in Arnold, Nottinghamshire and enlisted in the 35th Foot in July 1799, aged 19 years.

Just over two months later, ‘he received a gunshot wound in the head in action in Holland on 2 October 1799’ (his discharge papers refer), so whether he was fit enough for duty at the capture of Malta in the following year remains unknown. But he was certainly back on the strength of the 1/35th at the time of the Sicily operations and Calabria Expedition in 1806, for, as further verified by his discharge papers, he received another gunshot wound ‘at Maida in the right hip on 4 July 1806’.

In 1807 the Regiment was sent to Egypt, from there proceeding to Italy and taking part in the capture of the Ionian islands in 1809, before returning to England and then to Ireland in 1817.

Smith was finally discharged in Brighton in November 1818 (WO 97 & WO 116/28 refer), and in the 1851 census he is shown as living at 162 Knight’s Square, Arnold, Nottingham ,with his wife Susannah. Described as a ‘F.W.K [Frame Work Knitter], Chelsea Pensioner’, he was then 71 years of age; just 46 survivors of the 1/35th lived to claim the Medal and “Maida” clasp, the Regiment’s only such entitlement.