Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £780

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

Five: Sergeant F. Blake, 98th Regiment, late 49th and 50th Regiments

China 1842 (Corpl., 49th [Regiment] Foot); Sutlej 1845-46, for Aliwal 1846, 1 clasp, Sobraon (50th [Regt.]); Punjab 1848-49, no clasp (Serjt., 98th Foot); Army L.S. & G.C., V.R., large letter reverse (98th Regt. [1852]), fitted with Crimea-style swivel-suspension; Army Meritorious Service Medal, V.R. (Sergt., Late 98th Regt.) contact wear, severe edge bruising with resultant loss of some naming details, and heavily polished, fair, the M.S.M. rather better (5) £800-1000


Francis Blake enlisted in the 49th Foot at Limerick in November 1834 and was embarked for India in July of the following year. Then in March 1840 he sailed for China and was present at various actions in the First Opium War, prior to serving in Hong Kong and Singapore. Advanced to Corporal in January 1842, he returned to the U.K. in the following year and transferred to the 50th Regiment, with whom he returned to India and fought in the First Sikh War, including the Battles of Aliwal and Sobraon, at which latter engagement he was wounded on 10 February 1846. But in December 1847 he again transferred, this time as a Sergeant to the 98th Regiment at Calcutta, afterwards seeing action in the Punjab. Blake was advanced to Colour-Sergeant in March 1851, resigned his position at Dugshai in July 1852, and returned to the U.K. where he became a Sergeant-Major of a Militia Light Infantry Battalion. He was awarded his M.S.M. circa 1869 and died in March 1884; see Ian McInnes’ The Annuity M.S.M. 1847-1953 for further details - sold with an original but damaged portrait photograph of the recipient wearing his medals, and extensive copied muster details.