Medals to The Gordon Highlanders and Associated Units from the Collection of A.J. Henderson
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Date of Auction: 21st September 2007
Sold for £1,200
Estimate: £600 - £700
FootnoteJohn Priest was born at Knockando, near Elgin, Morayshire, in about 1788, and enlisted into the Army on 4 August 1807. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion, 92nd Highlanders, which he joined on 7 April 1808. He served with the 2nd Battalion in Ireland until June 1809, when he transferred to the 1st Battalion and accompanied it on the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition later that year. He went with the 1st Battalion to Portugal in October 1810 and was present at the battle of Fuentes D’Onoro on 5 May 1811, subsequently receiving the medal and clasp for this action. According to the muster rolls he continued to serve with the battalion for the rest of the Peninsula Campaign, right through to the end in April 1814, though why he did not claim the clasps for Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, or Toulouse, remains a mystery. That he was in action during this period is beyond doubt; the muster rolls for the period November 1813 to February 1814 show him as being wounded at Cambo, presumably at Nive between 9th and 13th December, and The Examination of Invalid Soldiers on Tuesday 28th June 1853 [WO/116/61] states that he had been ‘severely wounded in the head at Vittoria and Toulouse’.
Discharged from the Army on 31 October 1814, he returned to Scotland and married Elizabeth Peddie in her home town of Drainie in January 1819. They lived at Lossiemouth where he became a Ground Officer, or estate manager. They had at least one daughter, Margaret, and possibly other children some of whom may have emigrated to New Zealand as there is a note in the Elgin Courant, reporting his death from bronchitis on 10 July 1876, asking New Zealand papers to copy his obituary notice locally. Sold with full research and full muster details.