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 £4,000
Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500
FootnoteJohn M’Combie was born in the Parish of Mortlach, Banffshire, in about 1777 and enlisted there into the 100th Regiment, later the 92nd Highlanders, for unlimited service on 11 June 1795. He was posted to the battalion at Gibraltar and went with it to Ireland in 1798. From there he accompanied it to Holland and was present at the battle of Egmont-op-Zee on 2 October 1799, when he was wounded in the right leg. After taking part in the ineffective operations in Quiberon Bay in 1800, he accompanied the Regiment on the Expedition to Egypt the following year, being present at the battles of Mandora on the 13th and Alexandria on the 2st March. He was present on the March to Cairo, which culminated in the surrender of that City, and at the subsequent siege and capture of Alexandria.
On his return to the United Kingdom he was promoted Corporal on the 7h December 1803, and soon after Sergeant on the 9th of April 1804. He probably took part in the funeral of Lord Nelson at St. Paul's Cathedral in January 1806. He then accompanied the Regiment on the Expedition to Copenhagen and was present at the engagement at Kioge on the 29h August 1807.
In 1809 he went with the Regiment on Sir John Moore's invasion of Spain and the subsequent retreat to Corunna, after which he spent about three months sick at Portsmouth. In July of that year he took part on the ill-fated Expedition to Walchren, after which the Regiment returned to the Iberian Peninsula. From October 1810 until the end of the Peninsular War in 1814, M'Combie served with the Regiment, first as a Sergeant, and then, from Christmas Day 1812, as Quartermaster Sergeant, being present at the engagements of Fuentes d'Onoro, Arroyo del Molinos, Almaraz, Alba de Tormes, Vittoria, the fighting in the Pyrenees at the end of July 1813, Nivelle, Nive, Arriverete, Orthes and Toulouse.
On the cessation of the Peninsular War in 1814, the Regiment returned to Ireland where it remained until, in May the following year, they went to Flanders to join Wellington's Army. M'Combie was present as Quartermaster-Sergeant at both Quatre Bras, on the 16th June, and Waterloo two days later. After the defeat of Napoleon, he continued to serve with the Regiment until he was discharged at Castlebar on the 7th and admitted an out pensioner of Kilmainham Hospital nine days later on the 16th December 1818, with a pension of 2/2d per diem. His conduct being shown as ‘invariably good and has been Wounded in Action with the Enemy at the Battle of Egmont op Zee on the 2nd October 1799 in the Right Leg’.
John M’Combie died on 2 August 1838. A manuscript Journal kept by Quartermaster-Sergeant M’Combie throughout his army service is held by the Regimental HQ, The Gordon Highlanders. Whilst short on personal detail, it is, nonetheless, of great interest and provides a good record of the regiment’s progress through the Peninsula campaign and Waterloo. A typescript copy of his journal accompanies the medal together with full research and full muster details.