A Collection of Awards to the Worcestershire Regiment formed by Group Captain J. E. Barker

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Date of Auction: 27th September 2017

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £700 - £900

Three: Quarter-Master Sergeant William Hay, 29th Foot

Punjab 1848-49, 2 clasps, Chilianwala, Goojerat (Serjt. W. Hay, 29th Foot.); Indian Mutiny 1857-59, no clasp (Color Sergt., W, Hay, 29th Regt.); Army L.S. & G.C., V.R., small letter reverse (1616. Qrmr.-Sjt. W. Hay. 29th Regt.) all fitted with silver ribbon buckles, toned, very fine or better(3) £700-900


William Hay was born in the Parish of Melrose, near Galashiels, Roxburgh, and attested for the 29th Foot at Edinburgh on 18 January 1841, aged 19 years. He went to India with the regiment in 1842, was promoted to Corporal in October 1843 and to Sergeant in September 1845, but did not see service during the Sutlej campaign of 1845-46. He did, however, serve throughout the Punjab campaign of 1848-49, and was present at the Passage of the Chenab, and battles of Chilianwala and Goojert, being wounded at Chilianwala (Medal with 2 Clasps). He took part in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny in 1858, serving with the Field Force under the command of Colonel Turner, C.B. (Medal). He was promoted to Quarter-Master Sergeant on 1 April 1859, and returned to England with the regiment at the end of that year. Hay was awarded the L.S. & G.C. medal with a Gratuity of £15 on 19 July 1860, and was discharged at Aldershot on 21 January 1862, after 21 years service, 17 of these years on the East Indies station.

In April 1880, Hay’s career in the 29th Foot was remembered in a 16-verse poem penned by a former colleague, Colour-Sergeant J. Murray titled
‘To W. Hay, Late Quarter-Master Sergeant, 29th Regiment’, in which he recounted their long time together in the regiment, particularly in India:

Of our engagements we could tell,
Fought near the Punjaub’s Rivers,
Where hundreds of our comrades fell,
By arrows from death’s quivers.
We bivouac where the dead lie,
On the red field of slaughter,
And at night have heard the wounded cry
For water, “bring us water.”

We were in the field with Gough and Clyde,
When cannons loud were ringing,
And we did our best to stem the tide,
That threatened England’s dominion.
We have marched together in the van,
When death round us did hover,
And have grasped each other by the hand,
When the battle’s storm was over.