A Collection of Medals to the 23rd Foot Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Date of Auction: 27th February 2019

Sold for £4,000

Estimate: £2,800 - £3,200

The Peninsula War medal awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel R. P. Holmes, 23rd Foot, who was severely wounded at the storming of Badajoz, 6 April 1812, and later fought at Waterloo where he received a contusion in the head from a musket ball

Military General Service 1793-1814, 6 clasps, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse (R. P. Holmes, Lieut. 23rd Foot.) naming lightly rubbed overall and a little polished, otherwise toned, very fine £2,800-£3,200


Robert Pattison Holmes was born on 3 October 1790 at Alconbury, Huntingdonshire. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 23rd Foot on 14 February 1811, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 12 December 1812. He served in the Peninsula from December 1811 to May 1812, and from November 1813 to April 1814, including the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the assault and capture of Badajoz, 6 April 1812 (severely wounded in the right hand by a musket ball), and at the battles of Nivelle, Nive, Orthes and Toulouse. In respect of his wound received at Badajoz he was granted one years pay as First Lieutenant and a permanent pension of £70 per annum.

He served in France and Belgium from March 1815, was present at the battle of Waterloo in No. 8 Company, where he received a contusion in the head from a musket ball, and afterwards at the storming of Cambrai and capture of Paris. He remained with the Army of Occupation in France until November 1818. Promoted to Captain on 4 September 1823, he served at Gibraltar from December 1823 to May 1826. He received further promotion to Major on 17 December 1830 and to Lieutenant-Colonel on 14 April 1846.

As Senior Major he commanded the Reserve Battalion of the 23rd Foot in Canada and as such, by regimental tradition, held the Spurs which had been worn by Lieutenant-Colonel Toby Purcell at the battle of the Boyne in 1690. Whilst in Montreal his house was burned down in a disastrous fire and the Spurs were lost. After 38 years in the Regiment he died of cholera at Montreal on 23 July 1849. Sold with copied research.