The Collection of Medals to Yeomen of the Guard formed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Denny

Date of Auction: 8th May 2019

Sold for £2,800

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,600

The group of three awarded to Sergeant John Fallis, 32nd Light Infantry, an original defender he was wounded at Lucknow in September 1857, and was afterwards appointed a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

Punjab 1848-49, 2 clasps, Mooltan, Chilianwala (John Fallis, 32nd Foot.); India General Service 1854-95, 1 clasp, North West Frontier (1327 J. Fallis 32nd Regt.); Indian Mutiny 1857-59, 1 clasp, Defence of Lucknow (Sergt. John Fallis. 32 Foot.) officially impressed naming but in a slightly later style, edge bruising and contact marks, otherwise good fine or better (3) £2,000-£2,600


John Fallis was born in 1825 on the Island of Corfu, Greece, son of Thomas Fallis who was serving there as a Private in the 32nd Foot. He enlisted into his father’s regiment, the 32nd Foot, at Devonport on 9 June 1836, aged 14 years. He served with the 32nd in Canada from June 1840 to September 1841, and in India from September 1846 to August 1859. He was present at the first and second siege operations at Mooltan, 1848-49, and at the battle of Goojerat, 21 February 1849 (Medal with two clasps). He served on the North West Frontier in the Rinizai Expedition of 11-22 March 1852, and in the Shakot and Dargai Expeditions of 15-24 May 1852 (Medal with clasp). He was in the defence of Lucknow from 30 June to 22 November 1857, and was disabled by wounds on 27 September 1857 [Medal Roll] and wounded in the temple by gunshot on 13 October 1857 [Discharge papers]. He afterwards took part in the battle of Cawnpore, 6 December 1857, the capture of Fort Thyrrool in July 1858, the battle of Doudpore, 20 October, and the action of the Gogra River when several thousand prisoners were taken. The regiment was then engaged in collecting arms from villages until March 1859 when they embarked for England, returning to a heroes’ welcome on 11 October. Sergeant Fallis took his discharge at his own request on 22 September 1860, after 21 years’ service but not entitled to the L.S. & G.C. medal having been tried by Court Martial and imprisoned in June 1850.

On 9 October 1860, he went before the Pension Board at Chelsea and was the next day appointed a Yeoman Warder in H.M.’s Tower of London. He was appointed Yeoman Extraordinary (Bodyguard) on 8 December 1860. Unlike the Yeomen of the Guard who lived in their own premises and were called up for ceremonial duties, the Yeoman Warders were resident in the Tower and wore the Yeoman Dress. Their duties included the Saluting of the Keys and the guarding of the Crown Jewels. He died at London Hospital, Whitechapel, on 4 July 1902, aged 77.

Sold with copied discharge papers and other copied research.