The Robin Scott-Smith Collection of Medals to Casualties

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Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

The Waterloo Medal awarded to Private Arthur McGee, 1st Battalion, 27th Foot, who was wounded in the right thigh at Waterloo

Waterloo 1815 (Arthur M’Gee, 1st Batt. 27th Reg. Foot.) fitted with steel clip and ring suspension, light edge bruising and polished, otherwise nearly very fine £1,800-£2,200


Arthur McGee was born in Armagh, County Armagh, and enlisted for the 27th Foot at Newry, County Down, on 3 February 1812, aged 18, for unlimited service, a weaver by trade. He was discharged on 24 May 1817, in consequence of the disbandment of the Battalion, having been ‘wounded in the right thigh at Waterloo’, where he served in Captain Hare’s No. 3 Company.

This regiment had just returned from active service in America. Out of 698 men, the 1/27th lost 480 men at Waterloo, having been almost blown to pieces when standing in square above the sandpit on the Charleroi road, as witnessed by Captain Jonathan Leach, of the 1/95th Rifles, who occupied the sandpit:

‘The 27th Regiment had its good qualities of steadiness, patience under fire, and valour, put more severely to the test than, perhaps, any corps in the field. It was formed in a hollow square, a short distance in rear of the right of our division, with one of its faces looking into the road, as a protection to it against any attempt which the enemy’s cavalry might make by charging up that road. This brave old regiment was almost annihilated in square, by the terrible fire of musketry kept up on it from the knoll, whilst it was impossible for them to pull a trigger during the whole time, as they would thereby have been as likely to kill friends as foes. Those who may chance to visit the field of Waterloo, cannot fail to find on the spot which I have mentioned, near the road, and at a short distance from the thorn hedge, a small square of a darker colour than the ground immediately about it, marking the grave of this gallant Irish regiment.’ (Rough Sketches of the Life of an Old Soldier, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Leach, C.B., late 95th Rifles)

Sold with copied discharge papers.