The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria

To be Sold on: 20th August 2020

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

A rare Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie medal to Gunner Joseph Martin, Bengal Artillery, who was mentioned in Artillery Regimental Order of 20 July ‘for good service at Kelat-I-Ghilzie’

Defence of Kelat-i-Ghilzie 1842 (Gunner Joseph Martin, 4th Company 2nd Batt. Arty.) naming officially engraved in running script, fitted with steel clip and silver bar suspension, very fine and better £5,000-£6,000

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A rare Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie medal to Gunner Joseph Martin, Bengal Artillery, who was mentioned in Artillery Regimental Order of 20 July ‘for good service at Kelat-I-Ghilzie’

Defence of Kelat-i-Ghilzie 1842 (Gunner Joseph Martin, 4th Company 2nd Batt. Arty.) naming officially engraved in running script, fitted with steel clip and silver bar suspension, very fine and better £5,000-£6,000
A total of only 55 medals awarded to European recipients, including one officer and 43 men from the 4th Company 2nd Battalion, Bengal Artillery.

Following the disastrous retreat of the British from Cabul in January 1842, Ghuznee was retaken by the Afghans, and the isolated garrison at Kelat-i-Ghilzie was invested. The garrison consisted of 600 of the Shah’s 3rd Infantry, three companies of the 43rd N.I., totalling 247 men, forty-four European and twenty-two native artillery, twenty-three Bengal Sappers and Miners, and seven British officers, all under Captain John Halkett Craigie.

The total strength of the garrison of Kelat-i-Ghilzie, situated about eighty miles north east of Candahar, was fifty-five Europeans and 877 natives. In spite of ‘cold and privation unequalled by any of the troops in Afghanistan’ the garrison put up a successful defence through the whole winter till relieved on 26 May 1842. On the 21st May, however, the garrison had repulsed a particularly determined attack by some 6,000 Afghans:

‘Khelat-i-Ghilzai was attacked at a quarter before four o’clock’, reported Craigie, ‘The enemy advanced to the assault in the most determined manner, each column consisting of upwards of 2,000 men, provided with 30 scaling ladders, but after an hour’s fighting were repulsed and driven down the hill, losing five standards, one of which was planted three times in one of the embrasures ... The greatest gallantry and coolness were displayed by every commissioned and non-commissioned officer, and private (both European and Native) engaged in meeting the attack of the enemy, several of whom were bayoneted on top of the sandbags forming our parapets ...’

Colonel Wymer and his relieving force consequently were only engaged in destroying the defences and caring for the sick and wounded, until the 1st of June when they returned to Candahar.

Stubbs’ History of the Bengal Artillery includes Gunner Martin in the list of 19 men mentioned in Artillery Regimental Order of 20 July ‘for good service at Kelat-I-Ghilzie’.