Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria

To be Sold on: 17th March 2021

Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000

The Waterloo Medal awarded to Private John Bingley, Royal Horse Guards, who suffered 14 lance and sabre wounds in different parts of his body at Waterloo

Waterloo 1815 (John Bingley, Royal Horse Guards.) fitted with contemporary silver bar suspension inscribed on either side ‘Honour to the Brave’ and ‘14 Lance and Sabre wounds’, nearly very fine £5,000-£7,000

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The Waterloo Medal awarded to Private John Bingley, Royal Horse Guards, who suffered 14 lance and sabre wounds in different parts of his body at Waterloo

Waterloo 1815 (John Bingley, Royal Horse Guards.) fitted with contemporary silver bar suspension inscribed on either side ‘Honour to the Brave’ and ‘14 Lance and Sabre wounds’, nearly very fine £5,000-£7,000
Provenance: An Important Collection of Waterloo Medals, Buckland Dix & Wood, December 1994.

John Bingley was born in Corby, Leicestershire (sic), and joined “H” Troop, Royal Horse Guards on 1 October 1811, aged 26, a frame work knitter by trade. He was discharged on 5 February 1817, and admitted to Chelsea Hospital on 18 February following, aged 31, as a result of having been ‘wounded at Waterloo by 14 Sabre wounds in different parts of his body, and fistula in ano from which he suffers much at times.’ His period of service is recorded as being 7 years 4 months, including two years for Waterloo, which means he must have been born circa 1785.

Two letters exist written by John Bingley to his parents from Belgium, now held in the Household Cavalry Archives, Windsor; the first from a ‘village near Brussels’ on 17 May 1815, describing to his father his arrival with the regiment in Belgium from Ramsgate. The second is considerably more interesting and was written to his parents from the ‘Cavalry Depot near Brussels’ on 13 August 1815, describing his wounds and subsequent recovery:

‘My dear father and mother,
This comes with my sincere love to you and all my friends, hoping that you are in good health as I am at this time, I thank God for it. I have the pleasure to inform you that my wounds are all healed, but my left arm still continues very weak and my right knee is rather stiff, but in a little time I have no doubt but I shall have the perfect use of it, as it gets better every day and I get stronger and by the blessing of God am in perfect good health.
Dear father, I received your kind and loving letter this morning, am very glad to find that you and all your friends are well and relieved from that undoubted anxiety which you would naturally feel respecting me being killed. It certainly was reported in the field that Bingley of the H Troop was killed, for on Sunday the 17th June (as we were deluding the enemy to advance by making the most regular retreat in order to draw them out of a wood and at the same time to plant ourselves in a stronger position) there was a man 2 or 3 files on my right who lost his head by a cannon shot and someone in the rear of the division through a mistake, said it was me. But praised be the Lord, I am still alive, though positively on Sunday evening the 18th I expected every minute to breath my last, being so excessively faint through the great loss of blood I sustained from the great number of wounds I received and for 2 or 3 preceding days had but little provision to subsist upon. Consequently I became very weak and feeble, but miraculous as it may appear, after all this fatigue and distress, I was enabled to exist from Sunday until Wednesday with straw for my bed and water for my nourishment; but (thanks be to God which gave us the victory) I am still alive and hope through his great and boundless mercy, in his good time, to be enabled to come to Old England again, that I may come and see you and give you comfort in your old age, before you depart this mortal life... Please to write when convenient, directing as before and believe me to be your truly affectionate and loving son,
John Bingley