The extremely rare Waterloo and â€˜Badajosâ€™ Forlorn Hope Medal pair awarded to Sergeant John Willox, 52nd Foot, who was severely wounded in the left leg at Pombal, 12 March 1811, severely in the head at Badajoz, 6 April 1812, and through both thighs at San Munoz, 17 November 1812
Waterloo 1815 (Serj. John Willox, 1st Batt. 52nd Reg. Foot.) fitted with later steel clip and ring suspension; 52nd Foot Forlorn Hope Medal for the Storming of Badajos, silver, on the obverse Light Infantry bugle and LII surrounded by a laurel wreath â€˜6th Aprl. 1812â€™ above, reverse, embossed â€˜A Volunteer in the Leading Column of Attack at the Assault of Badajos. The Officers 52nd Regiment to John Willox Corl. 52nd Regimentâ€™, engraved details shown in italics, originally pierced for suspension but now carries a contemporary silver hinged bar, heavily worn, therefore fine and very rare (2) £4,000-£6,000
Provenance: Matthew E. Taylor Collection, Christieâ€™s, July 1983; Spink Waterloo Exhibition, September 2015.
The 52nd Foot â€˜Forlorn Hopeâ€™ medal was instituted by a Regimental Order dated Lichfield 19 January 1820, and was awarded for Ciudad Rodrigo 1812, Badajoz 1812, and St Sebastian 1813. From an earlier date, those who survived the forlorn hope of Rodrigo and Badajoz were distinguished with a laurel badge on the right arm, with â€˜VSâ€™ (for Valiant Stormer) placed beneath the wreath. The medals are of the highest rarity with fewer than 10 known to have survived, three of these being in the Royal Green Jackets Museum.
John Willox was born in the Parish of Irvine, Ayrshire, and originally enlisted into the 7th Light Dragoons on 24 February 1800, and served with that regiment until 24 May 1802, a period of 2 years 90 days. He enlisted into the 52nd Light Infantry at Linlithgow on 23 April 1805, for unlimited service, aged 26, a baker by trade. He served with the 1st Battalion in the Peninsula, being promoted to Corporal, and was a Volunteer in the Forlorn Hope that was ordered to storm the breach in the Santa Maria Bastion at the attack on the fortress of Badajoz on 6 April 1812. He served as a Sergeant in Captain W. Chalmersâ€™ Company at Waterloo and was discharged at Dublin on 24 May 1822, in consequence of â€˜Age, Long Service, and being under Size.â€™ His conduct as a soldier was described as â€˜Very Good and that he was severely wounded in the Left Leg at Pombal 12 March 1811, & severely in the Head at Badajoz on the 6th April 1812, and through both Thighs at San Munoz 17 Novr. 1812.â€™ Granted an out-pension at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, in May 1822, he appears to have died in February 1840.
Sold with copied discharge papers.
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