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Waterloo Medal to Lt Alex. Smith, 91st Foot

Item Reference: HM52468

Waterloo Medal to Lt Alex. Smith, 91st Foot

WATERLOO MEDAL, 1815, with replacement silver clip and straight bar suspension (Lieut. Alex. Smith, 1st Batt. 91st Reg. Foot.); officially impressed.

Lightly toned, obverse edge bump at 8 o’clock and small dig to cheek, a bold very fine. Initially, Alexander Smith appears to have served as an Ensign in the Royal West India Rangers, and may well have served in their campaigns in Guadeloupe, being promoted to Lieutenant without purchase on the 24th of February 1810. Whether he was originally from one of the many Scottish plantation estates in the Caribbean is suspected but as yet unconfirmed. He subsequently exchanged into the 91st (Argyllshire Highlanders) Foot on September the 1st, 1810, after the battalion’s return to Britain from the Walcheren Expedition. Whilst not entitled to an MGS medal, the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders regimental history by Goff states that he served with the regiment during its second visit to the Peninsula in September 1812 (having left Spain at Corunna in 1809), which would theoretically include the battles at Vittoria, Nivelle, Bayonne and Toulouse, where the 91st were heavily involved. Why he was not awarded the MGS is not presently known.

He was present at the Battle of Quatre Bras where the 91st played a distinguished role, but having already fought on the 16th of June, at the Battle of Waterloo (just two days later) the 91st were used to guard the far right flank of the British line, where Lieutenant Smith would have been present as one of the officers in Captain A J Callender’s Company No.4. He later exchanged into the 42nd Foot (Royal Highlanders) onto half-pay on the 30th of September 1819. Sold with copy roll mentions, London Gazette mentions, and some useful research – still worthy of further detailed research into the recipient’s origins.