Lot Archive


№ 570 x


6 July 2004

Hammer Price:

Four: 3rd Class Master Gunner H. Vessey, Royal Artillery

Crimea 1854-56
, 4 clasps, Alma, Balaklava, Inkermann, Sebastopol (Serjt., Royal Artillery), depot impressed naming; New Zealand 1845-66, reverse dated 1861 to 1866 (57 By. Qr. Mr. Sgt., C Batty., 4th Brgde. R.A.) first two digits of regimental number obscured by claw; Army L.S. & G.C., V.R., 3rd issue (1257 Baty. Qr. Mr. Sergt., 11th R.A.); Turkish Crimea 1855, Sardinian die (Q.M.S., R.A.), fitted with swivel-scroll suspension, contemporary engraved naming, the first with re-pinned suspension rivet, Crimea pair with contact marks and edge bruising, fine or better, the remainder very fine and better (4) £600-800

Harry Vessey was born in the Parish of Besthorpe, near Newark, Nottinghamshire and enlisted in the Royal Artillery in November 1847, aged 18 years. A tall man for his day, standing at six feet, he was advanced to Bombardier in January 1853 and to Corporal in July 1854.

Subsequently engaged in the Crimea at Alma, Balaklava and Inkermann, and in the operations before Sebastopol, he attained the rank of Sergeant in April 1855. Further recognition followed with his appointment to Battery Quarter-Master Sergeant in May 1859, shortly before his arrival in New Zealand with ‘C’ Battery, 4th Brigade, R.A., where he served for nearly six years. His service record states that he ‘proceeded to Queen’s Redoubt in the 1st expedition under General Cameron,’ and that he was also ‘employed in binding up the guns during 1861.3.4.5. & 6.’ The Battery itself was awarded an Honour Title for its actions in New Zealand, actions that included the V.C. engagement at Rangiriri on 20 November 1863, when its C.O., Captain H. Mercer, was killed. Vessey, who was appointed a Master Gunner (3rd Class) in December 1869, was discharged in May 1871, aged 41 years.