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№ 40


17 September 2004

Hammer Price:

The unique Army of India medal awarded to Private George Bainbridge, 65th Foot, who received one of only four Corygaum clasps to European recipients and the only one to a British regiment

Army of India 1799-1826, 2 clasps, Poona, Corygaum (G. Bainbridge, 65th Foot) short hyphen reverse, officially impressed naming, edge bruising and a little polished, otherwise about very fine and excessively rare £12000-15000

Ex Glendining July 1910 (Lot 152 £48), Palmer 1919, Hamilton-Smith 1927, Dalrymple White 1946, and Barker 1950.

One of only 4 Corygaum clasps awarded to European recipients. The War Office rolls shows Poona clasp only but both clasps are confirmed on the roll at the India Office which carries the following annotation: ‘G. Bainbridge,
Horse Guards, 27th October, 1858, medal sent that bar for Corygaum may be added. Sent to Horse Guards, 4th November, 1858.’

The other three recipients of the Corygaum clasp were Lieutenant Charles Swanston, Madras European Regiment; Assistant Surgeon John Wylie, Madras Artillery (qv); and Bugler John Nicholas, Bombay Rifle Corps.

George Bainbridge was born in Durham in 1783. Following the 65th Foot’s participation in the Capture of Poona in late 1817, George Bainbridge was present at the epic struggle at Corygaum. Whilst marching with a detachment from Seroor to strengthen the garrison of Poona, Captain F. F. Staunton, 2-1st Bombay N.I., encountered the Peishwah’s army, estimated at twenty thousand horse and about eight thousand infantry, encamped on the right bank of the Beemah, above the village of Corygaum. Staunton’s detachment comprised of his own corps, barely six hundred strong, a few Madras artillery with two six-pounders, and about three hundred auxiliary horse, some 900 in all. Seizing the village of Corygaum he held it against all attacks, and though heavy losses were sustained he succeeded in withdrawing his force by night in safety to Seroor.

Of the eight European officers present, three were killed and two wounded. The Bombay N.I. had 53 killed and 134 wounded, whilst the Madras Artillery had 13 Europeans and 5 natives killed, 9 Europeans and 6 natives wounded, and the Auxiliary Horse had 96 casualties in total. In recognition of their gallantry the 2-1st Bombay N.I. were constituted Grenadiers, and Captain Staunton was made A.D.C. to the Governor-General, and presented by the H.E.I.C. with a sword of honour and 500 guineas, and in due course nominated a Companion of the Bath.

Later the same month Bainbridge was recorded as being ‘in Camp’ with Captain John Clutterbuck’s Company of H.M’s 65th, near Bombay. In April 1820 he was serving with Captain R. J. McLean’s Company. He embarked from India in the
Charles Forbes in August 1822 and, reaching England on 23 January 1823, was invalided the following month at Weedon Barracks.

Ref: WO 12/7391-7396.