Four: Crimea 1854-55, 1 clasp, Sebastopol (Chas. Wilcox, Boy 2C.) officially impressed naming; China 1857-60, 4 clasps, Fatshan 1857, Canton 1857, Taku Forts 1858, Taku Forts 1860, unnamed as issued; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., V.R., narrow suspension (Capt. Fore Castle H.M.S. Blanche) engraved naming; Turkish Crimea 1855, British issue, unnamed and fitted with attractive replacement suspension, generally good very fine or better and a very rare group (4)
Charles Wilcox was born in Studland, Dorset, and joined the service in February 1853 as Boy 2nd Class aboard H.M.S. Neptune at the age of 14 years. He was drafted to H.M.S. LONDON in December 1853, earning his Crimean medals prior to joining the Gun-Boat OPOSSUM as an Ordinary Seaman on 27 January 1856, to serve a five year commission aboard her in the Far East during the whole of the Second China Wars. He was subsequently advanced to petty officer status in 1865 as Captain of the Main Top and later, in 1870, to Captain of the Forecastle aboard H.M.S. BLANCHE, earning his L.S. & G.C. medal, when she was paid off in November 1875, under the new rules allowing men with excellent records in excess of (only) 10 years to receive this reward. He had 19 years servitude at this time, being pensioned a year later in June 1876.
One of only 34 Naval recipients of the Second China War medal with four clasps. A further 23 Marines qualified for four clasps, making a total of only 57 R.N. and R.M. recipients of four clasp medals. Wilcox’s medal was originally issued with three clasps on 5 August 1862, then returned to the Admiralty on 23 August, and re-issued with the ‘Taku Forts 1860’ clasp added within batch China/111 on 17 September 1862 (Ref ADM 171/33).