Indian Mutiny 1857-58, 2 clasps, Lucknow, Relief of Lucknow (Thos. Forward, Capt’s. Cook. Shannon) traces of brooch marks to reverse and edge, therefore nearly very fine
Thomas Forward was born at Devonport on 1 June 1819, and entered the Royal Navy as a Landsman aboard H.M.S. MALABAR on 13 March 1838, but by March 1839 he had changed his branch to become a Ward Room Cook aboard IMPLACABLE. He never became a Continuous Service rating during his 27 years in the navy, serving in commissions aboard HECLA (1849-52) and RETRIBUTION (1852-56) as Gunner’s Cook and Gun Room Cook. In the latter ship he gained entitlement to medals for the Baltic and Crimea. In February 1857 he joined SHANNON as Captain Peel’s cook and although he served him throughout his travels during the Mutiny, he was removed from the duty once Captain Peel had died in April 1858, with the very low character assessment of “fair”, which was presumably not a comment on his culinary abilities. After serving in junior capacities as a cook with only a “fair” assessment aboard JAMES WATT (1859-62), SEVERN (1862-64), and TENEDOS (1874-76) he was finally pensioned to shore on 30 November 1876 with an “Exemplary” character assessment. He was one of the very few men still serving in 1874, when sailors who had served during the Indian Mutiny at the Relief of Lucknow were granted one year’s bonus time. His Indian Mutiny medal with Lucknow clasp was sent on 25 March 1861, and a separate clasp for ‘Relief of Lucknow’ sent on 23 April 1877.