A fine India General Service Medal 1854-1895, 1 Clasp: Persia, awarded to Ensign later Colonel E.M. Woodcock, Honourable East Indian Company Forces, later Indian Army, who saw service with the 2nd Bombay European Light Infantry, being present during the operations in Persia under Major General Sir James Outram in the period from 5th December in 1856 through to 1st April 1857, he being present at the landing at Hallilah Bay, the capture of Reshire, the surrender of Bushire, the expedition to Borasjoon, and the action at Khooshab when he was wounded in action on 8th February 1857. Woodcock, who no doubt owing to his wound missed the Indian Mutiny, was latterly employed as a District Superintendent of Police 1st Grade in Oude, and stationed at Fyzabad.
India General Service Medal 1854-1895, 1 Clasp: Persia; (ENSIGN E.M. WOODCOCK, 2ND BOMBAY EUR.L.I.)
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with the recipient’s matching period miniature medal, silver with swivel suspension, mounted for wear on old ribbon with a two pronged ribbon brooch bar.
Elborough Martin Woodcock was born on 21st January 1837, and was commissioned as an Ensign into the Honourable East India Company Forces on 4th February 1856, being then posted to the 2nd Bombay European Regiment on 15th March 1856. Woodcock then saw service with his regiment - the 2nd Bombay European Light Infantry during the operations in Persia under Major General Sir James Outram in the period from 5th December in 1856 through to 1st April 1857, he being present at the landing at Hallilah Bay, the capture of Reshire, the surrender of Bushire, the expedition to Borasjoon, and the action at Khooshab when he was wounded in action on 8th February 1857.
The short lived war in Persia was caused by various political miscalculations by both the Persians and the British, and was triggered by the annexation of the Afghanistan city of Herat by the Persians on 25th October 1856, a city that was considered to be the key to Afghanistan. The British declared war on 1st November 1856 and instead of an expected land based invasion, the British decided to retaliate both on land and at sea. On 9th December, the fort at Reshire was captured at the expense of 11 killed in action and 29 wounded. The first Victoria Cross to the Indian Army was awarded for this action.
On the 10th, an Indian Naval Squadron commanded by Commodore Young bombarded Bushire in the Persian Gulf, which surrendered. On the arrival of Major General Sir James Outram with an expeditionary force, and advance was made inland from Bushire to Borasjoon, where many stores were captured on 8th February 1857. On the same day, during their immediate withdrawal, the force was attacked at Koosh-ab and the Persians were heavily defeated. British casualties were 16 killed in action and 56 wounded with two Victoria Crosses being awarded, both to the officers of the 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry. After his return to Bushire, Outram left Major General Stalker to hold the town, whilst he crossed the Persian Gulf and advanced up the Euphrates delta to Mohammerrah, some 60 miles inland. Here on 26th March 1857, the Navy bombarded the Persian positions and forts. Naval casualties were 5 killed in action and 18 wounded. After a short while the enemy positions were either silenced or completely destroyed, and troops were landed under Brigadier General Havelock, who promptly entered the city, captured a further large supply of stores. He very generously gave full credit for the ease with which he accomplished his mission to the navy, who in turn owed its immunity from heavy casualties to the foresight of the Acting Commodore James Rennie, who gave orders for the bombarding ships to be surrounded with trusses of hay!
The Persians withdrew to Akwaz, about 100 miles up the Karoon River, where they were again attacked by a combined expedition, the navy under Acting Commodore Rennie and a small force composed of about 300 men from the 64th and 78th Foot under Captain G.H. Hunt, 78th Foot. The town was captured with no British casualties on 1st April 1857, after which the force returned to Mohammerrah, where it learnt that peace had been signed in Paris on 4th March, under the terms of which Herat was to be evacuated by the Persians.
Shortly after his return from Persia, Woodcock was promoted to Lieutenant on 23rd May 1857, but was presumably on leave convalescing from his wound, and hence missed involvement in the Indian Mutiny which broke out around that time. With the formation of the Indian Army, Woodcock then transferred into the Bengal Staff Corps, and was promoted to Captain on 4th February 1868, and to Major on 4th February 1876. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 4th February 1882, and to Colonel on 4th February 1886, he was latterly a District Superintendent of Police 1st Grade in Oude, and stationed at Fyzabad. Woodcock was transferred to the Unemployed List on 4th February 1894, and having retired to Elmwood, Colyford, Devon, died there on 28th April 1909. Confirmed as his full entitlement.