A good Waterloo Medal 1815, fitted with original steel clip and modified straight bar suspension, awarded to Guardsman Edward Jinks, 2nd Battalion, 1st Foot Guards - the Grenadier Guards, who was a blacksmith from Withyham near East Grinstead, Sussex, and was present in the Netherlands during the War of the Sixth Coalition and at the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom where he was wounded in action, having been hit in the right leg by a musket ball. Jinks recovered, and then took part during the Waterloo Campaign, and would have been present at both the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June and the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815. At Waterloo he would almost certainly have been present at the climactic confrontation and repulse of the famed Grenadiers of Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Wellington shouted to the commander of the Guards Brigade - 'Now Maitland. Now's your time!' When the Guards sprang to their feet they were in four ranks. The front rank opened fire, killing 300 Frenchmen. The other ranks repeated this, combined with a barrage of grapeshot from the artillery, the Imperial Guard wavered and tried to fall back. Then Lord Saltoun led a charge of the 1st Guards which routed their French counterparts. Jinks when on to participate in the Army of Occupation in France through to 1818.
Waterloo Medal 1815, fitted with original steel clip and modified straight bar suspension; (EDWARD JINKS, 2ND BATT. GRENAD. GUARDS.)
Condition: slightly polished, contact wear and edge bruising, Very Fine.
Edward Jinks was born in Withyham near East Grinstead, Sussex, and having worked as a blacksmith, then attested for service with the British Army at Nottingham on 2nd April 1813 when aged 21, and then saw service as a Guardsman with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Foot Guards - the Grenadier Guards. Jinks was first present on active service as part of the three companies of his battalion who formed part of the British force led by General Thomas Graham to take part in the Siege of Bergen-op-Zoom in the Netherlands during the War of the Sixth Coalition in early 1814.
Bergen-op-Zoom was then held by a French force of 2700 men, and the British force, which numbered some 4000 men, comprised amongst its ranks, 1000 men of the Brigade of Guards under Colonel Lord Proby, which comprised the first column during the assault of the fortress on 8th March 1814. Under cover of night and using local intelligence, Graham attacked. The French, however, were positioned well, and the population allied with them as they fought in the streets. The attacking British troops took heavy casualties. General Bizanet remained in control of Bergen op Zoom until a peace accord was signed. In all some 2100 British troops were either killed, wounded or captured, and amongst those men to be wounded in action, was Guardsman Jinks, who is confirmed as wounded in action, he having been hit in the right leg by a musket ball.
Having recovered, Jinks then found himself on active service during the Waterloo Campaign, being present at both the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June and the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815.
Napoleon's last hundred days brought about the most famous battle in European history. When he escaped from Elba on 26th February and entered Paris on 20th March, he was able to raise an army of 123,000. Wellington had to work fast to raise enough seasoned troops to stop him but he was disappointed with the men available. There were not enough 1st battalions from the infantry regiments. His final tally of 106,000 was made up of Belgian, Dutch and German allies as well as the British troops. The British infantry that fought at Waterloo numbered 17,000. Of these, 3,836 were Foot Guards. The Guards were organised in two brigades in the 1st Division. The 1st Brigade was made up of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 1st Guards, and the 2nd Brigade consisted of Coldstreamers and Scots Guards. Major-General Peregrine Maitland commanded the 1st Guards Brigade whose strength was: 2/1st Guards, 29 officers and 752 men, and 3/1st Guards, 29 officers and 818 men. Each battalion had about 40 sergeants and 20 drummers.
It was on the evening of the Duchess of Richmond's ball, 15th June, that Wellington discovered that Napoleon had 'humbugged' him. The army had to be mobilised that night so nobody had much sleep. The Guards were camped at Enghien and received the order at 0130 hrs. They marched out at 0400 and were force-marched all day in hot weather. At 1700hrs, as the 1st Guards arrived at Quatre Bras they were thrown in to the battle and drove the French back out of a thick wood. They suffered heavy casualties. The two 1st Guards battalions lost 3 officers, killed and 43 other ranks. Wounded: 10 officers and 491 other ranks. The allies retained control of Quatre Bras but Blucher's Prussians had been hit hard at Ligny and forced to withdraw. The following day was spent withdrawing to Mont St Jean. There was a cavalry battle at Genappe but the Foot Guards were not involved. The heavy rain started at midday and continued through the night. The Light Companies of both Guards Brigades, under Lord Saltoun, were ordered to secure the Chateau of Hougoumont while the rest of the Guards took up positions behind Hougoumont. The actual battle of Waterloo was fought between 72,000 of Napoleon's French troops and 68,000 allied troops under Wellington. Blucher's Prussian army did not arrive until it was almost all over.
Lord Saltoun commanded the two Light Companies of the 1st Guards who were ordered to hold the garden and orchard of the chateau while the other two Light Companies of the Coldstream and Scots Guards were commanded by Lt-Col James Macdonnell, responsible for the buildings. The night had been spent by all of these men busily fortifying the buildings ready for an attack early on the 18th. But Napoleon delayed his advance on the allies so the first attack did not happen until 1100 hrs. The 1st Guards held the orchard but the brunt of the attack was taken by the Coldstream and Scots Guards who fought with great heroism all afternoon. The Guards were again in the thick of the battle at the climactic confrontation with the famed Grenadiers of Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Marshal Ney led the assault which began with a French artillery barrage. Wellington ordered his men to lie down on the reverse slope to reduce casualties. Some of the 1st Guards even managed to snatch some sleep as the shot whistled overhead. At 1930hrs the advance began. There were 6,000 Grenadiers, seasoned veterans, moving in two massive columns on a frontage of 70 men shoulder to shoulder.
One column was heading towards the 1st Guards who numbered around 1,000. They lay out of sight but could hear the sound of thousands of marching feet and roars of 'Vive l'Empereur'. When they were 40 paces away, Wellington shouted 'Now Maitland. Now's your time!' When the Guards sprang to their feet they were in four ranks. The front rank opened fire, killing 300 Frenchmen. The other ranks repeated this, combined with a barrage of grapeshot from the artillery, the Imperial Guard wavered and tried to fall back. Then Lord Saltoun led a charge of the 1st Guards which routed their French counterparts. The 'invincible' Imperial Guard was routed. The cry went up throughout the French army that the Guard were retreating. The whole of the British force swept forward and drove the enemy back across the valley and up the opposite slope. Cavalry and infantry, tired as they were pursued them off the field of battle. Even the weary Guards from Hougoumont joined in.
The casualty figures for the 1st Guards Brigade on the 18th June were, 4 officers and 131 other ranks killed, 11 officers and 346 other ranks wounded.
Jinks who survived the day unscathed, then went on to remain on service with his regiment as a part of the Army of Occupation in France through to 1818 when he was posted home. Jinks was eventually discharged from the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, he being medically unfit for further service on 10th June 1834, his conduct being described as ‘very bad’.