A very fine and extremely rare Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Laswarree, awarded to Private Richard Powell, 8th Light Dragoons, later an original member of the 8th The King’s Royal Irish Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars) when his unit was retitled in 1818, and finally a member of the 16th Lancers, he saw continuous service in India from December 1802 right through to October 1824, and was present during the early part of his service on operations during the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803 to 1805, being prese

Price: £3,750.00


Product ID: CMA/26413
Condition: very light contact wear, Nearly Extremely Fine.
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

A very fine and extremely rare Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Laswarree, awarded to Private Richard Powell, 8th Light Dragoons, later an original member of the 8th The King’s Royal Irish Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars) when his unit was retitled in 1818, and finally a member of the 16th Lancers, he saw continuous service in India from December 1802 right through to October 1824, and was present during the early part of his service on operations during the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803 to 1805, being present in action at the Battle of Laswaree on 1st November 1803, being one of only 11 European’s, 8 from his regiment, to claim the medal with single clasp Laswarree.

Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Laswarree; (R. POWELL, 8TH. LT. DRAGNS.)

Condition: very light contact wear, Nearly Extremely Fine.

Richard Powell was born in the parish of Stepney, near Uxbridge, Middlesex, and originally enlisted into the British Army on 25th October 1802, when aged 15 years and 4 months, joining as a Private the 8th Light Dragoons. By the time of his joining, his regiment was out in India, and shortly after Powell joined the regiment out there on 25th December 1802, he found himself on operations during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, a conflict which lasted from 1803 to 1805.

The British under General Lake were anxious to finish the war by neutralizing the last substantial force that the Maratha confederacy possessed, consisting of twelve battalions of regular infantry trained by the adventurer Chevalier Dudrenec. Dudrenec deserted and command fell onto Ambaji Ingle, a Maratha officer. Lake decided to dispense first with his artillery and later with his infantry in a series of forced marches to catch up with these, he thus initially encountered the enemy force with just three brigades of cavalry, the British troopers by repeated charges were able to contain the Maratha army until their infantry arrived. The British, commanded by Lake were about 10,000 men strong, opposing Sindhia’s force of 9,000 veteran infantry and 5,000 cavalry under the command of Abaji. The British were also supported by allied troops from Alwar.

The Maratha infantry made a most gallant defence, standing their ground until the survivors laid down their arms. The cavalry also suffered heavily. Seventy-two guns and a large quantity of ammunition and stores were captured. Lake later wrote "I never was in so severe a business in my life or anything like it… these fellows fought like devils, or rather like heroes". "The casualties on both sides were very heavy. The Company lost many officers, including Major General Weir, Cololnel Vandeleur, and Major Griffith. Lakes's son was also killed."

Powell who was present at the Battle of Laswarree on 1st November 1803, was one of 100 European’s to later live to claim the Army of India Medal 1793-1826 with clasp for Laswarree, of whom only 11 were issued as single clasp medals, 8 of these being to men of the 8th Light Dragoons.

Despite his regiment going on to see further active service out in India, Powell himself did not claim to have taken part in any other major action, however he was still in service with his regiment in India when it was converted to a hussar regiment in 1818, being retitled the 8th The King’s Royal Irish Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars). It is quite possible that Powell was in fact on served as a servant to an officer, as he did not return home with his regiment in 1819, being instead transferred to the 16th Lancers out in India on 25th September 1822.

Powell was eventually discharged at Cawnpore on 18th October 1824, and returned to England, landing at Gravesend on 18th July 1825, and being discharged on 11th August 1825 in consequence of chronic hepatitis. Admitted as an out-pensioner to Chelsea Hospital on 24th August 1825, he died on 16th December 1860.