A very fine Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840, 2 Clasps: Navarino, Syria, awarded to Boy later Able Seaman John Bazeley, Royal Navy, who was involved in anti-piracy operations in the Mediterranean during 1826 to 1827 and present aboard the 40 gun frigate Cambrian during the destruction of the Turkish Fleet at the Battle of Navarino on 20th October 1827. Later aboard the 90 gun warship Rodney, he took part in the operations on and off the coast of Syria in 1840. A unique name on the roll, his medal is one of 136 to be issued with both clasps
A very fine Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840, 2 Clasps: Navarino, Syria, awarded to Boy later Able Seaman John Bazeley, Royal Navy, who was involved in anti-piracy operations in the Mediterranean during 1826 to 1827 and present aboard the 40 gun frigate Cambrian during the destruction of the Turkish Fleet at the Battle of Navarino on 20th October 1827. Later aboard the 90 gun warship Rodney, he took part in the operations on and off the coast of Syria in 1840. A unique name on the roll, his medal is one of 136 to be issued with both clasps.
Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840, 2 Clasps: Navarino, Syria; (JOHN BAZELEY.), fitted with length of original ribbon.
Condition: tarnished, Nearly Extremely Fine.
Provenance: Ex Debenham Collection 1899.
John Bazeley saw service with the Royal Navy as a Boy aboard the 40 gun frigate Cambrian and saw service in the Mediterranean in 1827 performing anti-piracy operations. On 14th October 1827, Cambrian, still under Captain Hamilton, joined the allied fleet just outside the Bay of Navarino, and then fought in the Battle of Navarino on 20th October 1827.
The fleets assembled in the Mediterranean in the summer of 1827 with the object of enforcing a protocol which gave protection from the Turks to the inhabitants of Morea. On 3rd September, an Egyptian fleet with troops entered the harbour at Navarino. Discussions then took place with the Turks and as a result of the assurances given, the ships from the combined fleet withdrew, with only two ships remaining in port. Scarcely had the withdrawal taken place than news arrived that the Turks had put to sea thus breaking one of the assurances. Sir Edward Codrington intercepted the Turks, forced them to turn back, and ordered the combined fleet to again assemble before Navarino. New attempts to enter into a dialogue with the Turks failed and Admiral Codrington ordered his fleet to enter the harbour.
At 2 pm on 20th October 1847, Asia, leading arrived at the mouth of the harbour to find the Turkish and Egyptian ships moored in the form of a crescent, the largest presented their broadsides towards the centre, and the smaller ones inside filling up the intervals. Although the Turkish fleet and the batteries onshore were prepared for action, at first they offered no resistance to the British entry into the harbour, but sporadic firing broke out and before long a general action ensued. The next morning the combined fleet elicited the warmest applause from Admiral Codrington, who described the state of the Turkish fleet: 'Out of a fleet composed of eighty-one men-of-war, only one frigate and fifteen smaller vessels are in a state ever to put to sea again'. The combined allied casualties amounted to 177 killed and 480 wounded. During the battle Cambrian’s casualties were light, with one crew member killed and one wounded.
John Bazeley was aboard Cambrian during the battle, and was one of 11 officers and 89 men of the ship to live to claim the Naval General Service Medal with clasp for Navarino when it was belatedly issued in 1848.
He is next known to have been serving as an Able Seaman aboard the 90 gun ship-of-the-line Rodney during the operations and and off the coast of Syria in 1840, when his ship was present at the bombardment of Acre and as of 21st November 1840 was a part of the blockading squadron off Alexandria.
The increasing power of Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, alarmed the major European nations. In summer 1839, Egyptian forces destroyed a strong Turkish army and captured the Turkish fleet at Alexandria. With the Egyptians now in Syria, Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia intervened. A combined fleet under Admiral Sir Robert Stopford, with his flagship Princess Charlotte, of 104 guns, sailed to the eastern Mediterranean, bombarded Acre and stormed the town on 3rd November 1840. The Egyptians agreed to evacuate the town and return the Turkish fleet.
Sir Robert Stopford received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament and the Freedom of the City of London for this action. Austria, Prussia, Russia, Russia and Turkey also bestowed marks of distinction. Bazeley was one of 391 officers and men from Rodney who would be belatedly awarded the Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840 with clasp for Syria, he being the only man by this name and rank shown in the Medal Roll, and would also have been awarded the Turkish Medal for St Jean D’Acre in Bronze. One officer and 9 men from the Rodney would received the medal with both clasps for Navarino and then Syria, with one other man having also come from Cambrian for Navarino to Rodney for Syria. In all 136 men would get this two clasp combination. John Bazeley is a unique name on the medal roll.