We are open & delivering as usual. Visits to our London shop are not possible. More info here.

Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Bhurtpoor, officially impressed naming, awarded to Private George Birks, 11th Light Dragoons, who saw service continuously in India from July 1819 through to June 1829, during which per...

£1,600.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: CMA/30116
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine
Description:

Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Bhurtpoor, officially impressed naming, awarded to Private George Birks, 11th Light Dragoons, who saw service continuously in India from July 1819 through to June 1829, during which period he was present at the siege and capture of the Jat fortress of Bharatpur from December 1825, it being stormed and taken on the 17th to 18th January 1826. During these operations the 11th Light Dragoons and 16th Lancers formed part of Colonel Sleigh's Cavalry Division, and may possibly have been involved in the seizure of the city's north-west reservoir, thus preventing the moat from being filled. Bhurtpoor had been besieged by a British force twenty years earlier in 1805, but the British had foundered against its 8-mile long walls and 150-foot wide, 60-foot deep moat.

Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Bhurtpoor, officially impressed naming; (G. BIRKS, 11TH. LT. DRAGNS:)

Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.

George Birks was born circa 1796 in St Clements, London, and having worked as a brick maker, then enlisted into the British Army ‘for unlimited service’ at Canterbury on 17th April 1815 when he joined as a Private the 11th Light Dragoons. Posted to India on 12th July 1819, he was then stationed with his regiment at Meerut.

Birks saw service continuously in India through to 20th June 1829, during which period he was present between December 1825 and January 1826 at the siege and capture of the Jat fortress of Bharatpur (Bhurtpoor), with the storming of that place occurring on the 17th to 18th January 1826.

Following the suspicious death of Baldeo Singh, the Raja of Bhurtpoor, his fortress was besieged by a 30,000-strong British force under Lord Combermere, recommended by the Duke of Wellington as no 'great genius' but 'the man to take Bhurtpoor'. The 11th Light Dragoons and 16th Lancers formed part of Colonel Sleigh's Cavalry Division, which marched from Meerut on 30th Decembebr 1825. Bhurtpoor had been besieged by a British force twenty years earlier, but the British had foundered against its 8-mile long walls and 150-foot wide, 60-foot deep moat. Keen to avenge the humiliation of 1805, Combermere advanced with a vast siege train. His first act was to seize the city's north-west reservoir, thus preventing the moat from being filled. Birks fought at the siege, and may have been involved in the reservoir's capture. After the citadel was stormed on 18th January 1826, the 11th Light Dragoons vigorously pursued any defenders who escaped. 198 Army of India Medal’s were subsequently awarded with the clasp Bhurtpoor for this action to men of the 11th Light Dragoons.

Birks arrived back in England at Chatham on 21st June 1829, though his discharge was taken at Cawnpore on 1st October 1828. Birks died in south west London on 6th February 1859.