The superb Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 11 Clasps: Roleia, Vimiera, Talavera, Busaco, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Orthes, Toulouse, awarded to Private Charles Billington, 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot., who served right through the Peninsula War, being wounded in the head and arm, and also saw service in Flanders, North America and then Waterloo on 18th June 1815.
Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 11 Clasps: Roleia, Vimiera, Talavera, Busaco, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Orthes, Toulouse; (CHARLES BILLINGTON, 40TH FOOT.)
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.
Charles Billington was born in 1783 in Bath, Somerset, and worked as a labourer, but then enlisted into the British Army at Steyning in Kent when aged 25 for 'unlimited service' on 27th August 1807, joining as a Private the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot. Billington went on to see sixteen years and 295 days service, before being discharged at Dublin due to age, he was then 39 years old, and for 'being worn out' on 27th May 1822, and being admitted as a Pensioner to the Royal Hospital for Veterans at Kilmainham on 26th June 1822.
Billington was present throughout the Peninsula War, being present during the invasion of Portugal, and at the battle of Roleia - Rolica - on 17th August 1808, the battle of Vimiera on 21st August 1808. On being evacuated from the Peninsula, Billington was then present with his regiment during the disastrous operations at Walcheren and in Flanders during early 1809, before returning to the Peninsula under Wellington, and then being present at the battle of Talavera from 27th to 28th July 1809, and at the battle of Busaco on 27th September 1810.
Billington was next present at the siege and capture of Ciudad Rodrigo from 8th to 19th January 1812, and then the siege and capture of Badajoz from 16th March to 6th April 1812, followed by the battle of Salamanca on 22nd July 1812, and the battle of Vittoria on 21st June 1813. Present during the operations in the Pyrenees from 25th July to 2nd August 1813, the battle of Orthes on 27th February 1814, and the battle of Toulouse on 10th April 1814, which terminated hostilities, for the time being.
Billington had not made it through unscathed, and had been wounded in the head and arm in the Peninsula campaign. He later saw service in North America, but returned in time for Waterloo where he was present with the 1st Battalion, 40th Foot, during the decisive battle of the Napoleonic War on 18th June 1815, where his regiment suffered 219 casualties out of a total strength of 761 men present during the battle, with Billington gaining two years service for having been present, and he is additionally entitled to the Waterloo Medal. As previously mentioned, Billington had served 16 years and 295 days when he was discharged at Dublin on 27th May 1822, two years having been gained for Waterloo, he having served in reality 14 years and 295 days.