A very fine Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 7 Clasps: Fuentes D'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Orthes, Toulouse, awarded to Major W. Cannon, 97th Earl of Ulster's Regiment of Foot, late Subaltern in the 94th Regiment of Foot, who served with this latter unit in the Peninsula War, being Mentioned in Despatches of gallant conduct during the siege of Fort Matagorda at Cadiz in 1810, and then twice wounded in action, the first time severely at Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812 when he assumed command of a company during the storming, and the second time slightly at Vittoria in 1813.
Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 7 Clasps: Fuentes D'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Orthes, Toulouse; (W. CANNON, SUBTN 94TH FOOT.)
Condition: some edge nicks, lightly polished, about Good Very Fine.
William Cannon was born in Baittle, County Galloway, Ireland, on 10th March 1784, and when aged 23 joined the British Army as an Ensign with the 94th Regiment of Foot on 10th August 1807, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 7th April 1810. Cannon saw service with the 94th Foot in Jersey, and then with the ongoing Peninsula War, disembarked at Lisbon in January 1810, before being present at the siege of Fort Matagorda in front of Cadiz during mid to late 1810, during that city's siege by Marshal Soult's Army of Andalusia. Cannon being present throughout the tremendous bombardment that lasted for two months under the command of Captain M'Lean, 94th Foot, who was commanding the Fort, his regiment distinguished itself during this sanguinary defence. Cannon distinguished himself during the siege, and was Mentioned in Despatches for his distinguished conduct, the Mention being published in the General Orders and in the Despatches sent to England by Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Graham.
Cannon was next present with the 94th Foot in the lines at Torres Vedras before the commencement of the retreat of the French Army, and on following up the French retreat he was present at the battle of Fuentes D'Onor on 5th May 1811, followed by the first siege of Badajoz from 6th to 14th June 1811, the affair at Elbaden, and then the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo from 8th to 19th January 1812, where Cannon was severely wounded in the chest at the final storming on 19th January 1812, and for which event, he having assumed command of a company during the storming, he then received one years pay as a Captain as a reward for having had command of a company that evening.
Having recovered from his wounds, Cannon was next present at the battle of Salamanca on 22nd July 1812, followed by the battle of Vittoria on 21st June 1813, where he was once again wounded in action, this time slightly in the cap of his right knee. Having again recovered, Cannon was present during the operations and actions in the Pyrenees from 25th July to 2nd August 1813, and having crossed the border into France on 10th November 1813, was then present at the battle of Orthes on 27th February 1814, and the battle of Toulouse on 10th April 1814. With the cessation of hostilities, Cannon then served with his regiment in Ireland, where he was stationed at the time of the Waterloo campaign, and on the reduction of the 94th Foot, Cannon was placed on half pay as a Lieutenant on 25th December 1818.
On the formation of the 97th The Earl of Ulster's of Regiment of Foot in 1824, Cannon was taken out of half pay, and was one of the very first officer's of this regiment, being appointed a Lieutenant in the 97th Foot on 25th March 1894, and then promoted to Captain on 7th April 1825. All details being taken from his statement of service as compiled in 1829.
Cannon had married Margaret Muire Smith on 12th April 1824, and by 1830 they had two children. Cannon was then posted with his new regiment to India and Ceylon in 1830, and in November 1832, the regiment's cricket team played the Colombo Cricket Club at the Rifle Green in Colombo, in the first recorded cricket match in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Cannon may well have played in the match. Cannon was promoted to Brevet Major in 1838, and then promoted to Major in 1841 before retiring in 1842, and died in 1851.