Sutlej Medal 1845-1846, reverse for Sobraon 1846, no clasp, awarded to Private George Collier, 1st Battalion, 53rd Shropshire Regiment of Foot, formerly 1st Battalion, 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot, whose was travelling out to join his former regiment when it was annihilated in the disastrous retreat of the Cabul Garrison in early 1842, and then returned home, ‘because there was no regiment left to join’, and volunteered for transfer to the 53rd Foot in July 1844. Having returned to India, he fought in the First Sikh War during the Sutlej ca

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Product ID: CMA/27425
Condition: some heavy edge bruising, only about Very Fine.
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Description:

Sutlej Medal 1845-1846, reverse for Sobraon 1846, no clasp, awarded to Private George Collier, 1st Battalion, 53rd Shropshire Regiment of Foot, formerly 1st Battalion, 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot, whose was travelling out to join his former regiment when it was annihilated in the disastrous retreat of the Cabul Garrison in early 1842, and then returned home, ‘because there was no regiment left to join’, and volunteered for transfer to the 53rd Foot in July 1844. Having returned to India, he fought in the First Sikh War during the Sutlej campaign when his regiment was attached to Major General Sir Harry Smith’s column and present in action at the Battle of Sobraon on 10th February 1846, when his regiment, occupying the left of the line, and in the vanguard of the first infantry attacks on the Sikh positions, after heavy fighting eventually penetrated the Sikh defences. He later saw service during the Second Sikh War in the Punjab campaign, serving as part of the Lahore detachment.

Sutlej Medal 1845-1846, reverse for Sobraon 1846, no clasp; (GEO: COLLIER 53RD. REGT.)

Condition: some heavy edge bruising, only about Very Fine.

George Collier was born in Marylebone, Middlesex, and originally enlisted into the British Army at Westminster on 14th July 1841 as a Private with the 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot, and then embarked for India on 30th August 1841. At this time, the 1st Battalion of his regiment was on service in Cabul in Afghanistan, with a detachment having been left behind at Cawnpore. Collier was destined for the Cawnpore detachment, which was fortunate for him, as his battalion was then annihilated in the disastrous retreat of the Cabul Garrison in early 1842. At the time, the 327 strong detachment was marching to join the main body of the regiment, having left Cawnpore in November 1841, but was then ordered back to India in January 1842 ‘because there was no regiment left to join’. The detachment was ordered back to Ferozopore, where it suffered heavily from disease and then moved to Kamaul, where it was increased by two drafts of recruits from home. Collier was amongst the drafts of recruits who then joined it. Having only just arrived, Collier then joined the main body of the detachment who then embarked for England, and was not amongst those of the draft who were dispersed to other regiments.

In an effort to re-complete the regiment, then Depot became the 1st Battalion, and moved to Deal, where Collier, having just returned from India, then joined it in June 1843. The regiment moved to Devonport in May 1844, and it was here that Collier then volunteered for transfer as a Private to the 53rd Shropshire Regiment of Foot and then joined the 1st Battalion at Newry on 1st July 1844. On 10th August 1944 he then embarked with the regiment for India, where it arrived on 18th December 1844, and proceeded first to Cawnpore and then to Delhi at the end of 1845.

In January 1846 the regiment received orders to join the Army of the Sutlej and was attached to Major General Sir Harry Smith’s column which was proceeding to the relief of Ludhiani, and then whole force then moved into position before the enemy at Sobraon. Here on the 10th February 1846, the regiment fought in the final battle of the war, the Battle of Sobraon, with the 53rd Foot occupying the left of the line, and in the vanguard of the first infantry attacks on the Sikh positions. After heavy fighting the Sikh defences were eventually penetrated, enabling Gough’s forces to cross the Sutlej and enter Lahore on 20th February 1846. The 53rd Foot suffered five killed and 116 wounded. The war formally ended with the Treat of Lahore on 11th March 1846. After the campaign, the 53rd Foot left Lahore on 8th April 1846 and went into cantonments at Umballah. At the end of the year the regiment moved to Ferozepore.

With trouble broke out again with the onset of the Second Sikh War, the 53rd Foot moved back to Lahore and became part of the Army of the Punjab, and then supported the army during the Battle of Goojerat in February 1849, although it did not take part in the action itself. Three companies were also left behind at Lahore, Collier being amongst those, and as such is also entitled to the Punjab Medal 1848-1849 without clasp. The 53rd Foot then moved to Rawalpindi in April 1849, and the Lahore detachment, including Collier, joined it there on 2nd June 1849. In December 1851 the regiment was rushed to the North West Frontier to support operations against Mohmand tribesmen. 120 men of the regiment were subsequently awarded the India General Service Medal with Northwest Frontier clasp, although the regiment was then deemed not entitled to it, and no further issues were made.

The 53rd Foot then remained at Peshawar until 1854, when it marched to Dagshai in early 1854, however Collier then appears to have instead been en-route to Bombay between October and December 1853, and then embarked for England in January 1854. Collier is shown as serving with the 53rd Foot Depot up until 31st March 1855, but he disappears from the records after this.