The exceptional and very rare Burma Looshai Expedition 1871-1872 Regimental Commander’s Companion of the Military Division of the Order of the Bath, Indian Mutiny final storming of Delhi Regimental Commander casualty, Second China War operations around Shanghai Regimental Commander’s and Duffla Expedition in the Naga Hills 1874 to 1875 Commanding Officer’s group of awards to Major General W.I.F. Stafford, C.B., Indian Army, formerly Honourable East India Company Forces, who was commandant of the Hurriana Light Infantry from April 1854 until it

Price: £4,850.00


Product ID: CMA/27457
Condition: first with minor damage to enamels on wreath, second with official correction to initials, overall Good Very Fine.
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

The exceptional and very rare Burma Looshai Expedition 1871-1872 Regimental Commander’s Companion of the Military Division of the Order of the Bath, Indian Mutiny final storming of Delhi Regimental Commander casualty, Second China War operations around Shanghai Regimental Commander’s and Duffla Expedition in the Naga Hills 1874 to 1875 Commanding Officer’s group of awards to Major General W.I.F. Stafford, C.B., Indian Army, formerly Honourable East India Company Forces, who was commandant of the Hurriana Light Infantry from April 1854 until it mutinied on the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny on 29th May 1857, and then commanded the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers on the day of the final assault on Delhi, the 14th September 1857, when he was wounded with contusions in two places. Commanding the 1st Punjab Infantry in late September 1857, he then saw service as a Brigade Major with the Hurriana Field Force, and was selected to command a detachment sent to cooperate with Brigadier Showers against Khajjar, at the surrender of which place he was present in October 1857, and for his services he was Mentioned in Despatches and thanked by Sir John Lawrence. Stafford saw further service during the Indian Mutiny in command of the 22nd Punjab Infantry in the affair at Kukrowlie and at the taking of Bareilly, for which he was Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Clyde in despatch of 8th May 1858, and was promoted Brevet Major. In command of the 11th and later the 22nd Punjab Infantry, he then saw service in China during the Second Opium War and operating against the Taeping rebels in the vicinity of Shanghai during which he captured a number of stockaded villages, including the village of Tserpoo, the stockades near Nanksiang, the capture by escalade of the walled towns of Kadfing, Tsinpoo when he commanded a mixed force at the relief of that place, Najow, and Cholin, and at the repulse of a very superior force on the 25th May 1860. Despite no official recognition for the operations in China, he ultimately distinguished himself during active service in the Looshai Expedition in Burma which lasted from 9th December 1871 to 20th February 1872, when in command of the 22nd Punjab Infantry, and for his services received the thanks of the Government of India, and was appointed at Companion of Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath. One of only a handful given for this campaign. Promoted to Brigadier General in September 1872 and appointed to the command of the Eastern Frontier District for five years, he then commanded during the Duffla Expedition against the Abors in the Naga Hills of Assam in during 1874 to 1875. For these operations, of which no medal or clasp was awarded, he received the thanks of the Government of India, and his diary of the expedition, is now housed in the National Archives of India.

Group of 4: The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Companion, C.B., Military Division, gold and enamels, hallmarks for London 1858, completed with three pronged gold ribbon buckle; Indian Mutiny Medal 1857-1859, 1 Clasp: Delhi, impressed naming; (CAPTN. W.I.F. STAFFORD. 4TH. PUNJAB INFY.); Second China War Medal 1857-1859, no clasp, engraved in serif capitals style for Indian forces; (MAJOR. W.J.F. STAFFORD. 22ND: P. N. INFY.); India General Service Medal 1854-1895, 1 Clasp: Looshai, impressed naming; (COLONEL. W.J.F. STAFFORD. 22ND., NAT. INFY.)

Condition: first with minor damage to enamels on wreath, second with official correction to initials, overall Good Very Fine.

William Joseph Fitzmaurice Stafford was born on 18th April 1819 in Winscombe, Somerset, the son of Colonel John Stafford and his wife Frances Maria Stafford, he then received a classical and mathematical education at La Flèche College in France, before being nominated as a Cadet for service with the East India Company’s Bengal Infantry by the East India Company Director, John Thornhill, at the recommendation of his father, who was by then a Major General.
Stafford passed the Military Committee at East India House in London on 29th July 1840 and then embarked for India aboard the Vernon on 31st July 1840, being ranked as an Ensign in September 1840, and then posted to the 36th Bengal Native Infantry in February 1841. Stafford qualified as an interpreter in December 1843, and was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1844, and was then appointed as an Interpreter and Quartermaster to the Bengal Sappers and Miners in April 1845, but then returned to the 36th Native Infantry at his own request in July 1845.

Stafford served as Adjutant of the Hurriana Light Infantry from October 1845, and was appointed second in command of this unit in March 1849, and held this position until with the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny. Promoted to Captain in February 1853, he was commandant of the Hurriana Light Infantry from April 1854 until his unit mutinied on 29th May 1857, and then saw service during the siege of Delhi which would officially last from 30th May to 14th September 1857, when he succeeded to the command of the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers on the day of the final assault on Delhi, the 14th September 1857. He then commanded the 1st Punjab Infantry for a very brief period from 17th to 20th September 1857, but had to relinquish his command owing to his having been wounded with contusions in two places during the final assault on Delhi back on 14th September 1857.

Stafford then saw service as a Brigade Major with the Hurriana Field Force under General H.C. van Cortlandt C.B., and was selected to command a detachment sent to cooperate with Brigadier Showers against Khajjar, at the surrender of which place he was present in October 1857, and for his services he was Mentioned in Despatches and thanked by Sir John Lawrence. Stafford saw further service during the Indian Mutiny in command of the 22nd Punjab Infantry in the affair at Kukrowlie and at the taking of Bareilly, for which he was Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Clyde in despatch of 8th May 1858. For his services in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny, he was granted the brevet of Major and received the Indian Mutiny Medal with clasp Delhi.

By the now the Second Opium War with China was ongoing, and Stafford then saw service in China in command of the 11th Punjab Infantry and later the 22nd Punjab Infantry, and operating against the Taeping rebels in the vicinity of Shanghai during which he captured a number of stockaded villages, including the village of Tserpoo, the stockades near Nanksiang, the capture by escalade of the walled towns of Kadfing, Tsinpoo when he commanded a mixed force at the relief of that place, Najow, and Cholin, and at the repulse of a very superior force on the 25th May 1860. For these services he received the Second China War Medal without clasp.

Stafford was promoted to Major in February 1861 and then to Lieutenant Colonel in March 1866, and finally saw active service during the Looshai Expedition in Burma which lasted from 9th December 1871 to 20th February 1872. An expedition was mounted against the Looshais following a massacre at the Winchester Plantation and the abduction of the tea planters daughter, Mary Winchester. This incident was the climax to a series of raids mounted by the Looshais. In response two columns known as the Cachar Column, under Brigadier General G. Bourchier C.B., Royal Artillery, and the Chittagong Column, under Brigadier General C.W. Brownlow, C.B., were formed. After many skirmishes and the capture of some villages, the Looshais eventually agreed to peace terms dictated to them by General Bourchier and subsequently released the girl.

Stafford was in command of the 22nd Regiment of Native Infantry during the Looshai Expedition, and for his services received the thanks of the Government of India, was awarded the relatively scarce India General Service Medal with Looshai clasp and appointed at Companion of Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

In the aftermath of the Looshai operations, Stafford was then promoted to Brigadier General on 10th September 1872 and appointed to the command of the Eastern Frontier District for five years from 1st October 1872. Whilst in this position he then commanded during the Duffla Expedition against the Abors in the Naga Hills of Assam in during 1874 to 1875. For these operations, of which no medal or clasp was awarded, he received the thanks of the Government of India. Stafford’s diary of his operations against the Dufflas, together with other of personal documents, are now held in the National Archives of India.

Stafford retired from the Indian Army as a Major General on 10th March 1878, and died on 29th August 1887. Having married at Simla back on 23rd September 1852, to Emily Mary, daughter of Major Gavin Young, Bengal Establishment, he appears to have retired to England where he died on 29th August 1887.