The extremely rare wide suspension Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal with the dated ‘1848’ obverse pair awarded to Sergeant William Jefferies, Royal Marines, who saw service with the Chatham ...

£6,250.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: CMA/33746
Condition: light contact wear, Good Very Fine.
Description:

The extremely rare wide suspension Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal with the dated ‘1848’ obverse pair awarded to Sergeant William Jefferies, Royal Marines, who saw service with the Chatham Division as part of the 5th Company. A veteran of the Syrian Campaign of 1840 when aboard the 18 gun corvette Dido, he had also seen service out in the Mediterranean and at the Ionian Islands whilst aboard her. In March 1848 he was promoted to Pay Sergeant, having mostly seen shore service. Jefferies was pensioned on 22nd January 1858, shortly after receiving his Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal and £10 Annuity to commence from 31st October 1857. Jefferies became one of only 40 recipient’s of the 1st type Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal with the dated ‘1848’ obverse, he being the 33rd recipient of the medal. Although he never caught the selector’s eye for the award of the Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal during his 26 years service, he was one of the fortunate few who received retrospective awards, being approved for this medal in January 1861 - but without a gratuity - this being sent to him some three years after he had left the service. Regulations introduced in 1860 had allowed additional Long Service and Good Conduct Medal awards without monetary attachments, which in certain circumstances were allowed to be given to pensioned personnel. Jefferies was one of the small number of men to receive it in this form. His pair represent the highest rarity amongst long service awards and combinations.

Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Victoria wide suspender with year on edge; (W. JEFFERIES. SERJT. 5TH: COY: R.M. 26. YRS:); Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal, Victoria 1st type with date ’1848’ beneath bust; (SERJT. W. JEFFERIES. R.M. 31ST: OCTR. 1857.)

Condition: light contact wear, Good Very Fine.

Provenance: ex Douglas Morris Collection, as sold through Dix Noonan and Webb on 16th October 1996.

William Jefferies was born circa 1808 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and was working as a labourer when he attested for service as a Private with the Royal Marines on 13th June 1831, being then nearly 23 years old, and therefore older than most recruits. He was drafted to the Chatham Division.

Jefferies spent two years aboard the store ship Buffalo between 1833 and 1835, and was promoted to Corporal in March 1835. He then saw service aboard the 18 gun corvette Dido for five years between 1836 to 1841, and out in the Mediterranean and at the Ionian Islands during 1839. By May 1840 Dido was at Constantinople, with Jefferies being aboard.

The increasing power of Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, alarmed the major European nations. In summer 1839, Egyptian forces destroyed a strong Turkish army and captured the Turkish fleet at Alexandria. With the Egyptians now in Syria, Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia intervened. A combined fleet under Admiral Sir Robert Stopford, with his flagship Princess Charlotte, of 104 guns, sailed to the eastern Mediterranean, bombarded Acre and stormed the town on 3rd November 1840. The Egyptians agreed to evacuate the town and return the Turkish fleet.

During this period, Dido as mentioned had been at Constantinople in May 1840, and then left there when relieved by the Talbot in August, sailing for Alexandria, which she then departed from on 6th September 1840 along with Admiral Stopford’s squadron, and arrived at Beyrout three days later. On 11th September she was involved in the attempt to take the fort at Gebail, and arrived back at Beyrout on 16th September. There the bombardment continued and the allied troops fortified their positions. On 15th September, Carysfort, Dido and Cylops were sent to Gebail in an attempt to remove enemy troops from the fortress, those same who had repulsed the first attempt, but the ships withdrew to Beyrout during the night. On 22nd October, Dido was present with the blockading squadron off Alexandria, and was then actively engaged in the bombardment and capture of Acre on 3rd November 1840 and the other operations off the coast of Syria. As of 8th December 1840 Dido was present at Marmorice Bay.

Sir Robert Stopford received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament and the Freedom of the City of London for this action. Austria, Prussia, Russia, Russia and Turkey also bestowed marks of distinction. Jefferies was one of 70 ratings plus 15 officers from Dido who would be belatedly awarded the Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840 with clasp for Syria, he being the only man by this name and rank shown in the entire Medal Roll, and he would also have been awarded the Turkish Medal for St Jean D’Acre in Bronze. His Naval General Service Medal is known and originally appeared for sale in Sotheby’s in December 1990, he being shown incorrectly as a Private on the medal.

Jefferies subsequent sea going service was for no more than three months at a time, he being aboard Cyclops in 1843, and Canopus in 1846. Promoted to Sergeant in February 1848, and a month later appointed to Pay Sergeant, he retained this rank until he was pensioned on 22nd January 1858, shortly after receiving his Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal and £10 Annuity to commence from 31st October 1857. Jefferies became one of only 40 recipient’s of the Royal Marine Meritorious Service Medal with the dated ‘1848’ obverse, he being the 33rd recipient of the medal.

Although he never caught the selector’s eye for the award of the Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal during his 26 years service, he was one of the fortunate few who received retrospective awards, being approved for this medal in January 1861 - but without a gratuity - this being sent to him some three years after he had left the service. Regulations introduced in 1860 had allowed additional Long Service and Good Conduct Medal awards without monetary attachments, which in certain circumstances were allowed to be given to pensioned personnel. Jefferies was one of the small number of men to receive it in this form.