The Rare Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Nagpore, naming engraved in the style of medals claimed from and named in India by the Calcutta Mint, awarded to Private Henry Moore, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment of Foot - the Royal Scots, who was present during the Third Anglo-Maratha War which lasted from November 1817 through to February 1818, and was in action at the Battle of Nagpore on 16th December 1817 when his regiment carried the enemy's right battery with great gallantry, and afterwards drove the right wing from its ground. The other batteries were also carried, and the supporting troops routed, and the enemy was driven from all his positions, and pursued a distance of five miles. The enemy's camp equipage, 40 elephants, and 75 guns were captured; and the Royal Scots added to their former honours that of standing triumphant in the interior of India, over an immense superiority of numbers of the enemy. The battalion lost on this occasion 9 rank and file killed, and 26 wounded. Moore is confirmed on the Army of India Medal Roll as being one of the 147 Europeans to receive the clasp for Nagpore, 95 being awarded in total to the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment of Foot - the Royal Scots. Moore may well have taken his discharge in India, as his medal was issued through the Calcutta Mint.
Army of India Medal 1793-1826, short hyphen reverse, 1 Clasp: Nagpore, naming engraved in the style of medals claimed from and named in India by the Calcutta Mint; (HY. MOORE, 1ST. FOOT.)
Condition: some contact wear, edge bruise on reverse rim at 6 o’clock, Very Fine.
Provenance: Glendining’s June 1911.
Henry Moore enlisted into the British Army on 17th January 1805 as a Private with the 4th Battalion, 1st Regiment of Foot - the Royal Scots, and then formed part of the 2nd Battalion which was posted to India in 1810, and remained in India till 1826. Moore as such then found himself involved with his battalion on regular active service against the Pindarees, which the Regimental History described as ‘barbarous hordes being composed entirely of horsemen, the services of the corps were of an arduous and trying nature; traversing extensive districts by forced marches, passing rivers and thickets, and attempting to surprise these bands of plunderers, were duties calculated to exhaust the physical powers of Europeans when performed under an Indian sun.
It was whilst employed against the Pindarees, that Moore and his regiment then found itself involved in the Third Anglo-Maratha War which lasted from November 1817 through to February 1818. The diversions of the Pindarees had led several of the native princes to prepare to wage war against the British. Their designs were partly discovered and disconcerted by the Marquis of Hastings. Hostilities, however, followed, and the battalion was called upon to engage in the contest. The eight battalion companies of the 1st Foot then formed part of the second division under the command of Brigadier-General Doveton; and the flank companies were destined to form part of the 1st division of the army of the Deccan, under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Hislop, Baronet.
The battalion was stationed at Jaulnah; from whence the flank companies marched on the 11th October, 1817, under the command of Captain Hulme, with two regiments of native cavalry, and four guns, to join the head-quarters of the 1st division, and arrived at Hurda on the 22nd. The battalion companies quitted Jaulnah on the 15th October, under the command of Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Fraser, and arrived, with the remainder of the 2nd division, its train of elephants, camels, and horses, at Meiker, on the 23rd. From this place the Royal Scots were detached, with the battering train, down the Berar Ghats, with the design of taking part in the reduction of Asseerghur, an important fortress, belonging to a native sovereign named Scindia; but the order was suddenly countermanded, and the division was directed to proceed to Nagpore, the capital of the Mahratta territories, an attack having been made on the British force at that place. The division proceeded for this station without delay; and the Royal Scots, following by forced marches, rejoined the head-quarters on the 7th of November, at Oomrouttee. From this place Brigadier-General Doveton pushed forward with the Royal Scots, and part of his division, and having encountered excessive fatigue, by constant marching, arrived on the 12th in the vicinity of Nagpore, where he was joined by the remainder of the division on the following day. In the meantime the British troops at this place had taken post on two strong eminences near the residency, on which attacks had been made by the Rajah's forces, and one of the eminences had been carried by a great superiority of numbers; but the other, though attacked, had been maintained.
On the arrival of Brigadier-General Doveton's division, the Rajah was inclined to come to terms, and he at length agreed to surrender his guns and disperse his troops; but the treachery he had already evinced induced the Brigadier-General to dispose his troops in order of battle when he advanced to take possession of the guns. The troops were accordingly formed in the following order:—Two regiments of native cavalry and six horse artillery six-pounders on the height; on its left Lieutenant-Colonel M'Leod's brigade, composed of a wing of the Royal Scots, four regiments of native infantry, and the flank companies of another native regiment; Lieut.-Colonel M'Kellar's brigade, consisting of a division of the Royal Scots, a regiment of native infantry, and a detachment of horse artillery with four guns; on its left was Lieut.-Colonel Scot's brigade, of a division of the Royal Scots, a regiment of native infantry, and a detachment of foot artillery with sappers and miners, and two guns; a reserve of native infantry supported the line, and the principal battery of the artillery was posted in the rear of Lieutenant-Colonel M'Leod's brigade. On the left of the position was an enclosed garden; beyond it the Nagah Nuddee; a small river ran from thence past the enemy's right; and three parallel ravines, terminating in the bed of the river, crossed the space between the infantry and the enemy; but in front of the cavalry, and on their right, the country was open. The enemy's position was masked by irregularities of the ground and clusters of houses and huts, and a thick plantation of trees, with ravines, and a large reservoir. On this ground the Rajah had formed an army of 21,000 men, of which 14,000 were horse, with seventy-five guns. Such was the ground on which the battle of Nagpore was fought. Beyond the river lay the city, from the walls of which the movements of both armies could be perceived.
The Rajah had agreed, after much procrastination, to surrender his guns at noon on the 16th of December; and the British force was put in motion to receive them. The first battery was taken possession of without opposition; but on the troops entering the plantation, the enemy treacherously opened a sharp fire of musketry on them. The action then commenced. The columns deployed. The brigades under Lieut.-Colonels M'Leod and M'Kellar carried the enemy's right battery with great gallantry, and afterwards drove the right wing from its ground. The other batteries were also carried, and the supporting troops routed, and the enemy was driven from all his positions, and pursued a distance of five miles. The enemy's camp equipage, 40 elephants, and 75 guns were captured; and the Royal Scots added to their former honours that of standing triumphant in the interior of India, over an immense superiority of numbers of the enemy. The battalion lost on this occasion 9 rank and file killed, and 26 wounded.
After this success the siege of the city of Nagpore was commenced. The troops which defended this place, consisting of about 5000 Arabs and Hindoostanees, insisted upon extraordinary terms; and these not being granted, they resolved on a desperate defence. On the 23rd of December a breach was made at the Jumma Durwazza gate, and an assault on the place was resolved on. One company of the Royal Scots, under the command of Lieutenant Bell, with five of native infantry, and a proportion of sappers and miners, were allotted for this service; and two other companies of the Royal Scots, under the command of Captain H. C. Cowell, were destined to attack the city at another gate; and the remaining five companies were kept for the protection of the batteries.
At half-past eight o'clock on the morning of the 24th of December the signal was given, when the storming party, rushing from the trenches, gained the breach, but were instantly assailed by a heavy fire of matchlocks from the adjoining buildings; at the same time the British troops were unable to injure their numerous antagonists, either by the fire of musketry or coming to close quarters. The Arabs, thus sheltered behind walls, each marked with fatal aim, and with impunity, his destined victim;[Pg 220] and their fire under these circumstances is destructive at distances beyond that where European musketry is considered effective. Lieutenant Bell, of the Royal Scots, a most promising officer, who had served with the 3rd battalion during a great part of the war in Spain, was killed while gallantly leading his men to the attack; and the breach being found untenable, the troops were ordered to withdraw. The other storming parties succeeded in gaining the desired points; yet their positions were also untenable, and they were ordered to retire.
On the following day the Arabs renewed their offer to surrender; and their terms being acceded to, they marched out of the city on the 1st January, 1818, and were allowed to go where they pleased, with the exception of proceeding to Asseerghur. The loss of the Royal Scots in the attack on Nagpore was 1 lieutenant (Bell) and 10 rank and file killed, with 2 sergeants and 49 rank and file wounded.
Brigadier-General Doveton, in his despatch to the Commander-in-Chief in India, stated—"During the operation in the field of the 2nd division of the army of the Deccan under my command, the conduct of the 2nd battalion of His Majesty's Royal Scots, under the immediate command of Lieut.-Colonel Fraser, has been invariably such as to entitle that valuable corps to my highest approbation and applause; and more particularly in the action with the enemy's army at this place on the 16th ultimo, their gallantry, steadiness, and good conduct were most exemplary."
Moore is confirmed on the Army of India Medal Roll as being one of the 147 Europeans to receive the clasp for Nagpore, 95 being awarded in total to the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment of Foot - the Royal Scots. Moore may well have taken his discharge in India, as his medal was issued through the Calcutta Mint.