The superb The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath Companion’s Chapel Stall Plate issued to Lieutenant Colonel later Major General Sir Alexander Caldwell, G.C.B., Bengal Artillery, Honourable East India Company Forces, who saw service during the 1790’s in the Third Mysore War and at the capture of Seringapatam. Then present during the expedition to Java from 4th to 26th August 1811, he was awarded the Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal for this campaign, along with much public recognition for his command of the whole of the artillery during the campaign. He was appointed a Companion of the Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath on 3rd February 1817, and then advanced to Knight Commander in 1837 and to Grand Cross in 1838, he having also been promoted Major General back in 1837.
The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, Companion’s Chapel Stall Plate, engraved to: ‘Alexander Caldwell Esquire, / Lieutenant Colonel in the Regiment of Artillery in the / Service of the East India Company on the Bengal Establishment. / Companion of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath / Nominated 3rd February 1817.’ Brass, with painted insignia.
Condition: slight loss to one part on painted ribbon, Good Very Fine.
Alexander Caldwell was appointed as an Ensign to the Honourable East India Company Artillery with the Bengal Establishment in 1782, and was promoted to Lieutenant and Fireworker on 3rd April 1783. In 1783 he was stationed at Midnapore, and he then volunteered his services and accompanied the artillery to the coast of Coromandel with the army under Lord Cornwallis. Promoted to Lieutenant on 26th November 1790, and to Captain on 7th January 1796, in that same year he marched with his company from Bengal, with a detachment under Colonel Hyndman to Hyderabad, for there purpose of subjugating a French force in the territories of the Nizam. This service being effected at the end of 1798.
Caldwell then joined the army under General Harris, and served with it in the whole of the war in Mysore. In March 1799 he was present at the Battle of Malavilly when he commanded a brigade of six guns, on the left wing of the army when engaged in action with Tippoo Sultan. In April he commanded the artillery at the attack of the intrenched tope near Seringapatam, on the morning the future Duke of Wellington succeeded against the post, and received his thanks. Caldwell then accompanied Colonel later General Sir Alexander Campbell of the 74th Foot in the attacked that evening against the enemy on the glacis of Seringapatam, striking some of their guns. He served in the batteries the whole of the siege of Seringapatam, and until the assault on and surrender of that fortress. Caldwell also served with the Bombay army under General Stuart, after which he proceeded with Colonel Bowser to the reduction of Gurrumcondah, Gooty, and Hurrial, when in command of the artillery, and during which he acted as a field engineer at the sieges and capture of those forts. He also commanded the storming party at the taking of the pettah of Gooty, when he had the sole charge of constructing the batteries and other works, and for which service he received the thanks of the officer commanding in general orders dated 12th August 1799. His conduct was also particularly noticed in a public despatch from Colonel Bowser of the same date, addressed to Colonel Close, Adjutant General, and General Harris’s approbation thereof, conveyed through the Adjutant General to Colonel Bowser, dated Fort St. George, 2nd November 1799. Caldwell was awarded the Honourable East India Company Medal for Seringapatam in Silver.
In September 1799 Caldwell was detached under the command of Colonel Desse to the attack of two Poligar forts, Cuptal and another fort; on one of which occasions he led the European artillery men up to the breach with a loaded 6-pounder, and from the arduous nature of the service sustained a great loss in killed and wounded, and received a contusion on his right shoulder.
In 1800, the war being over, Caldwell returned to Bengal, and in 1805 he was appointed aid-de-camp to General Green, then on the staff at the Presidency of Fort William. Promoted to Major on 15th May 1807, in February 1810, Caldwell was sent by General Hewitt, Commander-in-Chief on the expedition to Java, and commanded the whole of the artillery during the reduction of that colony. He was awarded the Field’s Officer Small Gold Medal for Java, and received Sir S. Achmuty’s thanks in general orders, dated 17th September 1811, on behalf of himself, and the detachments of Royal and Bengal Artillery under his command. On his return from Java to Bengal, Caldwell was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1st March 1812, and the Governor-General in council was pleased to publish a gazette extraordinary, dated 27th June 1812, expressive of approbation of Major Caldwell’s conduct, and the artillery under his command; he also received a letter from Sir S. Achmuty, dated 3rd July 1812, expressive of his approbation of his zeal and ability whilst serving under his command; and the approbation and thanks of Lieutenant General Sir George Nugent, Commander-in-Chief, while in command of the 2nd Division of Field Artillery, dated Agra, 19th November 1812.
Caldwell was appointed a Companion of the Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath on 3rd February 1817, and having been ultimately promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Commandant on 4th May 1820, then returned to the United Kingdom in 1821 and placed on half-pay. Promoted to Colonel in 1829 and to Major General in 1837, he was then appointed a Knight Commander of the Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1837, and then advanced to Grand Cross of the Military Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1838. Major General Sir Alexander Caldwell, G.C.B., died in 1839.