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A FINE 2/59TH OFFICERS WATERLOO MEDAL. SERVED AT CORUNNA, VITTORIA, ST SEBASTIAN AND NIVE WHERE HIS REGIMENT SUFFERED NEAR 700 CASUALTIES DURING A SIX MONTH PERIOD!

WATERLOO 1815 ‘PAYMASTER CHARLES MARR 2ND BATT. 59TH REG. FOOT.’

Charles Marr was appointed Paymaster 2/59th Foot on 7th March 1805. During his service with the 59th he served in the peninsular from September 1809 to January 1809, taking a part in the terrible retreat to and battle of Corunna. By the time of the battle itself, the 59th was down to just 300 fit men and would suffer a further 60 casualties during the battle itself. The battalion had claim to be the last troops engaged against the French before the evacuation.

Marr and the 59th would then take part in the ill fated Walcheren expedition in July 1809, after which the battalion would spend the next 3 years on home service. Marr would return to the Peninsular in September 1812, initially stationed with the battalion at Cadiz, before joining Wellington’s Army in March 1813. From here onwards the 59th were in the thick of things. At the battle of Vittoria on 21st June 1813, the 59th suffered 144 killed and wounded, among the highest in the Army. However it was at the storming of San Sebastian on 31st August 1813 that they would cover themselves in glory, although at great cost. Here the battalion, who started the battle with 548 men, would suffer 350 casualties, including 20 Officers, the highest of all regiments involved and 64% of its total number!. Further casualties of 165 were suffered at the battle of Nive in December, mainly during the fierce fighting around the village of Anglet. Casualties to the 59th during this six month period were so heavy that the battalion would play no further active part in the campaign. Officer casualties alone at these 3 battles were numbered at 39 killed and wounded and the total battalion strength was down to just 265 men by 11th December

Marr was present at all of these battles and although the Officer Rank of Paymaster is often thought of as a totally non Combatant one, this is not true. Paymasters were often to be found on the battlefield and during assaults, as can be found in narratives and casualty lists of the time. Marr is not recorded as being wounded during this period, however with his Regiment being one of those at the forefront of these great battles, it is almost certain he would have served on the field of battle, especially with the amount of Officer casualties.

At the battle of Waterloo, the 59th were part of Colville’s Division occupying the village of Halle, covering the right of the Army and although menaced by thousands of Cavalry, were not seriously engaged. They further took part in the storming of Cambrai on 24th June 1815.

Paymaster Marr was placed on half pay on 25th May 1816 by reduction of the Regiment, after 12 years service.

Condition GVF or better, nice dark patina. With steel clip, screw fitting, straight bar suspension and nice long period ribbon. A fine medal to an Officer who served in all his Battalions battles and campaigns 1805-15. Sold with some research on Marr and the 2/59th on CD

Code J1720        Price £2685