CRIMEA 1854, CLASP, SEBASTOPOL ‘CAPTN. W. H. C. G. PECHELL. 77TH FOOT.’ Officially impressed naming.
M.I.D. London Gazette 19 September 1855.
William Henry Cecil George Pechell was born at Castle Goring on 26 May 1830, the only son of Vice-Admiral Sir George Brooke Pechell, 4th Baronet, M.P. for Brighton, and Lady Katherine Annabella Pechel. Commissioned Ensign into the 77th Foot on 1 August 1848. He was promoted Lieutenant on 25 July 1851, and Captain on 13 May 1853.
The 77th Foot served as part of Sir George Brown's Light Division during the Crimean War, seeing action at the Battles of Alma and Inkermann, before taking part in the Siege of Sebastopol. According to the regimental history, Captain Pechell joined his 77th in the Crimea on the 8th November 1854, therefore missing the earlier battles but taking part in entire siege of Sebastopol, including the terrible winter of 1855-5. On 18 June 1855, the 40th Anniversary of Waterloo, the 77th took part in the First Assault on the Redan. The British attack was repulsed with heavy loss, particularly among the officers. Pechell wrote numerous letters home, recording the progress of the war in minute detail. His last letter to his father was sent on 1 September 1855, three days before his death. Years later, his sisters Henrietta and Adelaide compiled his letters into a comprehensive diary of his service in the Crimea. A couple of copied pages of what appear to be from this diary, come with the research. However a 2003 newspaper article suggests the diary was to be donated to the West Sussex Records Office. This facility holds many other documents relating to the Pechell’s.
CAPTAIN PECHELL’S GALLANTRY AT ADVANCED BRITISH TRENCH AT THE REDAN 30 AUGUST 1855
The entry for 30 August 1855 reads:
'For the trenches this evening, four Captains, four Subalterns, twenty Sergeants, and five hundred and five rank and file. Fifty men of the above party, were sent forward, under Captain Pechell, to a coteau [glacis], which was being constructed at right angles to the sixth parallel, under the proper left face of the Redan, about two hundred Russians made a sortie, to drive the workmen away from the coteau. They had nearly succeeded in the attempt, when Captain Pechell, at the head of his party, charged them, with the bayonet, and, after an obstinate contest, he defeated them, and recovered some gabions which they had taken……………………. SEE PDF FOR DETAILED WRITE UP
………Captain Pechell appears in three photographs taken by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War. Two of these are 77th Foot group photographs, showing the men in winter dress. The third photograph shows Pechell mounted on his horse.
This medal is recorded in the well known Payne collection and is catalogued in his 1911 book. Payne describes the naming of medal as impressed ‘77th Foot’, which confirms this is the medal once in his collection. Since the majority of Officially impressed Crimea medals are named ‘Regt’ not ‘Foot’, this is important in establishing the medals Provenance. Medal condition is EF and it is contained in an old fitted box which appears to have originally housed a different medal. Sold with copied research, including a reproductions of Roger Fenton's photographs and pages relevant to Pechall from Payne’s book.