MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE 1793 4 CLASPS, FUENTES D’ONOR, NIVELLE, NIVE, TOULOUSE ‘JOHN FORD, LIEUT. 79TH FOOT.’
John Ford was appointed Ensign in the 79th Highlanders on 25 May 1809, and promoted to Lieutenant on 30 May 1811. He served in the Walcheren Expedition in 1809, and afterwards in the Peninsula from January 1810 to November 1811 and from April 1813 to April 1814. He was present at the siege of Flushing and the defence of Cadiz, Foz d’Orance, Fuentes d’Onor, Nivelle, Nive and Toulouse. He served as an assistant engineer during four of the campaigns, including Cadiz and San Sebastian. He was placed on the half-pay of the 3rd West India Regiment on 15 November 1821, and was later appointed one of the three Captains of Invalids at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
As can be seen, Ford had a most interesting service during the peninsular War in that not only did he serve at the two most costly battles in which the 79th served at; Fuentes d’Onor and Toulouse but he also served as an Engineer Officer during four campaigns. At Fuentes d’Onor the 79th had the highest number of casualties of any British Regiment present by a fair distance and at Toulouse, the numbers of casualties were only higher in the 42nd, again both having the highest number of casualties of any British Regiment present by a fair distance. However of particular note is that Captain Ford was also for many years secretary to the United Service Institution and in their journal, published a number of articles relating to his Peninsular War experiences. Many of these were taken from his own journal which is held in the National Army Museum collection, this entitled ‘military scraps from the notebook of Lt John Ford’. He also compiled an illustrated a book of the captured Flags and Standards displayed at the Royal Hospital.
Below is a brief summary of a selection of published articles, many of which were taken from Ford’s journal and published in various United Service Journals during the 1830’s and 1840’s. Copies of the full articles follow at the end of the medals listing. As will be seen, his accounts are very detailed but there is nothing from his service from mid 1810 until November 1811, which would have of course have included the battle of Fuentes d Onoro where the 79th were so heavily engaged. As such, one can only imagine how much more detailed and how many more of his experiences and observations are included in his notebook held in the National Army Museum and the reports held in Sandhurst, neither of which have been published………………
Condition, NVF due to some edge bruising. Sold with the above mentioned articles, copy service record and other research on CD. A very fine medal to a Highland regiment Officer with a most interesting service.