MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE 1793, CLASP JAVA ‘RICHD HART, SUBN 78TH FOOT.’
Richard Hart, was Commissioned Ensign of the 78th Highlanders on March 5 1805 and was promoted Lieutenant on April 25 1806. He served with the 78th in India and in April 1811 embarked at Madras to take part in the operations to capture Java. During the siege of Fort Cornelis, Lieutenant Hart in command of his company, was noted for his part in the defence of an advanced battery on 22 August;
“On the night of the 21st, when in company with the 69th, the 78th relieved Colonel Gillespie’s brigade in the advance. Early on the morning of the 22nd, three English batteries being nearly completed, the enemy made a sortie from Cornelis, and obtained possession of two of them, whence they were driven by a party of the 78th, which happened, fortunately, to be in the trenches at the time, under Major Lindsay and Captain Macleod. The battery on the right was energetically defended by Lieutenant Hart and a company of the 78th, who repulsed the enemy’s attack with considerable loss.”
During the storming of Fort Cornelis on 26 August, Lieutenant Hart was severely wounded, having his thigh broken in two places by a grape-shot. For his wounds he would later receive a Pension of £70.
After the capture of Java, Lieutenant Hart was appointed the Assistant-Resident of Surakarta, serving in that position between 1812 and 1816. Returning home with the 78th in 1817, the Regiment was initially based in England, before embarking for Ireland later in 1817. Here they would remain until 1826. Hart was married on 7 March 1822, he had had 4 children between 1822 and 1828, when his memorandum of service was returned. Hart was promoted Captain of the 6th Foot on 25 March 1825 but soon after exchanged to the 66th on 19 May and retired on half-pay. Captain Richard Hart died in October 1863 at Hythe, Kent, aged 81.
Note: During the operations in Java, the Light and Rifle Companies of the 78th formed part of the Left Flank Battalion of the 1st (or Advance) Brigade. This consisted of Light and Grenadier Companies from Regiments present, under Major Fraser of the 78th. Lieutenant Pennycuick of the 78th who was also wounded during the same attack, commanded the Rifle Company and it is believed Lieutenant Hart was in the Light Company under Captain Forbes.
14 Military General Service medals issued to Officers of the 78th, just 6 with the Java clasp.
Condition VF, couple of minor bruises, suspension pin replaced or better. Sold with research, including service and an excellent 1994 article on the Siege of Fort Cornelis from the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research . Ex. Glendining 1903 and 1933. A fine and scarce 78th Officers medal.