MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE 1793, 4 CLASPS BARROSA, CUIDAD RODRIGO , VITTORIA ST SEBASTIAN ‘FREDK COLVILE, ENSN 3RD FOOT GDS’
Captain Frederick Charles Acton Colvile was born in December 1792, the second son of Robert Colvile and Amelia Angelina Asgill (daughter of Sir Charles Asgill). He was Commissioned Ensign in the 3rd Foot Guards (Scots Fusilier Guards) on 22nd September 1808, being promoted Lieutenant and Captain on 9th December 1813, retiring on the 25th February 1819. He married Mary Leigh, a sister of Lord Leigh, on 23 July 1817 and served as a Justice of the Peace for Warwick. The family home being Barton House in Warwick. Captain Colvile died at the age of 79 in 1872 and is buried in Ashow, Warwickshire. His wife's genealogy included Mary Tudor as an ancestor.
Colville served in the Peninsular War with the 3rd Foot Guards from April 1810. Initially at Cadiz, he took part in the battle of Barrosa, a battle that the Brigade of Guards played such a critical roll. Shortly after the battle, Ensign Colvile was appointed extra ADC to General Sir Thomas Graham (later given the title Lord Lynedoch). In a letter to General Graham from the Duke of Clarence, CO of the 3rd Foot Guards, the Duke wrote the following:
‘London May 26th 1811
I lose no time in acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 4th inst, that has been delivered to me by Brigadier General Dilkes, and in assuring you that I have much satisfaction in complying with your wish to retain Mr Colvile of the 3rd Foot Guards at Cadiz for the purpose of his acting as an extra Aide-de-Camp to you., and I think it is a very fortunate circumstance for that officer that he will have the advantage of serving upon your staff. It has afforded me great gratification to find that the conduct of that portion of my regiment that has been under your orders has met with your entire approbation….’
The choice of Ensign Colvile to serve as ADC to one of the Peninsular Wars great generals may well have had at least some form of ‘interest’ due to Sir Thomas’s connection to the Asgill family.
Ensign Colvile would serve for the rest of the War as Sir Thomas’s ADC, taking part in all the General’s battles and campaigns, including the siege and storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, El Bodon, battle of Vittoria, both sieges and stormings of San Sebastian, and passage of the Bidassoa. When Sir Thomas was given command of the British Army sent to the Low Countries, Britain’s part in the War of the Sixth Coalition, Colvile, by now promoted Lieutenant and Captain, went with him as ADC. Here, among others, he would take part in the battle of Merxem, and the disastrous attack on Bergen op-Zoom. As such Colvile’s service as a member of Sir Thomas’s close Staff, can be followed very closely by following his generals movements.
1871 Army list:
‘Captain Colvile embarked in 1810 with the Guards for Cadiz, then besieged, and was present at the battle of Barrosa. He served afterwards with the Peninsular Army as Aide de Camp to Lord Lyuedoch, and was present a: the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, the action of El Bodon, battle of Vittoria, the two sieges of San Sebastian, and passage of the Bidassoa; he then proceeded to Holland, and was present at the affair of Merxem, and the attack on Bergen op-Zoom, He has received the War Medal with four Clasps’
Only 4 Barrosa clasps to 3rd Foot Guards Officers (one of these a surgeon) and 3 St Sebastian clasps out of 34 MGS medals issued to Officers of this Regiment. Only 1 Officer (Colvile) and 3 other Ranks with all four clasps of these clasps.
Condition NEF, a fantastic Guards medal to an Officer with a superb service. Has not been on the market for many years. Ex Spink 1980.