medal code J2704

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A FINE 68TH N.I. SUTLEJ TO A MAJOR WHO WAS MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES FOR HIS SERVICES AT THE BATTLE OF SOBRAON. PREVIOUS SERVICE INCLUDED BOTH THE NEPAUL AND 1ST BURMA WARS

SUTLEJ 1845-6, REVERSE SOBRAON 1846, NO CLASP ‘CAPT. C: MARSHALL 68TH REGT N:I:’

Major Charles Marshall was born in Calcutta Oct 1795 and entered the Indian Army as a Cadet in 1811. Ensign 2/15th N.I, 15 September 1814, he served in both phases of the Nepal War, initially with the 2/15th, which was part of the 4th (Dinapore) Division under Marley and secondly as Lieutenant (promoted 1 December 1815), seconded to the Champaran Light Infantry in the Right Column under Colonel Kelly; his own regiment remaining in the Centre Column under Ochterlony.

Later took part in the in the Siege and Capture of Hathras 1817 and between 1819 and 1822, served as Adjutant of the Cawnpore Infantry Levy. In 1823, he transferred to the 1/35th N.I. and a year later to the 68th N.I. as Adjutant. Serving with this rank during the 1st Burma War, he took part in the Arakhan campaign. Promoted Captain, 7 April 1826, he served during the Sutlej campaign of 1845-6 as Brevet Major 68th N.I. At the battle of Sobraon, Brevet Major Marshall served in Brigadier Taylor’s brigade, Major General Gilbert’s Division, comprising H.M’s 29th, 41st N.I. and 68th N.I.. and; “In the early hours of the 10 February, Taylor’s Brigade moved cautiously forward to re-occupy its former outpost at Chota Sobraon. A thick haze covered the initial advance, but as dawn broke the Sikhs opened a smart fire on Gilbert’s Division, which, facing the strongest part of the enemy defences was ordered into a neighbouring nullah for shelter. At 10 a.m. the 2nd Division received orders for a general advance in conjunction with the 1st Division. Taylor’s brigade advanced in line for about three quarters of a mile under a heavy fire from a battery of thirteen guns and occupied a ravine about 70 yards from the entrenchments prior to delivering the assault. On charging the enemies position, nothing could be seen of the enemy except the muzzles of their guns issuing a withering and constant discharge of grape, which checked the Brigade and forced them to retire to cover. The Brigade would launch a further two assaults before finally breaking though into the enemies defences, though each assault at great cost.

For his services, Major Marshall was mentioned in General Gough’s despatch for the battle of Sobraon, 13 February 1846, this resulting in him being awarded the rank of Brevet Lt. Colonel on 19 June 1846 (confirmed Major on 10 March 1849). He appears to be the only Officer in his regiment recommended for Sobraon. Lt. Colonel Charles Marshall retired on the 1 November 1849 and was given the Honorary rank of Colonel on 23 November 1854. He died 8 Dec. 1874.

Colonel Marshall is additionally entitled to the Army of India medal, with the Nepaul clasp. His Regiment do not appear to have been entitled to the Ava clasp.

Condition GVF. A fine example to an officer who saw a good deal of active service and was MID for the battle of Sobraon.

Code J2704        Price £985