NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE 1793, CLASPS GUT OF GIBRATAR 12 JULY 1801, MARTINIQUE. ‘GEORGE SLEATOR’
George Sleator/Slater from Bristol’s service can been traced on the muster rolls of the following ships .Joining the navy as a Captain’s Servant aged 15/16, when discharged he had attained the very respectable rating of Quarter Master. On all he is down as ‘George Slater’. Copy snap shots from these musters are supplied on CD with the medal:
INCONSTANT - 10 Jan 1793 – 15 Apr 1795; Capt Servant, Boy 3rd Class, Boy Second Class, Ordinary Seaman
Captured Curieux 3 Jun 1793
Engaged Ca Ira 13 Mar 1795 (great action involving Agamemnon commanded by Nelson)
Battle of Genoa 14 Mar 1795 (clasp action, reason why not claimed not known)
Capture of Le Speedy (former HMS Speedy) 25 Mar 1795
FORTITUDE - 15 Apr 1795 – 14 Sep 1795; Ordinary Seaman
Battle of Hyeres 13 Jul 1795
SANS PAREIL - (for POMPEE) 14 Sep 1795 – 12 Nov 1795; Ordinary Seaman Ord
POMPEE -12 Nov 1795 – Sep 1802; Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman
First Battle of Algeciras 6 Jul 1801
Second Battle of Algeciras (Gut of Gibraltar) 12 Jul 1801 (clasp awarded)
CAMBRIDGE - 16th Feb 1802 – 14th March 1802 - AB
EXPRESS ADVICE – 14th March 1802 – To ordinary
PENELOPE - 17 Sep 1802 – 16 Sep 1810; Able Seaman, Quartermasters Mate
Attack on Ver Huells Squadron 16 May 1804
Captured Jonge Obyna 13 Jun 1805
Martinique Feb 1809 (clasp awarded)
DRAGON - 17 Sep 1810 – 12 Oct 1812; Able Seaman, Capt Fore Top, CoxswainCapture of Anna Maria 12 Sep 1812
Discharged to Antigua Naval Hospital 12 Oct 1812
1851 census show George Slater, aged 75 as a Navy Quarter Master on Half Pay. So presumably he had more service after discharged from hospital. However without knowing what ship he went to after leaving hospital, it makes it very difficult to trace.
George Slater age is confirmed on the musters as being aboard HMS Pompee for the action at Algeciras in 6th July 1801 and was aboard one of the other line of Battle ships for the action at the Gut of Gibraltar on 12th July. Pompee was so damaged after the action at Algeciras that her crew was used to replace losses on the other Ships for the forthcoming battle a week later.
Although only authorized for one action on 12th July 1801, most men (including Slater) who received the ‘Gut of Gibraltar’ clasp, were also involved in the battle of Algeciras Bay six days earlier. Both actions are two of the most interesting squadron actions during the period. At Algeciras the British Squadron was mauled by enemy land batteries and ships resulting in the loss of HMS Hannibal. During the action at the Gut of Gibraltar the British got their revenge. In what was a confusing and hard fought running fight at night, the much larger combined French and Spanish Squadron lost three Ships of the Line.
Martinique was presumably a later claim and has been recorded in collections as far back as 1909. These later claims are not too uncommon and in this case, given that the advertising for the ‘Gut’ and ‘Martinique’ clasp were couple of years apart, this almost certainly explains his additional clasp. Slater initially claiming for ‘Gut’ and then when ‘Martinique’ was later advertised, sent his medal back to have this clasp added. This was most probably recorded in the now missing ‘Egypt’ application book. Interestingly, musters show Slater was also entitled to the clasp ‘14th March 1795’ had he applied for it.
IMPORTANT; There is only one ‘George Sleator’ on the medal roll and no ‘George Slater’, so the surname has clearly been transcribed incorrectly. The medal is 100% correct as issued.
Condition EF, a very nice medal indeed to a man with a supeb service, right from the start of the Revolutionary War until the War of 1812.