medal code j1942

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Peter Parker was an Able Seaman on HMS Defence at the battle of Trafalgar. Parker was a Greenwich Pensioner from 7th July 1842 and applied for his medal from Greenwich, application number 7545. The hospital for 1842 lists him as aged 68, from Blackwell, married with one boy and two girls. He served 13 years in the navy, last ship HMS Thames. Under wounded; ‘ruptured (rupt’d) both sides and severe hurts’ – quite severely wounded, sounds like wounded by gunfire/explosion.

National Archives Trafalgar Ancestors notes for Parker on Defence; ‘Allotment made from wages 17 July 1803 to mother’, so certainly on Defence from at least 1803. Given he was rated AB at Trafalgar, he would have to have served a good few years before this date. GH roll notes the 36 gun frigate HMS Thames as last ship and this ship saw a good deal of action in the Mediterranean 1810-13 under Captain Charles Napier. If Parker’s wounds were enough to have invalided him, this period would fit very nicely especially as Thames saw little action prior to this date having only been launched in 1806.

Clearly service needs to be followed in muster books to give
full service.

At Trafalgar, H.M.S. Defence, 74 guns, was one of the lee column led by Vice-Admiral Collingwood, but, being very close to its rear, was not able to engage the enemy until some two and a half hours after firing had been commenced by the foe. Then, for nearly half an hour she plied her guns at the French 74, Berwick; afterwards assailing the Spanish San Ildefonso, also a 74, which fought for about an hour and then struck her flag. It is fair to say that she had been previously engaged by others of the British fleet, which had contributed materially to her roll of casualties, amounting to something like 200 men killed or wounded. The Defence had thirty-six killed and wounded. Her damages were confined to a shot through the mainmast, which was otherwise cut in several places. Much of her lower and topmast rigging was shot away, besides which her gaff was cut in two, and she received some injury to her hanging knees and chain plates. The Defence and her prize, anchoring that evening (as the dying Nelson had desired the fleet should do), weathered the gale that followed the battle and thus the San Ildefonso became one of the few trophies of victory saved from the tempest on this occasion.

Two men on the NGS roll, one for Trafalgar (1,710 clasps), the other for Basque Roads (529 clasps) This medal known
since 1923.

Condition VF, small EK at 6 o’clock, ex GLEN. March 1923. Sotheby April 1993.

Code J1942        Price £