MAHARAJPOOR STAR, 1843 ‘ENSIGN W.W. WARDE 56TH REG NATIVE INFANTRY.’, PUNJAB, 1848-9, CLASP, CHILIANWALA ‘LIEUT. W.W. WARDE, 56TH BENGAL N.I.’
Lieutenant William Wilder Warde, son of Major William Warde, 5th Bengal Light Cavalry and great grandson of the 1st Earl Cornwallis, was born on 10 April 1825 at Benares. He entered the Bengal service as an Ensign in 1841 and was posted to the 71st N.I. (Native Infantry) in November that year. In September 1842, he transferred to the 45th N.I. and in May 1843 to the 56th N.I. with which regiment he took part in the Gwalior campaign, being present at the battle of Maharajpoor. In August 1846 he was appointed Officiating Officer and Quartermaster, a position he held for nearly two years. In June 1848, he was placed at the disposal of the Judicial Department, for employment in the Saugor and Narbadda territories, where he was appointed Deputy Commissioner, thereby vacating his Regimental Staff appointment. However on the outbreak of the second Sikh War, Lieutenant Warde was recalled to his Regiment this having been chosen to form a part of the Army of the Punjab. Rejoining his regiment at Ravi on 12 November 1848, he took part in the early part of the Punjab campaign. Taking part in the passage of the Chenab and the action at Sadulapur, he was killed in action at the battle of Chilianwala, 23 January 1849, a battle at which his regiment played a conspicuous part, though suffering a horrendous number of casualties when charging the Sikh batteries………..
22 European Officers were killed at the battle of Chillianwala, 13 of whom belonged to the 24th Foot and 2 to the 56th NI. The 56th suffered a further 4 Native Officers killed, 6 European Officers (one of whom died of wounds) and 6 Native Officers wounded. They lost a further 322 men killed and wounded. Overall, 67 European Officers and 27 Native Officers were wounded at this battle.
Condition VF, attractive patina. Sold with various reference books mentioned in the text on CD and biographical details.
Not only is this a rare pair of medals to one of the 22 European Officers killed in action at Chilianwala, few of which are ever on the market but the 56th Native Infantry played a significant, if devastating part in the battle.