Ashantee Medal 1873-4, no bar, Major Robert Fetherston Devereux, 2nd Battalion West India Regiment, of Ballyrankin House, Ireland, who fought at the battle of Essamen, Accamfoo and Ampinee during the war.
Officially engraved: “Lt R.F. Deverux 2. W. I. Regt. 1873-4” Very neat official correction to rank and initials.
Obituary in the Wicklow People, 5th July 1913:
“MAJOR ROBERT F DEVEREUX
Major Robert F. Devereux, late of the Royal Irish Fusiliers Reserve Regiment, and previously of the 2nd West India Regiment, died suddenly on June 21st, at his residence, Berlin Lodge, Leinster Square, Rathmines, aged 66.
Major Devereux was the youngest son of the Reverend Nicholas Devereux, D.D., Ballyrankin House, Ferns, County Wexford. He entered the army on the 13th July 1870, was promoted to the rank of Major in 1881, and retired in 1882.
He served in the Ashanti War of 1873-4, and was present at the action of Essamen, Accamfoo and Ampinee.”
The Devereux Family of Ballyrankin have a long history in Ireland, they first came to Ireland with the Norman Invasion and contributed to the clergy of both Catholic and Protestant Churches. They lived for generations at the Mansion of Ballyrankin House, known locally as “The Big House” it was burned down by insurgents during the Troubles in 1921, since 1912 it had came into the possession of Walter Clarmount Skrine, husband of Poet Agnes Skrine and mother of the famous Irish novelist Molly Keane.
The family name came from the town of Evreux, Normandy, France, evolving over the years into Devereux. The family was an important one in Wexford in the last 1000 years, they first travelled to England with William the Conqueror in 1066, then on to Ireland with Strongbow in 1170, by 1260 the Manor and Lands of Ballymagir, County Wexford, became the seat of the family.
Freeman’s Journal 17th September 1873, shortly before the Ashantee expedition:
“Lieutenant R.F. Devereux, 2nd West India Regiment, has been appointed Fort Adjutant at Cape Coast Castle.”
He is mentioned in the book, The Story of The Ashantee Campaign.
On page 173 they are detailing the column that will go into action at Essamen:
“The order of the march was as follows:…….(the full listing of units)….. 65 West India Soldiers brought up the rear, under Captain Forbes, Brett, and Fowler, and Lieutenant Devereux.”