Indian Mutiny 1857-1858, John Clayton, Able Seaman, HMS Pearl.
One of the Merchant Navy Volunteers who joined the famous Pearl’s Naval Brigade.
Only 254 medals to HMS Pearl.
Officially impressed: “JOHN CLAYTON, A.B. H.M.S. PEARL.”
Confirmed on the Medal Roll, very rare to the Royal Navy as the medal was only issued to Naval Brigade men.
About 254 medals were issued to the Pearl, 175 came from the Ship with the remainder, including Clayton made up from Civilian Sailors from the Merchant Navy who happened to be in Calcutta at the time.
“The only Europeans that could be spared to defend these extensive provinces was the Naval brigade, which had been lately augmented by another company under Lieut Radcliffe RN, numbering about 250 officers and men. Some of them had been raised by volunteers among the merchant seamen at a time when every European was of great value.” – The Cruise of the Pearl, 1859
Provenance: Ex DNW, 25th March 1997 and 17th February 2021 (Hammer Price £1700 + fees = £2189)
A particularly good condition example.
The medal roll recalls the medal was issued to him personally on 26th December 1861.
The roll also recalls that these men including Clayton earned the medal for: “Operations against the enemy in the Sarun and Gorruckpore District and Province of Oude.”
According to previous sales of the medal: “John Clayton volunteered from the Merchant Navy at Calcutta for service with HMS Pearl’s Naval Brigade”.
As the Pearl only mustered around 175 men with an addition of some men: “The mutiny threatened to engulf several districts north of the Ganges, yet Pearl’s Naval Brigade was the only European Force within 200 miles of the Area. Sotheby’s (Captain of Pearl) small command had recently been reinforced by a company of 80 men sent up form Calcutta, under the command of Lieutenant Radcliffe. A few of these men were volunteer merchants, but the vast majority belonged to Pearl’s Crew. This brought the total strength of Pearl’s Naval Brigade to 250 Officers and men, its Armament was 4 12-pounder howitzers.”