Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, VR, wide suspension, James Rutledge, Quarter Master, HMS Indefatigable, for 24 years service, with service papers.
Officially engraved: “J. Rutledge. Qr. Mastr H.M.S. Indefatigable.”
Some edge knocks and general wear over the years.
James Rutledge was born in Portsea, Hants on 25th October 1815.
He first entered into the Navy on HMS Prince Regent during March 1829, aged 14, however his service papers cross out his original date of birth which read “24th October 1814” perhaps making himself appear 1 year older as a young teenager.
His ship service throughout his long naval career:
Prince Regent – March 1829 and Victory – April 1829 but Borne in HMS Talbot.
Talbot (age 15), 5th November 1829 to 15th May 1834, during this time promoted to Boy 1st Class, then back to 2nd, then back to 1st before becoming of age.
At this time he joined HMS Talbot as it was departing Plymouth for the Cape of Good Hope on 8th August 1830.
It was not long before his first action at sea, capturing a French slave brig. The Talbot sent a letter home from 22nd November 1830, stating they had arrived on 20th August after a long passage, having touched off Madeira, Tenerife, Porto Praya, Cape Palmas, St Thomas and lastly St Helena. Two days after leaving St Thomas on 2nd October, they observed a strange sail, and after some hours chasing, came up with and captured her, it proved to be a French Slave Brig, the Duc de Bordeaux, 260 tons, under its Master Dulexcox, who was bound to Guadaloupe. They saved 561 slaves in terrible conditions, but due to the treaty with France since the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, they were forced to let them go, much to the dismay of the men on board the Talbot. They even gained information of 5 other piratical vessels, but could not catch them, they had all disposed of their booty at Porto Fraya.
He continued his sea service around Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope before the ship returned home to be paid off at Plymouth on 24th May 1834, when he joined HMS Childers.
Childers – 23nd June 1834 to 26th May 1838, during this time becoming Ordinary Seaman on 18th October 1836 and A.B. 6th August 1837.
During 1837 and 1838 the Childers under the distinguished Captain Honourable Henry Keppel were reported to be active in combating the slave trade, with some time in July 1837 protecting British shipping around Senegal, and in October in the Gambia protecting the gum trade and trying to improve relations with local tribal chiefs.
His service on the ship ended as they arrived home to Portsmouth and the ship was paid off on 19th May 1838.
Edinburgh 2nd July 1838 to 14th July 1841.
He was now on his next ship, where they were first sent to the coast of Mexico to look after British interests, before being sent over to Beyrout in 1840 where they took part in the Bombardment of Syria, he is on the medal roll as entitled to a Naval General Service Medal, bar Syria for this action.
Impregnable 10th August 1841 to 8th June 1843.
Acheron – 22nd December 1843 to 28th July 1846.
Siren – 29th July 1846 – 8th December 1846. During this period in ‘late 1846’, the ship’s boats under Lieut Lyons captured 4 Piratical craft along with 60 men, near the Turkish Island of Stanchio.
HMS Flamer 9th December 1846 19th June 1848, during time he spent a short time as Stoker from 22nd March 1847 until 5th March 1848.
Medusa – 23rd June 1848 to 25th August 1852, during time promoted to Boatswain’s Mate on 16th February 1849, before becoming Quarter Master for the first time on 1st July 1849. back to A.B. on 9th January 1852, before becoming Quartermaster again from 1st August 1852 until 25th August 1852.
HMS Sharpshooter, upon re-attesting for 5 extra years service, now a Quartermaster from 4th October 1852 to 17th December 1853, ending his ship service as A.B. from 18th December 1853 to 6th December 1854.
HMS Indefatigable 7th December 1854 to 16th October 1857, when he earned this medal as the ship’s Quartermaster.
Discharged to his pension on 14th January 1857.