Naval General Service, bar Syria, Sergeant Aaron Cock, Royal Marines, HMS Thunderer during the 1840 War.
Officially impressed: “AARON COCK.”
Good preserved condition.
Confirmed on the medal roll, being a unique name, and one of 5 R.M. Sergeants of the Thunderer to claim the medal, out of about 396 recipients to the ship and about 120 Royal Marines.
With some copy research from the muster and pay books for the Thunderer and Plymouth Division.
Provenance, sold in Glendinings June 1979 and again 1987.
Sergeant Aaron Cock was born circa 1808 in the town of Meshaw near South Molton, Devon.
(His mother was Agnes Cock born 1775 in Chumleigh Devon who lived most of her live in Meshaw, until her death aged 87 in 1862, in later life she was a “pauper” living with her in laws.)
The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette recalling the peace after Crimea being celebrated back in Meshaw that his mother Agnes was:
“The children were then engaged in rural sports, and the adults engaged in a merry dance, which was led off by Mr John Boundy and Mrs Agnes Cock, the two oldest inhabitants, their untied ages amounting to 170 years.”
He first enlisted with the Royal Marines on 6th March 1830, he was 6 years old and 6 feet 1/4 inches tall, being signed on at Exeter by Captain Mallock.
Upon enlistment, in 1831 he joined 11th Company Plymouth Division at HMS Caledonia, as a Private 3rd Class in the Royal Marines.
He was invalided out of the service and discharged on 24th September 1842, at the age of 33.
At the time of his discharge he stood at an unusually tall 6 Feet and had a Sallow complexion with blue eyes and brown hair, he was also unmarried.
He does not appear to have ever bothered marrying.
In 1861, he was living in Exeter, St Sidwell, Devon, listed as a single 55 year old “Sergeant Royal Marines Pensioner”.
He died in South Molton, Devon during June 1867.
HMS THUNDERER IN THE WAR OF 1840.
This ship saw good service during the “Syria” campaign of 1840.
She acted as the Flagship at the Bombardment and Capture of the Fortress at St Jean d’Acre.
Just before they were also involved in the Action off Sidon, the final fleet action fought purely with wooden battleships under sails.
The ship first set off with her crew about June 1840, and arrived off Beyrout for service in August 1840.
On 10th September 1840, she covered the landings of the troops at D’Jounie Bay.
2 days later on 12th September, she bombarded General Soliman’s troops ashore at Beyrout.
Spending the next few days firing when the troops showed themselves and continuing the general bombardment.
On 25th September 1840, the Thunderer, alongside the Wasp, Cyclops, Gorgon and Hydra, and later the Stromboli were set off and ordered to take possession of Sidon.
On 26th September 1840, they fought in the Action at Sidon, during the fighting the Thunderer sustained casualties, with 1 Royal Marine and 3 Seamen severely wounded with another 2 Royal Marines slightly wounded.
On 3rd November 1840, she took part in the Bombardment of St Jean d’Acre, which forced out the Egyptian forces allowing the Turkish to take control by the 4th.
On 8th November 1840, she was involved in the transporting of 2,000 prisoners of war taking them to Beyrout, the Thunderer alongside the Bellerophon, Revenge and Edinburgh shared in the duties.