Punjab Medal, 2 bars, Goojerat, Mooltan, Captain later Colonel James Roger Western, Engineers, mentioned in despatches for the siege of Mooltan and Goojerat.
Officially impressed: “CAPTn J. R. WESTERN. ENGrs” On old silk ribbon, 1 small edge bump about 5 o’clock otherwise excellent toned condition, slight solder mark below claw on reverse.
James Roger Western, the son of a London Solicitor was born on 28th February 1812, at the age of 15 he was educated at Addiscombe Military College during 1827, where he was quickly noted as a gifted mathematician, by the next year he had graduated First in Mathematics and joined the Bengal Engineers, when he proceeded to Chatham, where his “talents and acquirements” attracted the notice of Sir George Everest, who took him on and invited him with the Indian Engineer Cadets to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, to indoctrinate them in practical astronomy, and in the use of the invariable pendulum for determining the figure of the earth.
When Sir George Everest was appointed as Surveyor-General in 1831, he took Western with him, and had a young Western attached with him to the Great Trigonometrical Survey as an assistant.
In the photograph is a drawing of Western conducting the survey at his boning instrument as he took measurements at the Calcutta Base Line, sketched by James Prinsep, January 1832.
During the Punjab War of 1848-9, he was summoned for Military Service, being present as a Captain of the Bengal Engineers, he played an important part in the Siege of Mooltan, during the Siege the Engineers were of great strategic importance as they planned the Breaches and handled the Scaling Ladders that allowed their grand storming. He was awarded the Brevet of Major for his service in the Punjab war.
During the Storming Captain Western along side Major Napier, he was in command conducting the Engineers in the Right Column.
The London Gazette after the siege reads: “To Brigaider Chepae, C.B., Chief Engineer of the Army of the Punjab, and Major Napier, Chief-ENgineer of the Bengal Division; to Captains Abercrombie, Western, Siddons; to Lieutenant Garforth, Brigade-Major of Engineers, dangerously wounded on the 2nd Isntant; and to all the officers of the Engineer Department, and of the Corps of Sappers and Pioneers, I am much indebted for their zealous, scientific and persevering extertions”
The London Gazette following the Battle of Goojerat dated 26th February 1849 reads:
“Captain Western, Lieutenants Goodwyn, Crommelin, and Taylor, accompanied me, and to all those Officers my acknowledgements are due for conveying communications, and obtaining information on every point required, during the day.”
His entire life is recounted in a lengthy 1872 Obituary from the Institute of Civil Engineers:
COLONEL JAMES ROGER WESTERN, late of the Royal