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Sutlej Aliwal Sobraon 53rd Regt

Sutlej Medal, reverse Aliwal, bar Sobraon, John Holmes, 53rd Regiment of Foot, Shropshire Regiment.

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SKU: J8655 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
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Sutlej Medal, reverse Aliwal, bar Sobraon, John Holmes, 53rd Regiment of Foot, Shropshire Regiment.


Officially impressed: “JOHN HOLMES 53rd REGT”


Good condition for this type of medal.


Accompanied by A3 extracts of his muster roll entries for his service during the 1840s, from the National Archives.


Served with the service number “2041”.


First joined the army on 6th June 1843, “Recruits who have joined during the Quarter” with regimental number 1991, stationed at the 48th Foot Depot in Guernsey.


He then joined the 53rd Foot at Manchester, the muster for 1844 notes: “Volunteered from the 48th Foot 1st July 1844”.


He then went to India with the regiment and served throughout the Anglo-Sikh War seeing much fighting in the 2 battles the comprise his medal.


The final muster entry “Numbers discontinued or reduced in the Regiment Since 1st July 1849”.


It notes that John Holmes, was discharged on 21st September 1849.



Please click here to read an excellent account of the war by the 53rd from the Soldiers of Shropshire Museum.


John saw service in 2 battles during the Anglo Sikh War of 1845-6, the Battle of Aliwal, 28th January 1846 and the final Battle of Sobraon on 10th February 1846.


A snippet from Sobraon reads: The order was then given for the left division to advance, which it did in double time, but though it came under very heavy fire, it was not halted until about two hundred yards from the Sikh line when enemy cavalry threatened the left of the 53rd.


A heavy and well-directed fire of musketry (and grape-shot from a nearby British battery) scattered the Sikh cavalry and the 53rd was able to surge forward with a cheer and clear the entrenchments of their Sikh defenders.


The 53rd was the first regiment to close with the Sikhs, but suffered some casualties from Sikh artillery.


Captain Warren, the senior Captain, was killed and the Colours took a heavy beating, with the two pike-staffs being broken and men around them shot down.


Lieutenant Lucas, carrying one of the Colours, was severely wounded. However, the enemy’s right wing having been turned, the Sikhs retreated into the river along their whole line, being fired upon for close on an hour by the entire British force lining the Sutlej.”


Following the victory at Sobraon, the war was won, the 53rd lost in addition to their Captain, Warren, 6 men killed, 8 officers and 112 men wounded.