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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 8

The unique Naval General Service Medal awarded to Surgeon J. O. Martin, Royal Navy

Naval General Service Medal 1793-1814, 2 clasps, Trafalgar, Java (John O. Martin, Surgeon.), edge bruising, very fine


Spink, January 1950.
Glendining's, June 1984.

The published rolls confirm the recipient at Trafalgar aboard H.M.S. Britannia and Hussar at Java; his two-clasp award is unique to a Surgeon.

John Owen Martin was born in 1775 and served aboard H.M.S. Britannia at Trafalgar as a Surgeon's Mate. The 100-gun vessel carried the Flag of Admiral of the White William Carnegie, MacKenzie's Trafalgar Roll takes up the story:

'She was with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar...on that fateful day. She was fourth the fourth ship in the weather line led by Lord Nelson, and thus was early in the action, continuing closely engaged till the end, and sustaining a loss of fifty-two killed and wounded.'

Having tended to the wounded on that day he remained with the ship until 1807. By 1811 and having been advanced Surgeon, Martin was aboard Hussar for the capture of Java. On 31 August she was part of the force which successfully captured the heavily defended port of Sumenep on Madura Island. Later serving under the command of Captain James Crawford aboard Modeste, he was present for the capture of the 14-gun privateer Furet off Sicily on 8 February 1813. Having claimed this medal, Martin died at Lime Cottage, Lee, Kent, aged 76 on 25 March 1851; sold with copied research.

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