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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 13

A rare Naval General Service 1793-1840 Medal awarded to Ordinary Seaman A. Swanson, Royal Navy, among those landed from H.M.S. Caroline at the capture of Neira in the Banda - or Spice - Islands in August 1810

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 2 clasps, Banda Neira, Java (Andrew Swanson.), traces of lacquer, very fine

Christie's, November 1986.

Andrew Swanson is on published rolls as an Ordinary Seaman aboard H.M.S. Caroline for the capture of Neira, in the Banda - or Spice - Islands on 9 August 1810: he was one of just 68 recipients of the appropriate clasp. Low's The Great Battles of the British Navy takes up the story:

'And before the end of the summer [in 1810], Captain Cole, of the Caroline, 36, with the Remonstrance, 38, Captain Foote, and the Barracouta, 18, Lieutenant Kenah, achieved a glorious success in the reduction of Banda, the chief of the Spice Islands. Disembarking less than 400 men, half of whom missed their way back in the dark, he first scaled the strong castle of Belgica, and then gained possession of the castle and town of Nassau, and forced the garrison of 700 Regulars and a large body of Militia to lay down their arms. This almost unique feat of arms, by which two castles and 10 Batteries, amounting to 138 guns, fell into British hands, was accomplished with only 140 sailors and 40 soldiers, and without the loss of a single man. Captain Cole was knighted, and received the Thanks of the Admiralty, Commander-in-Chief and Governor-General, and four Swords of Honour, one of which, with a letter from the crew of the Caroline, must have been especially gratifying to this dashing Officer.'

Swanson was likewise employed as an Ordinary Seaman aboard the Caroline in the operations off Java in July-September 1811.

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