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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 57

A very fine Waterloo and Military General Service Medal pair awarded to Private R. Lane, 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles), who served with the Second Battalion of that famous unit throughout the Peninsular War and at Waterloo

Waterloo 1815 (Robert Lane, 2nd Batt. 95th Reg. Foot.); Military General Service 1793-1814, 7 clasps, Fuentes d'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Toulouse (Robt. Lane, 95th Foot.), lightly polished, obverse and reverse contact marks, suspension on second replaced with contemporary silver clip and straight bar, about very fine (2)

One of two Military General Service medals, with this number and combination of clasps, to the 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles).

Robert Lane, of Basingthorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire, enlisted with the 95th Foot at Dover on 3 April 1809, giving his trade as a labourer and his age as 21. Assigned to the 2nd Battalion, initially in Captain Charles Beckwith's Company (Beckwith was to make a name for himself during the Peninsular War and lost a leg at Waterloo), Lane participated in the abortive Walcheren Expedition (1809) before being deployed to the Iberian Peninsula towards the end of 1810 with the 1st Battalion, with whom he appears to have served until the conclusion of hostilities in 1814.

Remaining in the Army, and at some stage transferring back to the 2nd Battalion, Lane next saw action at the Battle of Waterloo: the unit were part of General Adam's 3rd Light Brigade and were heavily involved in the fighting - as indicated by their casualties of some 250 men from an initial strength of 666 all ranks. The Brigade were particularly known for playing a major part in the final defeat of the Imperial Guard, engaging a French column from the flank to hasten their defeat. Lane seems to have survived without a scratch, but was discharged in 1817 'in consequence of being very near-sighted, he is unfit for service as a Rifleman'. His discharge papers note a total service of just over 10 years (two of these being for Waterloo) and he was later admitted as an In-Pensioner on 6d. per diem. Lane died on 14 November 1878 at the impressive age of 90.

Sold with a quantity of copied research. From some modern photographs accompanying the Lot it also appears that several original artefacts (specifically a pocket watch and notebook) relating to Private Lane and his military service are in the collection of The Rifles Museum, Winchester.

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