MGS 1793-1814, and important uniform items of Lt.Col Edmund French-Boys
The important group of uniform items and three bar MGS medal belonging to Lt. Col Edmund French-Boys , 45th or Nottinghamshire Regiment of Foot who joined the regiment as an Ensign on 17th November 1808 and became itís Lt. Col on 21st June 1832 , remaining with the regiment for almost forty years.
Lt.Col French-Boys served in the Peninsula from 1809 to 1811 and again from 1813 to the end of the war, including the action at Sabugal, the battles of Fuentes díOnor, where he was wounded, Orthes, and Toulouse where he was again wounded. He also served in the Burmese War and was presumably entitled to a silver Burma War medal issued by the HEIC as there is no mention of French-Boys in the Army of India medal roll.
The medal has officially impressed naming to Edmd F.Boys Lieut 45th Foot with three clasps for Fuentes díOnor, Orthes and Toulouse with its silver suspension broach on original silk ribbon and in EF condition.
The pre 1848 pattern scarlet coatee with dark blue / black facings ? ( regulations indicate dark green facings were to be worn but the dark green dyes were almost black in practicality and this example may have oxidised over time to a black appearance, there is certainly no evidence that the buttons have been changed at any point in time) with gold regimental pattern lace is complete with all its buttons. The buttons display an Arabic 45 within a French scroll. The coatee is in excellent condition throughout with only minimal surface moth traces. The rear skirts have the pre 1848 gold embroidered lace flashes with four buttons and the bottom of the tails have wonderfully embroidered 45th or Nottinghamshire tail ornaments. The coatee has a pocket sewn in to the left breast which was presumably to support either a glass monocle or the provision of a medal.
Also included is his field officers waist belt clasp which displays a VR cipher below a crown with the Arabic characters 45 at the bottom. This is no longer attached to a buff leather sword belt. A crimson waist sash terminating with two large tassels completes the group.
The 45th were one of the great regiments involved in the Peninsula War and fought in nearly every engagement from Rolica 1808 to Toulouse 1814 wining thirteen battle-honours in the process. At the battle of Talavera 1809 , the French flung themselves in dense masses at the British advanced posts manned by the 45th. The enemy was routed with such firmness and courage that the French were first checked and then brought to a standstill. Retiring slowly the regiment held up the attack so completely that the French lost all impetus and for these deeds the regiment acquired the nickname "the old stubborns". At the battle of Badajoz 1812 the 45th were the first regiment to storm the fortress and succeeded in pulling down the French flag and not having a British flag to hoist in its place, an officer took off his red coatee and ran that up instead. This feat is commemorated today on the 6th April each year when red jackets are flown on the regimental flag staffs.
A truely rare opportunity to acquire a Peninsula war veteranís group of items to an individual who dedicated almost forty years of his service life to the 45th regiment. For display purposes I have photographed the set with an officers undress forage cap and a pair of Lt. Colonels fringe bulliion eppaulettes which are not included within the purchase price but can be acquired under seperate negoiation.