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Lot 479: Indian Mutiny and the Storming of Delhi presentation sword, Henry Wilkinson
12 November 2016
Stowmarket, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Indian Mutiny and the Storming of Delhi presentation sword, Henry Wilkinson Pall Mall Patent solid hilt, the silvered etched blade with a crown above VR, Oxfordshire 52nd Light Infantry crest, the monogram J.A.B. to W.J.S., Wilkinson number 9004, together with the leather and gilt brass scabbard, the sword presented to Walter James Stopford from John Arthur Bayley, Captain Walter James Stopford of the 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry served with the Regiment at the Indian Mutiny, he was present at the actions of Trimmoo Ghat and at the Ravee River, he fought at the siege and assault of Delhi on the 8th June to 14th September 1857, en-route back from India he commanded the 52nd detachment on board the Eastern Monarch, when landing off Spithead at around half past two in the morning and everyone being in bed a violent explosion setting alight to the ship, six lives were lost in the explosions with the remaining crew, soldiers and families being loaded into the boats, a full copy report of this incident is included within the lot, Captain Walter James Stopford retired from service on the 17th July 1868, he became a gentleman Usher to Queen Victorian from 1871 to 1901 and then to King Edward VII, he was also Inspector General of Military Prisons and Prisons Commissioner from 1877 to 1898, created companion of the Bath 1897, he died 14th June 1908, Major John Arthur Bayley also of the 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry served with the 52nd in India, he was present at the battle of the River Ravee and the siege and capture of Delhi where he commanded and led the storming party of the 3rd column at the assault of the Cashmere Gate being Mentioned in dispatches, Captain Bailey wrote an account of the attack and this features in Roger Perkins Kashmir Gate, '...about half a minute after the explosion we made a rush for the gate, the lower part of which was hidden from us by a rise in the ground. A few moments afterwards a bullet smashed my left arm just below the elbow joint and knocked me over; I was up at once and hardly knew that I was wounded, but, during the slight delay caused by my endeavouring to pick up my sword and hat, my men had rushed past me and were furiously crushing through the narrow opening in the glacis which was partly closed by a manlet. The supports, which had come up while the powder was being laid, now joined the rear of the stormers, and closely followed by the column, rushed headlong through the gate, most of the defenders of which had been killed or disabled by the explosion. They were all soon inside, but Crosse, who had run forward on seeing that I was wounded, was the first to enter. The column, being speedily reformed, cleared the Cashmere and Water Bastions with the bayonet, and then set to work to fight their way through the narrow streets to the Jumma Musjid.
Notes: Edged Weapons & Antique Firearms