ARMY LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT, V.R., FIRST TYPE, LARGE LETTER REVERSE ‘M. KEARNS, SERJEANT 41ST REGIMENT FOOT.1838.’
Marmaduke Kearns, aged 15, from Blairs, Lisburn, enlisted into the 89th Foot on 20 July 1811. Promoted Corporal on 27 December 1820 and Sergeant on 27 March 1824, he transferred to the 41st Foot on 1st January 1831. Aged 46, he was finally discharged on 27 June 1838 after being considered unfit for further duty. He was almost immediately accepted for pension as an invalid soldier.
His service record notes him as serving ‘in America for three years and in the East Indies; 9 July 1817 to 31 January 1838’. It also notes he; ‘never joined the 41st, having been always employed in the Deputy Quarter Master Generals Department Madras’ So clearly on the books of the regiment only.
Kearns was also awarded the Military General Service with clasp ‘Chrysler’s Farm’, for service in the 1812 War and additional the Army of India medal, clasp ‘Ava’, for service in the Burma War.
In November 1813 the 2/89th took part in the brilliant action of Chrystler’s Farm where a British force of 830 men, known as the Corps of Observation, repulsed an American force of over 3,000 men under Major-General Boyd and thwarted their plans to capture Montreal. However their finest moment would be in July 1814 where they played a pivotal role in the bloodiest battle of the War; Lundy’s Lane. During a battle that was as fierce as any during the peninsular War, both sides practically ran themselves into the ground and casualty rates were horrendous. Veteran British officers, who had fought against French armies in the Peninsular were horrified at the carnage they had witnessed at Lundy's Lane. Drummond reported.
"Of so determined a Character were [the American] attacks directed against our guns that our Artillery Men were bayoneted by the enemy in the Act of loading, and the muzzles of the Enemy's Guns were advanced within a few Yards of ours".
The 89th suffered 254 casualties in 6 hours out of 400. This is a 63% casualty rate!
Condition VF or better, original bar suspension and ribbon with attractive broach buckle. A fine and scarce medal. Sold with copy service papers and hospital entry on CD.