PUNJAB 1848-9, 2 CLASPS, MOOLTAN, GOOJERAT ‘CAPTN. CARMICHAEL, 32ND FOOT.’, INDIA GENERAL SERVICE 1854-95, 1 CLASP, NORTH WEST FRONTIER ‘CAPTN. CARMICHAEL, H.M. 32ND REGT.’, INDIAN MUTINY 1857-9, NO CLASP ‘LIEUT.-COL. J. P. CARMICHAEL. 32ND L.I.’
James Dodington Carmichael Smyth was born on 14 August 1820, son of David Scott Carmichael Smyth and Anne Sherwood. He was educated at Eton College and was commissioned Ensign in the 31st Foot, then serving in India, on 12 July 1839, and was promoted Lieutenant on 11 May 1841. Later that year, wanting to serve in Europe, he exchanged with an officer in the 32nd Foot, whose regiment had just returned to the U.K. from Canada. He became Captain, by purchase, on 18 April 1845.
Captain Carmichael Smyth served with the 32nd Foot as Captain commanding the regiment’s Grenadier Company. He was present at the first and second siege operations before Mooltan, and was at the action of Soorjkoond; he led the Right Column of attack at the storm and capture of the city of Mooltan, 2 January 1849, and was badly wounded in the head, as narrated by Private Waterfield of the 32nd in his diary:
‘There was not room to take us up in sections, so we formed four deep, and awaited the signal to advance, which was the firing of a salvo from our batteries at 3 p.m. I was in the front four, and we was headed by Captain J. D. C. Smyth of our Company... On the signal being given I waived my hand to my brother: when Captain Smyth waving his sword, gave us the ‘Forward!’, when onward we dashed, giving a cheer that instantly drew from the enemy showers of musketry. Though the ground was broken and narrow, and descending to the city wall, we soon reached the wall and found what they called a breach to be a small hole in the wall, where a small man could hardly get through. The enemy now peppered us with every kind of missiles. Our gallant leader Captain Smyth received a heavy blow on the back of the head; the blood gushed forth from the wound. I told him he was wounded, and he replied, “It’s of no consequence!’. But I could tell by his looks he was suffering greatly, but finding any attempt to get in the city at this point quite useless, he gave us the order to retire, and enter the town by the Bloody Bastion... our regiment took the right of the town... Our brave Captain held out to the last; he fell in the street, having fainted from loss of blood.’
And from ‘Our Soldiers Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Victoria's Reign’:
“On the 2nd of January 1849, the breach in the Rhoonee Boorj or Bloody Bastion of the city was declared practicable…………………..
Condition: Rank and surname neatly re-engraved on Punjab as noted above and initial ‘P’ officially but incorrectly impressed on Mutiny, otherwise GVF. Sold with copy research, including copy medal rolls, statements of service in relation to added amendments to his Army List entry, Gazette’s etc
A very fine and rare group of medals to a high ranked Officer who had an outstanding military service, seeing a great deal of action during it.