NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE 1793, CLASP TRAFALGAR ‘WM. BILLETT.’
Confirmed as William Gillett, Ordinary Seaman H.M.S. Swiftsure but on original medal roll named Billett with sub note confirming spelt Gillett on musters. Thus medal correctly named as issued to recipient.
William Gillett joined H.M.S. Utrecht (64) as a Landsman on 20 September 1803. Transferred to the newly commissioned 74 gun Swiftsure on 22 October 1804 and served with this ship at the battle of Trafalgar. Advanced to Ordinary seaman on 1 July 1807, he transferred to the newly commissioned 74 gun H.M.S. Edinburgh as an Able seaman on 9 April 1811 but was soon after advanced to Captain of the Mast. He finally left Edinburgh on 17 December 1814 and become a Greenwich pensioner (No 9570) on 2 June 1847. He was listed as a 65 year old ex Baker from City Road, born Exeter. He applied for his Naval General service medal through Greenwich Hospital.
At Trafalgar, H.M.S. Swiftsure under Captain James Lilburne, formed part of the Lee Column and suffered 33 casualties.
2 William Billett’s on roll, one for St Domingo, the other Trafalgar. The St Domingo, ex Whitaker collection 1890 and Spink in 1978, The Trafalgar Neate Medals 2009. Both scarce clasps and not a huge difference in value until recently so can be confident as issued.
Condition VF. One of the scarcer Trafalgar clasped ships of the line with 47 medals issued.