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Single Campaign Medals
Item Details
Description
The Gwalior Star sent posthumously to the mother of Captain G. G. M. Cobban, H.M. 50th Queen’s Own Regiment, who, after several years service in Australia, where he was controversially involved in what became known as the ‘Waterloo Creek Massacre’, rejoined his regiment in India in 1843 and was one of only three officers killed at the battle of Punniar on 29 December 1843 Punniar Star 1843 (Captain George Geddes Mackenzie Cobban H.M. 50th Queen’s Own Regt.) original brass hook suspension fitted with small ring and ornate silver top suspension pin, nearly extremely fine and a very rare casualty£2,000-£3,000---Provenance: Glendining’s, April 1964; Etkins Collection, Glendining’s, May 1986George Geddes Mackenzie Cobban was born on 15 November 1810, at Knockbain, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, the son of Hugh Cobban, and was appointed an Ensign in the 50th Foot on 16 August 1833, by purchase. Shortly afterwards, he was selected as an officer of a guard for a party of felons sentenced to deportation to Australia, and accordingly arrived at Sydney Harbour in the vessel Bengal Merchant which arrived from London with 267 male prisoners, under the supervision of Dr James Ellis. The guard comprised of 29 rank and file of the 50th Foot under the command of Captain McDonald and Ensign Cobban. He appears again on 25 June 1835, as a passenger on board the government brig Governor Phillip, bound from Sydney to Norfolk Island penal colony, for the “worst description of convicts”. Its remote location , seen previously as a disadvantage, was now viewed as an asset for the detention of the ‘twice convicted’ men who had committed further crimes since arriving in New South Wales.On 27 January 1836, it was announced in the Sydney Monitor that Ensign Cobban had been appointed an officer in the Australian Mounted Police, and a year later, on 1 July 1837, he was appointed commanding officer of the 3rd Division of Mounted Police, with two sergeants, two corporals, and sixteen troopers serving under him. In this appointment he was present as part of a military detachment under Major James Nunn which conducted a four-month expedition against the Gamilaraay tribe of aborigines at Liverpool Plains, in search of aborigines who were wanted for the murder of assigned servants of Allman, Cruickshank, and Finch. These operations led to a series of violent clashes between the mounted police, civilian vigilantes and indigenous Gamilaraay peoples, during December 1837 and January 1838. Estimates of the number of aboriginal deaths vary greatly, from as as few as four or six up to several hundred but these events are remembered today as the ‘Waterloo Creek Massacre’.‘On the morning of 26 January, in a surprise attack on Nunn's party, Corporal Hannan was wounded in the leg with a spear, and subsequently four or five Aboriginals were shot dead in retaliation. The Aboriginals fled down the river as the troopers regrouped, rearmed and pursued them, led by the second-in-command, Lieutenant George Cobban. Cobban's party found their quarry about a mile down the river at a point now known as Waterloo Creek, where a second engagement took place. The encounter lasted several hours and no Aboriginals were captured.’Later in 1838, Cobban was appointed commanding officer of the 1st Division, Mounted Police. He was appointed Lieutenant, by purchase, on 27 July 1838, and on 14 December 1838, his appointment as Magistrate was announced in the Sydney Morning Herald. The same newspaper reported his promotion to Captain, by purchase, on 30 September 1842. On completion of his Australian service and after a short furlough in England, Cobban travelled to rejoin his regiment, which had been in India since 1841.Rising tensions between the East India Company and the State of Gwalior led to a two-pronged British advance into Gwalior in early December 1843. While Sir Hugh Gough entered Scindia from the North-east, with the force he had collected in Bundelcund, Major-General John Grey also crossed the Scindian frontier with the left wing of the Gwalior army, some 2,000 strong, from the South-west, and pushed on rapidly to Punniar, twelve miles from Gwalior, which he reached on 28 December. As he approached, the enemy, about 12,000 in number, took up a strong position near the fortified village of Mangore. Several hostile movements were made, but the real action commenced at about four o’clock in the afternoon and continued in a succession of fights in which the enemy was driven from height to height, until finally routed on the approach of nightfall. They lost the whole of their guns, 24 in number, all of their ammunition, and a quantity of treasure. Their loss in men was very severe, but could not be ascertained as they carried off many of their wounded during the night. Ours also was severe: Captains Stewart and Macgrath, both of the Buss, and Captain Cobban of the 50th, were all killed. Directly after the action at Maharajpoor, the fort of Gwalior surrendered, and the Maharaja, the Maharanee, and leading chiefs, came to the camp and made their submission.Captain Cobban was killed in the final, frontal assault, at the head of his company. He was buried on the field of battle that same evening, together with eight privates of the 50th, who were also killed in the assault, General Grey and all his staff being in attendance.The Inverness Courier of March 13, 1844, announced ‘The death is recorded of Captain George G. M. Cobban, of the 50th Foot, “Our brave townsman’’ who fell at the battle of Punniar in India. He was gallantly leading his company to capture some guns when he was struck down by grape-shot.’The Bronze Star, later presented by the Honourable East India Company, and made from captured enemy cannon, which was bestowed in commemoration of his bravery, was sent to his mother after his death.
------For more information, additional images and to bid on this lot please go to the auctioneers website, www.dnw.co.uk
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Single Campaign Medals

Estimate £2,000 - £3,000
Sep 17, 2020
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0414: Single Campaign Medals

Est. £2,000 - £3,000Starting Price £1,000
Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria
Sep 17, 2020 5:00 AM EDT
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Lot 0414 Details

Description
...
The Gwalior Star sent posthumously to the mother of Captain G. G. M. Cobban, H.M. 50th Queen’s Own Regiment, who, after several years service in Australia, where he was controversially involved in what became known as the ‘Waterloo Creek Massacre’, rejoined his regiment in India in 1843 and was one of only three officers killed at the battle of Punniar on 29 December 1843 Punniar Star 1843 (Captain George Geddes Mackenzie Cobban H.M. 50th Queen’s Own Regt.) original brass hook suspension fitted with small ring and ornate silver top suspension pin, nearly extremely fine and a very rare casualty£2,000-£3,000---Provenance: Glendining’s, April 1964; Etkins Collection, Glendining’s, May 1986George Geddes Mackenzie Cobban was born on 15 November 1810, at Knockbain, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, the son of Hugh Cobban, and was appointed an Ensign in the 50th Foot on 16 August 1833, by purchase. Shortly afterwards, he was selected as an officer of a guard for a party of felons sentenced to deportation to Australia, and accordingly arrived at Sydney Harbour in the vessel Bengal Merchant which arrived from London with 267 male prisoners, under the supervision of Dr James Ellis. The guard comprised of 29 rank and file of the 50th Foot under the command of Captain McDonald and Ensign Cobban. He appears again on 25 June 1835, as a passenger on board the government brig Governor Phillip, bound from Sydney to Norfolk Island penal colony, for the “worst description of convicts”. Its remote location , seen previously as a disadvantage, was now viewed as an asset for the detention of the ‘twice convicted’ men who had committed further crimes since arriving in New South Wales.On 27 January 1836, it was announced in the Sydney Monitor that Ensign Cobban had been appointed an officer in the Australian Mounted Police, and a year later, on 1 July 1837, he was appointed commanding officer of the 3rd Division of Mounted Police, with two sergeants, two corporals, and sixteen troopers serving under him. In this appointment he was present as part of a military detachment under Major James Nunn which conducted a four-month expedition against the Gamilaraay tribe of aborigines at Liverpool Plains, in search of aborigines who were wanted for the murder of assigned servants of Allman, Cruickshank, and Finch. These operations led to a series of violent clashes between the mounted police, civilian vigilantes and indigenous Gamilaraay peoples, during December 1837 and January 1838. Estimates of the number of aboriginal deaths vary greatly, from as as few as four or six up to several hundred but these events are remembered today as the ‘Waterloo Creek Massacre’.‘On the morning of 26 January, in a surprise attack on Nunn's party, Corporal Hannan was wounded in the leg with a spear, and subsequently four or five Aboriginals were shot dead in retaliation. The Aboriginals fled down the river as the troopers regrouped, rearmed and pursued them, led by the second-in-command, Lieutenant George Cobban. Cobban's party found their quarry about a mile down the river at a point now known as Waterloo Creek, where a second engagement took place. The encounter lasted several hours and no Aboriginals were captured.’Later in 1838, Cobban was appointed commanding officer of the 1st Division, Mounted Police. He was appointed Lieutenant, by purchase, on 27 July 1838, and on 14 December 1838, his appointment as Magistrate was announced in the Sydney Morning Herald. The same newspaper reported his promotion to Captain, by purchase, on 30 September 1842. On completion of his Australian service and after a short furlough in England, Cobban travelled to rejoin his regiment, which had been in India since 1841.Rising tensions between the East India Company and the State of Gwalior led to a two-pronged British advance into Gwalior in early December 1843. While Sir Hugh Gough entered Scindia from the North-east, with the force he had collected in Bundelcund, Major-General John Grey also crossed the Scindian frontier with the left wing of the Gwalior army, some 2,000 strong, from the South-west, and pushed on rapidly to Punniar, twelve miles from Gwalior, which he reached on 28 December. As he approached, the enemy, about 12,000 in number, took up a strong position near the fortified village of Mangore. Several hostile movements were made, but the real action commenced at about four o’clock in the afternoon and continued in a succession of fights in which the enemy was driven from height to height, until finally routed on the approach of nightfall. They lost the whole of their guns, 24 in number, all of their ammunition, and a quantity of treasure. Their loss in men was very severe, but could not be ascertained as they carried off many of their wounded during the night. Ours also was severe: Captains Stewart and Macgrath, both of the Buss, and Captain Cobban of the 50th, were all killed. Directly after the action at Maharajpoor, the fort of Gwalior surrendered, and the Maharaja, the Maharanee, and leading chiefs, came to the camp and made their submission.Captain Cobban was killed in the final, frontal assault, at the head of his company. He was buried on the field of battle that same evening, together with eight privates of the 50th, who were also killed in the assault, General Grey and all his staff being in attendance.The Inverness Courier of March 13, 1844, announced ‘The death is recorded of Captain George G. M. Cobban, of the 50th Foot, “Our brave townsman’’ who fell at the battle of Punniar in India. He was gallantly leading his company to capture some guns when he was struck down by grape-shot.’The Bronze Star, later presented by the Honourable East India Company, and made from captured enemy cannon, which was bestowed in commemoration of his bravery, was sent to his mother after his death.
------For more information, additional images and to bid on this lot please go to the auctioneers website, www.dnw.co.uk

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