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A King's German Legion Officer's Trio

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How great is THIS? THREE medals all to the same recipient, still together and untouched after almost 160 years!!! :jumping:

These just came up the wellworn pilgrimage path to my magic Epson, for a brief visit but I hope for your enjoyment and comments as well. :cheers:

These belonged to Lieutenant George Frederick Paschal of the 2nd Line Battalion, King's German Legion-- later Captain in the British 77th Regiment of Foot.

There were 101 MGS Medals to this battalion-- circa 1850-- with

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72 bars for Nivelle and

74 bars for Nive

NIVELLE 10 November 1813 (French delaying action along this river cost them 3,000 dead and 1,200 prisoners while the British lost about 2,700)

NIVE 9-13 December 1813 (French again pushed back beyond this river, Marshal Soult losing 10,000 of his 35,000 men but Wellington over 5,000 of his 14,000!)

I am woefully out of my depth here, so any additional information will be greatly appreciated. I am but the humble Epson Operator for Visiting :love: treasures.

It boggles my mind how any National Currency Unit "value" CAN be assigned to such things.

Oooooooooooo K-- 101 medals were issued to old members of this battalion in

1850 or so

Ah...

how many of those still EXIST

in 2008? :speechless1:

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Perhaps as amazing to me as the survival of this trio intact after almost two centuries is the fact that the ribbons are apparently as their original wearer left them in his lifetime. I know--but have never understood--how little that matters to British medal collectors but for me as a German medal collector it is as important as the medals themselves. TRY finding original 150 year old ribbon. :rolleyes:

Here is a closeup of the Waterloo Medal, in classic "eternal" (welllll, SO far :catjava: ) tarnish defeating glazed shell coverings:

There were 437 members of the 2nd Line Battalion, King's German legion at this battle

19 members were killed

75 were wounded

17 disappeared on the field without a trace

oh, yes, 326 got through without injuries worth mentioning...

rather puts the snivelings of Modern Man in perspective.

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The Hanoverian Medal (1841) for old members of the King's German Legion was also placed in a glazed shell, flawlessly preserving it for all these long decades:

I don't know how many of these were awarded.

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Since none of these have appeared here at GMIC before, here are the reverses for completeness--

MGS

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KGL, glazed:

I would like to thank the Traveling Museum for venturing out onto the byways of the benighted hinterland of Southern Canada in the midst of the worst weather to fall over us in over half a century. THAT is dedication to entertaining the GMIC-ites! :cheers:

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weeping-weeping I am to have missed seeing these!

Seriously, even as a younger replacement officer this man had an amazing life. The 2nd Bttn. KGL was one of THE elite units of the Napoleonic wars.

The 2 KGL unit was on the far right of the British line-on the ridge above Hougemont. It suffered heavy artillery pounding from the fields to the left of the chateau, endured repeated charges by the french heavy cavalry and close up artillery fire by horse batteries. I think Lt. Paschel may have written one of the unpublished Siborne letters.

My mentor, Charles Grant, would have chopped off a finger to have owned this group.

This is probably the best group I have EVER seen on this forum.

I am 99% certain he ended up as the First Chief Inspector of the Met. . :speechless1: He invented the Sweeney. No joking.

He shows up in the 1851 army list . I need to see if he shows up in the Times obits. Odds are someone in the Waterloo Society will have his complete biography.

Edited by Ulsterman

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As a former collector of KGL medals, who still has a soft spot in my heart for them, and who wishes he had not sold his collection back in 1989, I concur completely. This is a spectacular group and one which I would have loved to own.

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Hello Rick.

Thank you for showing these impressive medals. Indeed it is surprising that they stayed together these long years and in such splendid condition. As a native of what was the former Kingdom of Hanover and somewhat influenced by my father who was an adherent to the Deutsch Hannoversche Partei ( a Monarchist leaning party in existence until 1933) I had the opportunity to read some books in my youth on the subject. Presently I only own some publications concerning the Kings German Legion and the old Hanoverian Army, books which still surface from time to time. but no decorations. The most extensive is the three volume history by Beamish of the K.G.L. which was republished not so long ago. As to medals of that time period I own a commemorative medal to the Hanseatic Legion with a much used ribbon.so my envy is great.

Thanks again for sharing the pictures.

Bernhard H. Holst

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I'll love to have this group in my British medals group. I've been looking for something similar to this for years. Groups like this seldom come up for sale.

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Lovely, way out of my league. I managed a Hanoverian Waterloo Medal some years ago, but to the Lavanburg Bn, part of Colville's Bde & so not inthe thick of the action.

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I'm just staggered as to how anyone

a) can

and

b) does

collect these. :speechless1:

Looking at the TOTAL numbers by unit for the MGS in Gordon, most are in the roughly 200-to-a-unit average. Some 400-600, the Royal Artillery--as a Corps--actually into 4 figures... but many are UNDER 100 to any specific unit's survivors 40 years on at issue time.

And those were the number I-S-S-U-E-D---

not what is realistically Still Out There! :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1:

I've never collected by price except in the sense of not being able to afford most treasures. But how CAN anybody realistically put a National Currency Units "value" on things which by any OTHER standard (MGS to this battalion is 7 times rarer than a WW1 Pour le Merite, for instance) are

Virtually Mythical.

Is there simply a Board Of British Medals Valuation that arbitrarily decided (in 1925 or soemthing) what things would forever be?

Or is the same utterly irrational wackiness from other collecting fields involved here, so that supply and demand are NOT linked? Is some "real British" unit with basically the same bars 'worth" MORE/SAME even with 5 or 6 times the actual number awarded compared to this KGL Battalion.... because there are FOUR collectors of THAT battalion... and only TWO of this one?

Oh, to be back in the 1970s with late 1980s income and early 21st century knowledge!!!!

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YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW! Amazing is an understatement. I'm truly envious.

My father's mother's family are originally from Hannouver, also once upon a time, the former recruiting grounds of the KGL. I have a soft spot in my heart for the KGL, even though no family members served in it.

I have family that fought during the Napoleonic Wars, and one member that served in the 4th Westphalian at Ligny, and arrived on the field at Waterloo late in the day and in time for the pursuit. He didn't get -one- single medal and no offical recognition, although his grave marker mentions he was there and his name is indeed on the unit roster for 1815.

Les

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Actually, pairs like these aren't that uncommon on the market. The trio with whichever German medal is more uncommon, but scarcely unknown. The KGL medals are usually sold at lower prices that a corresponding British regimental pair. Go figure.

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It's only in the last decade or so that KGL items have come into their own in the British market (and that seems largely because the Germans have money and the willingness to look across national borders).

The KGL fell into a category similar to the Indian Army in that because they were not researchable at Kew, they were beneath the dignity of a "real" collector. Rick's comments on the relative rarity of medals to KGL units are spot on, but it's still the Germans who lead the way in appreciation of that rarity. Americans acquired KGL items because they were generally cheaper than medals to British units, and that was fine for type collectors.

The price gap is closing as British collectors get priced out of the market for British unit medals, but I think there will always be some gap.

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Just to follow up after a bit more rummaging around old Traditions magazines and 30 year old "Journals of the Waterloo Society" and other ephemera in the attic.

The 2nd Bttn of the KGL. was one of THE units to have in Waterloo collecting. There were a total of 12 Lts. in the battalion at 8am on June 18th.. Originally held in reserve in the right center just behind the ridge, the battalion was moved in square over the ridgeline and past La Haye Sainte during the attack of French (Foy's Brigade+3 battalions) columns. There it bayonet charged a French Brigade whilst simultaneously covering/observing a cavalry melee' that drove off the covering French curassiers. It's Lt. Colonel was killed during that attack.

Later it was withdrawn with its brigade to the far right of the British line and after standing off the first of the massive French cavalry charges. Then the battalion was ordered DOWN the slope, still in square formation and firing into the French cavalry and skirmishers, into the broken ground above Hougemont's orchard (which is where the good jager with the Brunswick medal fought his battle) and the road. It spent the rest of the day exchanging musket fire with the 2-3 french regiments in the orchards and God knows how much artillery fire came down on it.

It would have watched the attack of the French Imperial Guard on its left flank and then after the Guard was repulsed, it marched down around the chateau to be almost in the front of the final stand of the Imperial Guard infantry.

A Fahnrich of the battalion left a letter in which he described watching the famous capture of General Cambronne ("Merde").

Edited by Ulsterman

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It's only in the last decade or so that KGL items have come into their own in the British market (and that seems largely because the Germans have money and the willingness to look across national borders).

The KGL fell into a category similar to the Indian Army in that because they were not researchable at Kew, they were beneath the dignity of a "real" collector. Rick's comments on the relative rarity of medals to KGL units are spot on, but it's still the Germans who lead the way in appreciation of that rarity.

Germans have been learning to look across national borders, but there are times whether the Brits are able to do so, particularly with regards to a battle of mythical proportions Waterloo has taken on in the British national psyche. Reading accounts by British, German, and French historians (and people that were involved in the battle) can sometimes sound like entirely different battles.

Brits have the tendancy to see Waterloo as a "British" versus French battle, while overlooking how much of the "British" force was made up of allied military units. Seeing the battle from a nationalistic perspective misses many of the crucial details. The battle was not won solely by the British. It was the result of the combined efforts of the allied units that were in line, the pressure of Bluecher's advancing Prussians, in addition to French mistakes, and so on. Without the Prussians, and support of other allied units, Wellington knew he couldn't do it with British only units. Bear in mind, he wasn't completely sanguine about Bluecher's support, and was actively considering getting -British- units back to the coast, and ready to get them on ships bound for the other side of La Manche.

The KGL, especially the light infantry elements were deployed in front of the main line of resistance. Advance units were used to slow down and keep the main French infantry (and especially artillery) as far away from the main British line as possible, and slow down the French advance on road junctions, farm houses, etc. Any one involved in a fist fight knows the importance of keeping a forward guard so you head doesn't get pounded because the other guy is....too close, too big, etc.

Ulster, nice snapshot summary of the KGL detachment the Lt was part of, and located near the chateau. The defense of Hougomont was important to the battle, but so was the defense of the sand pit (also occupied by elements of the KGL), and other parts of the battlefield as well.

Soapbox mode/off :rolleyes:

Les

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Hallo Gents, :beer:

Beautiful Medals :love: , Ricky you are very lucky to get these "visitors" :jumping:

with regards the King's German Legion, they also saw service in Ireland,

the following info is from my reference files:-

Weekly State of the 6th Troop, 1st Light Dragoons, King's German Legion.

9th December 1806.

Location: Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Officer in Charge: Captain George von Muller.

No Subalterns or Cornets;

1 Quartermaster, 3 Sergeants;

75 Rank & File (55 fit for duty);

81 Horses (63 fit for duty):

2 Officers, 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal, 1 Trumpeter, 16 Dragoons and 15 Horses were serving in detachments outside the town.

I hope its of interest to somebody?

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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a bit more-thanks' to Doc, who took some photos of the ground where Paschal fought (hopefully they will upload) I can illustrate further this thread.

Paschal was still alive in 1869, retired as an Oberst aD.. He joined the Legion on St. Partricks' Day, 1812..

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Part of 3rd Hussars K.G.L. in the Peninsular War Medal Roll 1793-1814.

Found on the net a while ago.

Apparently the clasps mentioned are:-

Sahagun & Benevente (battles in 1808 on the Retreat to Corunna).

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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I've never owned a Waterloo or MGS (even 30 years ago they were out of my league). I do regret passing up a KGL Waterloo, since for many years I worked with Fred von Ompteda, a direct descendant of the Col. von Ompteda commanding the KGL at Waterloo, where he was killed leading the 5th Bn.

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The brave Colonel Omptedas' great-grandson (?) was a garrison staff officer in Belgium during WW1.

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Fred explained that his father broke tradition and became a musician, which is probably why he survived to have Fred. I think he did serve in the Second War, though.

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Cataloging the late Eric Ludvigsen's library, I just came across a TINY (apparently intended for pocket carrying to shows in those far off days :rolleyes: ) 1969 Arms and Armour Press reprint of an 1853 listing of ALL British and KGL officers who received Napoleonic campaign medals (and Orders from Britain) and here is our Paschal(l) listed as Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, Unattached:

Presumably the original was in a size that could be read without a magnifying glass :speechless1: but at least the Magic Epson serves the same purpose.

I am PARTICULARLY impressed not only that the concept of alphabetization occurred to those disordered Victorian minds but that they ALSO keyed all the campaign bars to numbers, simplifying each entry. :cheers:

I suppose anybody who collects these medals has this list, but it a new and wondrous :jumping: addition to obscure knowledge for me.

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