A RARE and desirable Naval General Service Medal named to “CHAS PASFIELD.” – two clasps “STATELY 22 MARCH 1808”, “25 July Boat Service 1809”.
Charles Pasfield is a unique name on the Naval General Service medal roll.
Pte. R.M. Charles Pasfield served on HMS Stately when she engaged the Danish 74 gun ship of the line Prindts Christian Frederick and on HMS Princess Caroline for the boat service action of the 25th July, 1809, against a Russian Brig and three gunboats at Frederikshamn in the Gulf of Finland.
Provenance: Glendinings 1965 and Spink 1995.
Stately 22 March 1808 [31 issued] – 15 medals known, including examples in the National Maritime Museum; Royal Marines Museum; Honeyman Collection (Huntington Library, U.S.A.); and the Patiala Collection (2), (Sheesh Mahal Museum, India).
25 July Boat Service 1809 [36 issued] – 14 medals known, including examples in the National Maritime Museum (2), the Royal Naval Museum, and the Patiala Collection (Sheesh Mahal Museum, India).
Stately and Nassau destroy the 74-gun Danish ship of the line Prindts Christian Frederick
Also known as the Battle of Zealand Point:
On 22 March 1808, at 2 p.m., the British 64-gun ships Stately, Captain George Parker, and Nassau, Captain Robert Campbell, proceeding towards the Great Belt, descried and chased a strange sail. At 4 p.m., off the Jutland coast, the stranger was made out to be an enemy, and at 5 p.m., a Danish ship of the line, which evidently intended to run herself ashore, if no other means of escape presented itself.
At 7.40 p.m. the Nassau got up with, and opened fire upon the Danish 74-gun ship Prindts Christian Frederick, Captain Jessen, and, in a few minutes afterwards, the Stately closed and did the same. A running fight was thus maintained, with great obstinacy on the part of the 74, until 9.30 p.m., when the Prindts Christian Frederick struck her colours. At this time the latter was within less than 500 yards of the shore of Zealand, and, before the first lieutenant of the Stately, who had gone on board to take possession, could cut away her anchor, the prize grounded. The two British ships, fortunately for them, had already brought up near her. The remaining part of the night was employed in removing the prisoners, but it was found impossible to get the captured ship afloat. In the evening of the 23rd, as the Danes were preparing their artillery on the coast, and as the wind blew strong on the shore and a good deal of sea was running, the Prindts Christian Frederick was set on fire by her captors, and in a short time blew up.
The loss on the part of the Stately was two seamen and two marines killed, and one lieutenant, the boatswain, one master’s mate, 23 seamen and two marines wounded. The Nassau had one seaman killed and one missing, and one first-class volunteer, 10 seamen and five marines wounded; the total British loss amounting to five killed and 45 wounded and missing. The Prindts Christian Frederick, out of a complement on board of 576 men and boys, had 55 killed and 88 wounded; a loss sufficient to prove, that her commander did not surrender his ship earlier than was consistent with the honour of the Danish flag.
The boats of a British squadron capture three Russian gun-boats in a most sanguinary affair off the Gulf of Finland
O 25 July 1809, Captain Charles Dudley Paten, commanding a British squadron, composed of his own ship the Princess Caroline 74, the Minotaur 74, Captain John Barrett, the 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Cerberus, Captain Henry Whitby, and the 18-gun ship-sloop Prometheus, Captain Thomas Forrest, permitted the latter to lead the boats of the squadron, 17 in number, to the attack of four Russian gun-boats and an armed brig, lying at Fredericksham, near Apso roads, in the gulf of Finland. After dark the boats, commanded by Captain Forrest, pushed off from the squadron, and at 10.30 p.m. commenced the attack. After a most desperate and sanguinary conflict, three of the gun-boats, mounting two long 38-pounders each, and having on board between them 137 men, besides an armed transport brig, with 23 men, were captured and brought off.
Costly, indeed, were the prizes. The British loss amounted to one lieutenant, one second lieutenant of marines, one midshipman, and six seamen and marines killed; Captain Forrest himself, one lieutenant, three midshipmen, and 46 seamen and marines wounded. The Russians, on their side, acknowledged a loss of 28 killed and 59 wounded, making a total of 47 men killed and 110 wounded, in obtaining possession of three gun-boats. One of these gun-boats, No. 62, was so obstinately defended, that every man of her 44-man crew was either killed or wounded before she surrendered, 24 of these being killed. The result of this enterprise was a defeat to the Russians certainly, but under circumstances that reflected the brightest honour upon the character of their navy. For the gallantry he had shown on the occasion, Captain Forrest was promoted to post-rank.
The above accounts of the two actions from Naval History of Great Britain: http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/Naval_History/Vol_V/P_182.html
Sold with photocopies of bar confirmation.
Condition: Very minor edge knocks, otherwise Near E.F.