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Original Defender of Lucknow, and Punjab pair

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Alfred Pearce, Uncovenanted Civil Service, late Gunner, Bengal Artillery, an original defender at Lucknow

Punjab 1848-49, 2 clasps, Chilianwala, Goojerat (Gu—r A. Pearce, 3rd Cy. 1st Ba–n. Arty.) attempted erasure with some loss to rank and unit; Indian Mutiny 1857-59, 1 clasp, Defence of Lucknow (Alfred Pearce.) 

Provenance: Brian Ritchie Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, September 2004.

Alfred Pearce served during the Punjab campaign of 1848-49 as a Gunner in the 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, Bengal Artillery, and was present in the actions of Chilianwala and Goojerat. The 3rd Company is described as a heavy field battery and at Chilianwala was in support of Gilbert’s Division when it advanced. The following extract is taken from the personal journal of Captain M. Dawes, of the 3rd/1st Battalion, regarding this action:

‘We then reformed and attacked the enemy’s position, my battery with the heavy guns commencing. I was afterwards sent onto the extreme right of the infantry, when the right flank was turned and rear threatened by cavalry. Opened with grape, and retiring covered the left flank of Godby’s brigade which was likewise threatened by the enemy’s infantry. Under fire of my guns, the 2nd Europeans charged and drove back the enemy, who commenced retreating from the left. Again got into position to enfilade them, and then again forming on the right of the brigade opened and kept up a heavy fire along the line of retreat until near dusk, during which the 2nd Infantry Division was formed preparatory to moving into camp.’

Alfred Pearce is confirmed on the Indian Mutiny Medal roll for the clasp ‘Defence of Lucknow’ as an Uncovenanted Civil Servant ‘late Superintendent Chief Engineer’s Office’.

He is mentioned in various published lists of civilians present during the siege as an Artilleryman, married with two children. His wife is also mentioned in some of the journals published shortly after the siege including Adelaide Case’s Day by Day Journal, and Julia Inglis’s The Siege of Lucknow; a Diary. It is apparent that Mrs Pearce resided in rooms occupied by Mrs Inglis and Mrs Case, and gave birth to her second child during the siege.

The first nearly very fine, the second good very fine