Military General Service medal awarded to Dennis Larazy, who served between 1793 and 1814 as part of the 88th Foot, £2850 at Fellows.

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The auction house recently welcomed Sally Oliver to its team as in-house numismatics specialist.

Highlights included a selection of medals from the Napoleonic wars.

Cheeky devil

A Military General Service medal was awarded to Dennis Larazy, who served between 1793 and 1814 as part of the 88th Foot aka The Devil’s Own. On the muster rolls his name is frequently spelt as ‘Laraccy’, ‘Lariccy’ and ‘Laricey’, and possibly as ‘Larracy’.

The clasps on the medal confirmed that Larazy fought in six battles listed as Orthes, Badajoz, Cuidad Rodrigo, Fuentes D’Onor, Busaco and Talavera.

The Adventures of the Connaught Rangers by William Grattan covers a period of 1808-14. In this work, he recounts an anecdote where he refers to ‘Larracy’ of the 88th Foot. Fellows said it has reason to believe that this may be the Larazy who was awarded this medal.

Larracy had been working as a shoemaker for the Portuguese. He began to offer his ‘skills’ as a Portuguese translator to other soldiers – despite not actually having any knowledge of the language. Grattan attributed his success to Larracy’s Irish confidence.

Estimated at £2000-2500, the medal took £2850 from a room bidder. It was previously in the late ALT Mullen Collection of Peninsular War Medals sold at Dix Noonan Webb in June 2006, and the Murray Collection and Colonel HFN Jourdain Collection, ex Glendining’s, June 1941.

Popular regiment


Military General Service medal to W Buckley of the 95th Rifles, £5200 at 1818 Auctioneers.

An extensive single-owner militaria collection offered at Cumbrian saleroom 1818 Auctioneers (22.5% buyer’s premium inc VAT) included a Military General Service medal 1848.

It featured seven bars/clasps for individual battles: Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Fuentes D’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca.

It was awarded to W Buckley of the 95th Rifles – a very popular regiment for collectors – and related to his service in Portugal and Spain during the Peninsular War. Forty-nine other ranks and three officers were entitled to seven clasps.

Guided at £1500-2500, it sold for £5200 during this timed online auction in Milnthorpe that ended on February 4.