Two medals awarded to an Aberdeen soldier who served with the Black Watch at the Battle of Waterloo sold for £4,800 at auction yesterday – £2,000 more than expected.
The Waterloo Medal and the Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 belonged to colour sergeant William Bowman, of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, better known as The Black Watch.
Bowman, who was born in Aberdeen in 1794 and lived at Princes Street in the city was only a teenager when he enlisted in August 1812.
He served with the first battalion of the regiment in the Peninsular War against Napoleon’s French army.
The ribbon of his Military General Service 1793-1814 medal has four clasps attached – each representing a battle in which Bowman was involved.
They are for the Battle of the Nievelle in November 1813; the Battle of the Nive in December 1813; the Battle of Orthez in February 1814 and the Battle of Toulouse, in France, on April 10,1814, where Bowman was wounded by a gun shot to his right arm.
He was also present at the Battle of Waterloo, on June 18, 1815, when more than 44,000 men on both sides were killed or wounded.
Bowman was in the Army for more than 22 years until he was eventually discharged in November 1834.
He returned to Aberdeen and, by 1851, he and his wife Catherine and their three children John (a cork cutter), Margaret and Thomas, were living at Rubislaw Den.
After surviving the carnage of the Peninsular War, during which so many of his friends and colleagues were killed, he ended up at the Royal Lunatic Asylum in Aberdeen, where he died at the age of 72 on February 20, 1866.
Before the auction at Spink in Bloomsbury, London, his medals had been expected to fetch between £2,500 and £3,000.