South Africa Medal 1834-1853, suspension re-affixed with slightly larger claw. J. Thompson, 91st Foot GVF/EF


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James Thompson was born in the Parish of Clones,. County Monaghan, and enlisted into the 84th Foot at Armagh on 3 March 1828. He transferred to the 1st Battalion, 91st Regiment on 25 July 1829, and served at St Helena from 26 February 1836 to 31 October 1842, when he transferred to the Reserve Battalion of the 91st which was then serving at the Cape of Good Hope. He was with three companies of the Reserve Battalion under the command of Captain Blackwell that arrived at the Cape in December 1842.

He served at the Cape for 8 years 10 months, including the Kaffir War of 1846-47, and was discharged medically unfit on 28 August 1849, suffering from chronic rheumatism and chronic opthalmia due to climate and exposure to the hot winds of South Africa. During his total service of 20 years 359 days, Thomson was tried six times by Regimental or District Court Martial, once for absence but otherwise for being drunk on duty. He died at Glasgow on 11 February 1875.

Sold with a 91st Foot pewter tunic button salvaged from the wreck of the Birkenhead, copied discharge papers and detailed muster research.