Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, (2) clasps, Martinique, Guadaloupe
named to : ANTON BESTENBROER, CORPl YORK Lt INFy VOL.
One of only two medals recorded on the roll to this regiment which was formed in September 1803 as the Barbados Volunteer Emigrants and changed to the York Light Infantry Volunteers in January 1804.
Anton Bestonbroer was born at Mittelburg, Isle of Zeeland, Holland, in about 1784. He enlisted in the Batavian Army, date unknown, for service in the Dutch colonies. When Demerara and Essequibo, in Dutch Guiana, surrendered to the British on 20 September 1803 about 1,000 Dutch regular troops, including Bestenbroer, volunteered into British service and were sworn into the newly formed regiment of Barbados Volunteer Emigrants five days later. In April 1804 the regiment formed part of the force which captured Surinam and, after spending the following four years on garrison duty in Barbados and Dominica, took part in the capture of Martinique in 1809, and of Guadaloupe in 1810. The regiment remained in the West Indies until 1817 when the remaining personnel disembarked at Harwich on 20 March and the unit was disbanded.
Bestenbroer was medically examined at the Foreign Depot, Harwich Barracks, on 23 March 1817, and granted a medical discharge in consequence of ‘being subject to sore legs, weak-sighted in the left eye from an opthalmia sustained at the Expedition of Surinam in the Month April 1804’. He subsequently became a Chelsea out-pensioner in receipt of one shilling per diem. He died at Langenhagen, Hanover, where he lived with his wife and two children, on 16 January 1849, aged 66, from pneumonia. His medal was presented to his widow on 14 August that same year. Sold with copied discharge papers and other research.
Edge bruise, otherwise good very fine and very rare