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MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL WITH 4 CLASPS TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL F.M. MILMAN, COLDSTREAM GUARDS (SEVERELY WOUNDED P.O.W. AT TALAVERA)

*** RESERVED *** The unique Peninsula War medal awarded to Lieutenant-General F.M. Milman, Coldstream Guards, severely wounded at Talavera and a prisoner in France until 1814. Consists: Military General Service Medal with Roleia, Vimiera, Corunna and Talavera clasps to F. M. Milman, Capt. Coldst. Gds. & A.D.C. Accompanied by transcripts of Milman's remarkable diary as prisoner of war and long repatriation to England through France in 1814. Extremely Fine and the first three clasps unique to the regiment.
Description

Francis Miles Milman was born on 22 August 1783, second son of Sir Francis Milman, 1st Baronet, of Levaton, in Woodland, Devonshire, Physician to George III. Milman entered the army as an Ensign in the Coldstream Guards in December 1800, and, as Aide de Camp to Major-General C. Crawford in 1808, was present at the battles of Roleia and Vimiera. He was on General Crawford’s staff on the retreat of Sir John Moore, and was engaged in the battle on the heights of Lugo, and at Corunna. Subsequently joining his regiment at Lisbon, he was at the passage of the Douro and at the capture of Oporto, and was severely wounded at Talavera. Milman suffered three slight wounds and a severe one to the body; a musket ball lodging in the left breast (which was later extracted). From loss of blood he was found bereft of his senses close to ferns that had caught fire, being only saved from being burnt on the battlefield by a Private Thomas Bull of the Coldstreams. He was held as a prisoner at the hospital of Talavera.

After the musket ball had been extracted, Milman attempted top escape before the arrival of the French, but broke a blood vessel in his wound by the exertion, and was consequently confined to his hospital bed for ten weeks, during which time he remained in a precarious state. In November he was conveyed as a prisoner to Madrid with other convalescents in a cart, and confined to the jail of Retiro, from where he was marched under escort to Bayoune, where he remained for five years as a prisoner. In 1810 he was interned in Paris, where he witnessed the grand entry of Empress Bride, Marie Louise, whose carriage was drawn by captives of another class. Whilst resident at Verdun sur Meuse in 1813, he witnessed the march of the Grande Armee off to Russia, and the juxtaposition of its raggedy remains on return. More than one attempt was made to obtain his release, but Napoleon refused to exchange prisoners. Sir Francis Milman made one last attempt through his personal friend, Dr. Jenner, of whom it was reported that Napoleon had spoken to as 'un ami du genre humain', and who had intimate relations with some of the leading members of his profession in Paris. Milman finally returned to England upon exchange of prisoners in 1814 and joined the 1st Battalion, not present in Belgium at the time of Waterloo. Milman remained indebted to Private Thomas Bbecame a Colonel in July 1830, a Major-General in November 1841, and a Lieutenant-General in 1851. He was appointed Colonel of the 82nd Foot in November 1850. Lieutenant-General Milman died at his residence in Berkeley Square, London, on 9 December 1856, aged 73.

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