A medal awarded to a Royal Navy hero from the second War of Independence in 1812, is to go on sale at a Nantwich auction.

The medal is expected to fetch around £10,000 when it goes under the hammer at Peter Wilson auctioneers on Market Street November 27-28.

The Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840 was awarded to James McCoy, who with his comrades rowed for 36 hours without rest before attacking the American flotilla.

McCoy was one of 1,200 sailors and Royal Marines who formed the British force at the Battle of Lake Borgne. The action was part of the advance on New Orleans on December 14, 1814.

The main battle commenced at 10.30am with the British boats divided into three divisions headed respectively by Captains Lockyer, Roberts and Montresor.

The British then began another punishing row towards the American flotilla battling against a heavy current, as well as enemy rounds and grapeshot fire.

Two British boats were sunk during the advance as well as many men killed and wounded including most of the crew of Lockyer’s boat.

But they succeeded in boarding and capturing the American Gunboat No 156 and turned her broadsides against her own ships.

Following savage close combat with muskets and bayonets, cutlasses and pikes, the British succeeded in capturing the remaining American vessels one by one in a fight which lasted only five minutes.

The American vessel Tickler, which observed the battle from a short distance behind the flotilla, was scuttled by her captain to avoid capture.

The battle lasted for two hours and saw 10 American and 17 British killed, and many wounded including Captain Lockyer.

In 1847, the Royal Navy issued survivors of the battle with a bar to the Naval General Service Medal impressed with the wording “14 Dec. Boat Service 1814”.

It was claimed by 205 survivors, making examples today extremely rare.

The London Gazette recorded that McCoy would have received a share of prize money worth 7s 10¾d (less than 40 pence). Officers received £34 12s 9¼d.

For details on the auction, contact militaria specialist Chris Large on 01270 623878 or [email protected]

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