Four to Surgeon W.Mc.K.Saunders, Royal Navy *****,
Lot 195
Four to Surgeon W.Mc.K.Saunders, Royal Navy, and Inspector of Hospitals & Fleet,
Sold for £8,640 (US$ 14,508) inc. premium
Lot Details
Four to Surgeon W.Mc.K.Saunders, Royal Navy, and Inspector of Hospitals & Fleet,
China 1842, fitted with replacement suspension, three bars, China 1842, Canton 1857, Taku Forts 1858 (W.McK.Saunders, Actg Asst Surgn, H.M.S. North Star.); New Zealand 1845-47, reverse dated 1845-1846 (Actg-Surgn. W.McK.Saunders, M.D, H.M.S. North Star); South Africa 1834-53 (Surgn W.McK.Saunders. M.D.); India General Service 1854-95, one bar, Pegu (Wm.M.K.Saunders. M.D. Surgeon "Styx"). Lightly toned, very fine. (4)


  • William Saunders was born on 2nd August 1818. He entered the service as an Assistant Surgeon aboard HMS North Star on 20th September 1841, remaining aboard until September 1846, being present at the attack and destruction of the batteries and forts at Woo-Sung and Shanghai in June 1842. Served with the Naval Brigade ashore during the 1st New Zealand War, assisting during the attacks on the stockades, and was honourably Mentioned in the Despatches of Commanders Hay and Johnson and Colonel Despard's Despatch to the Horse Guards.

    Promoted to Surgeon on 23 December 1850 whilst aboard the Troopship Birkenhead prior to serving a full commission aboard Styx (1851-56). He next joined Shannon on 12 November 1856 and sailed in her from Singapore to Hong Kong and thenceforth to Calcutta and back to Hong Kong, latterly with the Governor (Lord Elgin) of Hong Kong aboard.

    Cadet Watson (Shannon) wrote in a letter to his mother "I forgot to tell you that our old Doctor (Saunders) who belonged to the Shannon was taken such a fancy to by Lord Elgin when he was aboard, that he appointed him to his embassy in Hong Kong as Surgeon".. Saunders was thus denied participation with Shannon's Naval Brigade during the Indian Mutiny.

    Surgeon Saunders was transferred from the hired Steamer Ava to Calcutta as a Supernumary (No 791) on 21 September 1857 as "..attached to the suite of Lord Elgin..", and subsequently appointed to Furious on 6 March 1858, for which he was to receive the "China 1842" clasp along with the "Taku Forts 1858" clasp to fit somehow on his China 1842 medal.

    He later served aboard Renown (1859-61) and subsequently, whilst aboard Britannia (1861-64) where he was promoted to Staff Surgeon on 14 May 1863. He spent the next four years on half pay ashore before being appointed to Liverpool (1869-71) and the Devonport Dockyard (1871-74) from which he was retired on 20th March 1874 with the rank of Deputy Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets. He died in 1878, aged 60.
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