A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR” MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA) To: G.COLE. 2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808.

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808. A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808. A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808.













A PRISONER OF WAR
MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL
(VIMIERA)
To:
G.COLE. 2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment.


Officially Impressed:
G. COLE. 2nd FOOT.

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808. PRIVATE GEORGE COLE WAS CAPTURED BY THE FRENCH AT VIMIERO
Recorded in the French recorded as being captured on
28th OCTOBER 1808.


Held as P.O.W. Number 2630. He is recorded as being at SARRELOUIS on 1st October 1810. From contemporary surviving accounts of prisoners of the time, it is known that conditions in this prison were totally appalling. Food was often rotten & totally inedible and sometimes consisted of raw animal innards and offal. It’s fairly clear that George was in captivity under these poor conditions in France for a period of about six years with a release on 12th May 1814. Under various arranged conventions & prisoner exchanges with the French, some of our captured men started to come home during “the glorious peace” of 1814, but the releases were slow with some prisoners remaining in France until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo on 18th June 1815.


[BIOGRAPHY] 1788-1865
George Cole was born in 1788 at Marshfield, Gloucestershire (not far from Bath, then in Somerset). He was 5ft 5” tall, with grey eyes, Light brown hair and a broad face. Prior to his enlistment in Wells by Sgt Taylor on 3rd June 1807 at age 19 for “the duration” he had been a labourer. George served for 11 years, & 267 days with 2 years & 1 day of that spent in the East & West Indies. About half of his service time was spent as a P.O.W. in France.
He was discharged to a pension in 1819 at age 31.

On the Chelsea pension medical records he was at that time described as: “Undersized, with Dysentery & Unfit”. This “undersized” description quite obviously referred to his overall low weight which was as a result of his long period of bad nutrition while in captivity in France. The overall effects of his incarceration were clearly still affecting him five or six years later at his time of discharge in 1819. He had been 5ft 5” upon enlistment but was only 5ft 3” on discharge.

*George clearly got over his earlier medical issues as he lived to what then was a very good old age of 75.
He died on 13th March 1863.

[The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment of Foot]
The 2nd of Foot, was England's oldest infantry Regiment formed in 1661. At the start of October 1808 and prior to the Battle of Vimiera the 2nd Foot as part of Hill’s Brigade was able to field 666 men. By 19th December the unit’s strength was at 616 men, which points to a loss in battle and afterwards of 50 men.

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808. A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808. We cannot ever remember seeing any other previous M.G.S. medal to a Prisoner of War.

A Pleasing Uncleaned & Original Medal in GVF which George obviously proudly wore for just a few years.



Comes with a file of good confirming paperwork including French P.O.W. Records & Discharge papers etc.

Price on Request (Telephone Enquires Welcome (01342-870926)

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR”  MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA)  To: G.COLE.  2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808.

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR” MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA) To: G.COLE. 2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero on 22nd October 1808.
£Price on Request

A HIGHLY UNUSUAL “PRISONER OF WAR” MILITARY GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL (VIMIERA) To: G.COLE. 2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey) Foot Regiment. Captured by the French at Vimiero. Recorded as a P.O.W. on 22nd October 1808.