National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Private George Clampitt

Private George Clampitt


On the afternoon of the 24th January 1865 near Nukumaru, South Taranaki, Private George Clampitt in company with three other men from the 2nd Battalion, 18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot and their Company Commander, Captain Hugh Shaw, rescued a wounded comrade, Pte Connolly, whilst under fire from the enemy, Pte Clampitt carried the wounded comrade on his back to safety whilst the others provided covering fire for their withdrawal. For this act Pte Clampitt was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) (PRO WO 32/7369) and Captain Hugh Shaw was awarded the Victoria Cross.

George Clampitt

In the ten years prior to his arrival in New Zealand with the 18th Foot, George Clampitt served with distinction in the Indian Army and was present at various actions before and during the Indian Mutiny with the 1st and 2nd Battalion’s Bengal Fusiliers, he presumably then returned to the UK and later attested for the 2nd Bn 18th Regiment of Foot in southern England before the regiment left for New Zealand in February 1863.

Medals Awarded to Private George Clampitt

George Clampitt’s medals include (from left to right), The Distinguished Conduct Medal 1854, (DCM) engraved with GEOE CLAMPITT 2ND BN 18TH FOOT, the medal incidentally was the first gallantry medal issued to non commissioned officers and men of the Imperial Army. The second is the India General Service Medal 1854-95 with bar for the action at “PEGU” in 1854, engraved with GEORGE CLAMPITT 1ST BN BENG FUSRS. The third medal is the Indian Mutiny Medal 1858 with bars for action at “LUCKNOW” and “DELHI”, engraved around the rim with GEO CLAMPITT 2nd BATTN BENGAL FUSRS.

The final medal is the New Zealand Medal 1869, it has no year dates on the reverse, and around the rim is engraved 1700 GEORGE CLAMPITT 2ND BATTN 18TH FOOT. George finally took his discharge from the Army in Napier, New Zealand and had also served enough time to have also been awarded a military pension.

This very fine and rare group of medals is one of very few gallantry medal groups from the New Zealand Wars still in New Zealand and able to be viewed by the public as one of the premier medal groups of the National Army Museum collection.

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