Sold with an old portrait photograph and a manuscript note written by one of his descendants (dated August 1917), this latter stating, 'Medal, I purchased from a collection of medals made by Dr. Payne of Sheffield'.
Also Ex Greg Collection 1887.
The published Naval General Service Medal rolls confirm William Augustus Ferrar as a Midshipman aboard the Severn for the action off Algiers on 27.8.1816, Message stating another similar award is in the Collection of the National Maritime Museum.
Lieutenant William Augustus Ferrar was born in Dublin in February 1797 and entered the Royal Navy as a Midshipman aboard H.M.S. Narcissus in January 1812. Subsequently removing to the Armide, he witnessed his first bout of action when engaged in a skirmish with the Batteries at Brest, and afterwards gained further experience aboard three other ships prior to joining the Pactolus. Aboard this latter vessel, he assisted in a Rocket Boat at the bombardment of Stonington in August 1814, and in the capture of the American Schooner Postboy in December of the same year. Ordered to take the Postboy to Bermuda, Ferrar had the misfortune to encounter a severe gale, his valuable Prize ending up dismasted and waterlogged, 'with the inextricable corpses of four suffocated seamen lying in a state of putrefaction in the fore-cabin. Mr. Ferrar and his only two companions at length contrived to bale the water out and commit the bodies to the deep, but it was not until after 40 days of protracted and awful suffering that they fell in with and were rescued by a Merchant Schooner' (O'Byrne refers).
Rejoining the Pactolus, Ferrar went on to witness the forcing of the passage of the Gironde in July 1815 and assisted in the reduction of several Batteries, the whole in support of the Royalist cause. Next removing to the Severn, with Captain Aylmer of the Pactolus, he was present at the bombardment of Algiers in August 1816, when he was 'severely wounded in the left arm and side'. Advanced to Lieutenant in October 1827, Ferrar was latterly employed in the Coast Guard and ultimately in an Agency Contract Mail Steamer, in which latter capacity he once carried important Despatches from the British Minister in Lisbon to Lord Aberdeen in 1842. But, as O'Bryne states, shortly afterwards, as a result of his 'long servitude and severe suffering', which 'so shattered his health', he was rendered unfit for further service afloat. He did, however, manage to publish an account of the 'melancholy wreck of the Postboy' (Falmouth, 1838).