A Field Officer’s Gold medal for Java to Lt Col William Raban 6th Bengal Est.
A Field Officer’s small gold medal for Java to Major William Raban 6th Volunteer Battalion Bengal Native Infantry.
The medal comprises on the obverse the seated figure of Brittania holding a shield with one arm outstretched holding a wreath and a lion sitting beside her.
The reverse has a wreath of laurel and in the middle are the engraved words for JAVA representing the battle honour for which this fine medal was bestowed. Both the reverse and obverse are set within glass lunettes as was normal for both the small and large gold medals issued during the Peninsula Wars. Around the outside edge are the engraved words for Major William Raban 6th Vol. Batt. Bengal Est. The medal retains its original crimson and dark blue silk ribbon and also has its gold broach.
William raban was appointed as a cadet in the East India company Services in December 1780 and joined his regiment in Bengal as a Lieutenant in May 1782. He served as a subaltern under Sir Robert Abercromby during the Rohilla Campaign in 1794.
In 1802 he obtained a furlough for three years to return to England and returned to India in 1805 and at the latter end of year he was promoted to the rank of major and joined his regiment. In 1811 Major Raban volunteered for service with the expedition which was about to proceed on foreign service and was appointed to command the 6th battalion of Bengal Volunteers. He was engaged in the affairs of Weltervreade, Maisur and Gomelis and for his services in Java received, along with other commanding officer’s the gold medal conferred for the attack and capture of Java.
Major Raban next volunteered his services under Major General Gillespie in the expedition to Falambarig and commanded the Northern Brigade. When the army was formed and arranged for service he was appointed to command the reserve and on Major General Gillespie instructions was to proceed to Palarobang. Raban was directed to march with the reserve to take possession of the island of Banca and hold it in the name of His Majesty, which service he performed, remaining on the island for one month. Upon conclusion of the operations at Palarobang the troops this officer commanded were left at Banca and Major Raban volunteered to accompany Major General Gillespie to attack the Sultan of Joqocarta and being unattached he was placed on the staff of Major General Gillespie.
Unfortunately the ship in which he embarked made a tedious passage to Java and thereafter an unsuccessful attacked on the Fortress of the Sultan took place the very evening that Major Raban arrived at Samarang, intelligence of which he only received on his way to join the General.
Active service being at an end Major Raban was shortly after, with the consent of the Major General Gillespie appointed to be the Governor in Council resident of Cherban and at the same time to hold the military command of the district. On 11th September 1811 he was promoted to the rank of Lt Colonel and after remaining for three years at Cheriboan, his private affairs called him to Europe and he obtained a second furlough to offer his resignation of service and sailed from Java in July 1814. Lt Col Raban died on 30th April 1854 and was buried along with his son Lt William Raban in the church at Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset. His widow Ellen commissioned a triple stained glass window to be inserted into the North Aisle of the Nave which to this day is still evident for all to see.