Military General Service medal 1793 – 1814
A rare six clasp MGS medal awarded to Lt W. Tongue of the 4th Light Dragoons , one of only three six clasp medals to an officer in the regiment and only one seven clasp medal was ever awarded.
William Tongue entered the army in 1808, joining the Fourth Regiment King`s Own
Dragoons. He served in the Peninsular War, being present at the battles of Toulouse,
Vittoria, Salamanca. Albuera, Busaco, and Talavera, for which he was decorated
He was never wounded, but on one occasion narrowly escaped, a sabre cutting
through his uniform. He sold out in March, 1816, with the rank of Lieutenant
The following incidents are worth recording, as they have not appeared anywhere
in print. The night before the battle of Salamanca there was a frightful thunderstorm.
Lt. Tongue was pouring out rations for the men, sitting on the ground with his
knees apart, when the lightning struck the glass which he was holding out of his hands into the earth, no trace of it being left, and he remaining unhurt. On the same night some of the French
horses broke loose from fright, galloping over to the English camp. The next morning the Duke of Wellington ordered them to be all returned to the French. During the Campaign, after one of the victories, the officers of the Fourth Dragoons were invited to dine with the Duke, but all were disabled from wounds or sickness, except Lieutenant Tongue