Page last updated at 23:17 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 00:17 UK

Wellington army medals auctioned

Medals
Lt Col Bell was awarded his medals over a lengthy military career

Medals honouring a Borders soldier who fought under the Duke of Wellington are expected to fetch 50,000 at auction.

Lt Col Thomas Bell, who was born at Duns in Berwickshire, saw action in the Iberian Peninsula Wars of the early 19th Century.

Among the medals going up for sale are his Gold Cross and Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

They are to be sold in the British Gallantry and Collector's Medals sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge next month.

Thomas Bell was born in Duns in December 1772 and joined his regiment - the 48th Foot - at the age of 17.

Engineering projects

He served in Malta, Gibraltar, Ireland, Spain and Portugal - including campaigns under Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington.

By 1813 he was promoted to the rank of major, commanding his regiment.

His papers show he was later posted to Australia.

As a qualified engineer he was involved in a number of engineering projects including constructing the Richmond Bridge in Tasmania - one of the oldest bridges still in use in Australia.

He became a lieutenant colonel in 1827 until he finished service in 1829, and died in 1866.


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