Naval General Service Medal 1793-1840 with "Algiers" Clasp to John H Helby. Midshipman-Queen Charlotte

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NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE 1793 – 1840

CLASP:~ALGIERS

JOHN HASLER HELBY. MIDSHIPMAN ( QUEEN CHARLOTTE )

( Commander 1847.  F-P., 38. H-P., 2 )

John Hasler Helby entered the Navy, 1st June 1807, as a Fst cl Vol., on board the Success 32, Capt John Ayscough, during an attachment  of nearly four years to which frigate  he cruised off Havre de Grace, attended the expedition of Dec 1807 to Madeira, afforded  protection for some time to the Greenland fisheries, assisted in 1809 at the reduction of Ischia and Procida, and co-operated, as Midshipman, in the defence of Sicily against the threatened invasion of Murat.  He also, among other boat-service, contributed, 4th April 1810, to the destruction, with a loss to the British of 2 men killed of two vessels laden with oil and protected by a heavy fire of great guns and musketry, on the beach, near Castiglione ; and, on 25th of the same month, he assisted at the capture of an armed ship and three barks, under the castle of Terracina.  On the Success being ordered to England in 1811, Mr Helby volunteered to continue in the Mediterranean, and he was therefore received on board the Cerberus 32,Capts Henry Whitby and Thos Garth.  By those officers he appears to have been again employed on many cutting-out affairs, some of them of a very dashing nature, on the coasts of Corfu and Italy.  On one occasion, however, whilst absent in a prize, he had the misfortune to be wrecked on the Calabrian shore, and taken prisoner, although he was happily not detained beyond a period of three months. He ultimately, in July 1814, returned to England and was paid off, but before he had been many weeks at home, he again sailed for the Mediterranean, in the Phoenix 36, Capt John Austen ; under whom, after having been very actively employed, in particular at the port of Pavos where he had served in the boats in a sharp action which had preceded the capture of two pirate vessels, he was once more wrecked, near Smyrna, 20th Feb 1816.  On the occurrence of the later catastrophe, Mr Helby, we find distinguished himself in an especial manner by his daring conduct in swimming on shore through a violent surf with a hauling line, for the purpose of receiving a hawser to save the ship’s company. Volunteering again to remain in the Mediterranean, our officer there successively attached to the Boyne 98, and Queen Charlotte 100, both flag-ships of Lord Exmouth, whose favourable notice he had the good fortune to attract by the extreme gallantry of his behaviour at the ensuing battle of Algiers.  Towards the close of 1816 he joined the Conqueror 74, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Robt. Plampin at St Helena, where, on 19 Sept 1818, he was appointed Acting –Lieutenant of the Eurydice 24, Capt Robt. Wauchope. He was however, superseded in the next December, and in a fortnight afterwards was compelled from the state of his health to invalid.  In May 1819 he obtained an appointment as Admiralty-Midshipman, to the Albion 74, commanded at Portsmouth by Capt. Rich. Raggett with whom he continued until Sept 1821, when he was nominated to a similar  rating in the Iphigenia 42, bearing the broad pendant of Sir Robt. Mends on the coast of Africa. He was there again, on 4th March, 1822, appointed an acting-Lieutenant of the Pheasant 18, Capt Douglas Chas Clavering, to which sloop the Admiralty at length confirmed him on 1st of the following July. Since his return to England in Feb. 1823, Mr Helby’s appointments appear to have been – 19th Oct. 1824, and 5th March, 1825, as supernumerary-Lieutenant, to the Ramillies and the Hyperion, Capts Wm M’Culloch and Wm. Jas Mingaye on the Coast Blockade—5th Nov 1828, to the Coast Guard – 18th March  and 20th May 1835, to the successive command of the Hound and the Camelion Revenue vessels – and15th June 1838 again to the Coast Guard, in which he continued until advanced to the rank he now holds 1st Jan 1847.

Lieut Helby is married, and has issue.

 

Ref ~ “A NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY” by William O’Byrne Esq.

                                                    1849. Pages 491 & 2

 

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Ships served on and qualities held. Ref ADM6/117 & ADM196/2

 

Success.    ~ Vol 1st Class.   ~ 2nd June 1807 ~ 20th June 1810

     :           ~ Midshipman   ~ 21st June 1810 ~ 20th April 1811

Cerberus ~           :              ~ 21st April 1810 ~   4th March 1814

     :                                       ~  4th March 1814 ~ 19th July 1814

Phoenix   ~           :              ~  5th Sept 1814     ~  10th March 1815

     :          ~ Masters Mate  ~ 11th March 1815 ~ 22nd April 1816

Boyne     ~ Midshipman     ~ 23rd April 1816   ~ 5th July 1816

Queen Charlotte ~ Mid      ~ 6th July 1816    ~ 16th October 1816

Conquerer  ~ Midshipman ~ 3rd Nov 1816    ~ 25th Sept 1818

Eurydice   ~ Acting Lieut  ~ 26th Sept 1818  ~  15th Dec 1818

Conqueror ~ Mid               ~ 16th Dec 1818  ~   2nd March 1819

Albion       ~    :                   ~ 10th May 1819  ~ 13th Sept 1821

Iphigenia ~     :                   ~ 14th Sept 1821 ~   4th March 1822

Pheasant ~ Acting Lieut    ~  5th March 1822 ~ 30th June 1822

     :          ~ Lieut.                ~  1st July 1822 ~ 24th Feb 1823

Ramillies        :                    ~ 19th Oct 1824 ~ 5th March 1825

Hyperion ~     Lieut   ~ 6th March 1825 ~ 10th Aug 1828

Coast Guard. Lieut ~ 31st Oct 1828 ~ 1st March 1833

Rev Cruisers.    :     ~ 18th March 1833 ~ 5th July 1838

Coast Guard     :     ~   6th July 1838 ~ 3rd Feb 1847 

 

Passed for   Lieutenant     4th March 1814

Seniority as Lieutenant     1st July 1822

      :         as Commander  1st January 1847

                Actg Captain      1st August 1860

 

                 Died 24th May 1867

 

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The Times Newspaper 13th March 1838 Page 7 col C

 

The Cameron revenue cutter, Lieutenant J. Helby captured last week off Preston, the John, a small vessel, having on board three men with 100 “sling stones” which she brought into Weymouth Harbour, being the fourth vessel captured by the same cutter within the last 15 months. The day following boats belonging to the same cruiser brought into Weymouth 51 tubs of liquor, which were lodged in her Majesty’s custom-house at Weymouth. The men found on board the John have since been committed to the county goal.

 

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Memorandum of Service of 1846 ~ extracts from

 

“Was many times engaged with the enemy, served in the boats of Cerberus in very many encounters off Corfu”.

 

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JOHN HASLER HELBY, RETIRED NAVAL OFFICER, DIED AT HIS HOME IN PRIORY CRESENT, LEWES, ON THE 24th MAY 1867 AGED 75. CAUSE OF DEATH CERTIFIED AS “CHRONIC NEPHRITIS 10 YEARS AND BRONCHITIS 10 DAYS”.

 

                                                             Ref ~ Death certificate