Medals sold of Raj mutiny officer who inspired Flashman

Image caption,
Capt Waterman was decorated for his miraculous escape

The medals of a British army officer who overslept and found himself surrounded by 30,000 rebels during the Indian Mutiny have been sold.

A spokesman for Bosleys auctioneers in central England told the BBC that the medals fetched $6,443 (£4,400).

The medals belonged to Capt Thomas Waterman, who was reputedly the last British officer to escape from the city of Lucknow as it was sacked.

The siege of Lucknow began in 1857 after an uprising by Indian soldiers.

Sewer escape

Hindu and Muslim troops refused on religious grounds to use cartridges supplied by the army as they believed them to be smeared in animal fat.

This led to what the British described as a mutiny, and what the Indians regard as their first war of independence.

"[Capt Waterman] made an incredible escape and was extremely lucky to get out," said a spokesman for Bosleys auctioneers.

"His story in fact inspired the author George MacDonald Fraser to write his famous Flashman novels."

Capt Waterman woke up two hours after thousands of Britons, including hundreds of women and children, abandoned Lucknow at the end of a 148-day siege.

He had been wounded during the stand-off and was exhausted.

The only way he could escape was through filthy sewers which he managed to do before being reunited with his 13th Native Infantry regiment.

After his escape, Capt Waterman was awarded the Punjab Campaign Medal and the Indian Mutiny Medal.

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