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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 231

Three: Lieutenant E. W. Jamieson, 17th Madras Infantry, late 1st Battalion, Berkshire Regiment, who was murdered by a disgruntled Native Officer in Burma on 11 February 1891

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, dated reverse, 2 clasps, Suakin 1885, Tofrek (Lieut: E. W. Jamieson. 1/Berks: R.); India General Service 1842-1895, 1 clasp, Burma 1885-7 (Lieut. E. W. Jamieson 17th Madras Infy.); Khedive's Star 1884, unnamed as issued, light pitting and edge bruise to first, overall good very fine (3)

Edmund Walter Jamieson was born in Scotland on 31 March 1862, the son of James and Hannah Jamieson of Queenstown, Ireland. The elder Jamieson was a Quartermaster with the 96th Foot and the young Jamieson was baptised at the Military Chapel, Keiiskama Hoek, Eastern Cape, South Africa. His father applied for the Queen's Indian Cadetship for him at Sandhurst and was accepted, with the Jamieson joining as a Gentleman Cadet on 3 April 1881.

Egypt and Sudan

Commissioned Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion, Berkshire Regiment on 10 May 1882 he was posted to Egypt just two months later, disembarking at Alexandria on 27 July 1882. They were present at Kafr-ed-Daur during the British invasion and as such were not present at the Battle of Kel-el-Tebir. Despite that they did see action several times through August 1882.

With the British victorious at Tel-el-Kabir, they found themselves committed to Egypt and Sudan. When a Dervish army threatened Suakin an expedition under General Graham sailed to intercept them. The Berkshire's landed on 30 January 1885 and went into action two months later at Hashin, storming Dihilbat Hill, driving the Dervishes back. After the action Graham ordered a column under General McNeill to Tofrek where they were to construct a zariba fence and create a supply post for the British march on Tamaai.

Unfortunately, the Dervishes were not content to wait for the British to march on them and instead attacked McNeill's force. Half of the Battalion were stationed in the South-Western Redoubt and rest were further north and east of the zariba, outside the defences, when suddenly a patrol of lancers came in reporting a large enemy force on their heels.

On cue a large Dervish force attacked from the desert and stampeded the transport animals grazing outside the zariba. In the confusion a number of them managed to overwhelm the defenders of the south-western redoubt, slaughtering the sailors manning the Gardner guns. The men of the Berkshires withdrew to the north wall of the redoubt and opened fire, throwing the attackers back in confusion. To the East the other half of the Battalion formed a square and opened fire, halting the attackers as they attempted to push north. Unable to exploit their advantage the Dervishes were forced to withdraw.

India and Burma

Surviving the Battle Jamieson was posted to the Madras Staff Corps on 17 June 1885, seeing action during the Third Anglo-Burmese War with the 11th Madras Infantry. He was transferred to the 17th Madras Infantry in July 1886 as part of a batch of reinforcements for the Upper Burma Field Force. Jamieson is noted as Officiating Quartermaster with the Regiment in Burma in January 1890.

Posted to the 33rd Madras Infantry at Toungoo he joined a detachment manning Fort Stedman, now Maing Thauk, Southern Shan States, as the Adjutant in January 1891. Whilst there his commanding officer, Major E. B. Nixon was shot in his own home by a Naik of the Regiment whom he had passed over for promotion. The man fled to a nearby Pagoda and Jamieson led a group of soldiers to investigate, not realising who the attacker was he asked the Naik where the murderer had gone. He too was shot and seriously wounded; his attacker then shot another of the Indian soldiers before being killed himself.

Jamieson died of his wounds quickly and is buried outside the former Fort; sold together with copied research comprising Edinburgh Gazette and London Gazette entries, census data and application for cadetship as well as statement of service, correspondence relating to the recipient's family history, army lists and an article entitled Sudden Death in a Burmese Paradise.

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