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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 233

A Tragic pair awarded to Private H. W. Burden, Royal Marine Light Infantry, who was wounded at Tofrek and later consigned to a lunatic asylum

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 2 clasps, Suakin 1885, Tofrek (H. W. Burden, Pte. R.M.L.I.); Khedive's Star 1884, unnamed as issued, light pitting and edge bruising, very fine (2)

One of 16 Royal Marines wounded during the Battle of Tofrek.

Horatio William Burder was born at Hungerford, Berkshire on 8 June 1852, the son of Stephen and Mary Burden. His father was agent to the Kennett and Avon Canal Company but the younger Burder did not follow him into this business, instead joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry at Bath on 24 October 1871. Posted to the 40th Company, Chatham Division he was to serve here for his entire first term of service, re-enlisting in 1883 and being posted to the 37th Company, Chatham Division in January 1884.

Ordered to Egypt to join the Royal Marine Battalion there he was present during the Battle of Tofrek on 22 March 1885. A British column under General McNeill advanced to Tofrek and began the construction of a defensive zariba ahead of the main force under General Graham. The Mahdists launched a sudden attack which broke a Regiment of Sikhs and stampeded the baggage animals. The Royal Marines were stationed in the North Eastern Redoubt and found themselves under attack from behind as the Dervishes penetrated the zariba. Around 60 of the Mahdists managed to penetrate the redoubt and there was a period of bloody hand to hand fighting in which 7 Marines were killed and 16 wounded, including Burder.

The Marines were evacuated from Sudan along with the rest of the British forces after the failure of the Nile expedition. Burder received his Naval L.S. & G.C. the next year in June 1886. He continued to serve until February 1890 when he received a hurt certificate and was invalided from service.

Recorded on the 1891 census he was living at Bath and working as a Hall Porter at the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, where he was also living. Unfortunately, his mental health began to worsen and in 1901 Burder was living at the Somerset and Bath Pauper Lunatic Asylum, with his condition described as 'Lunatic'. He died on 8 March 1904; sold together with copied research including service papers, casualty roll, census data and a letter from the Royal Marines Museum confirming the recipient was wounded.

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