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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 235

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 1 clasp, El-Teb (1060 Pte J. Coultrup, 10th Rl Hussars.), heavy pitting and contact marks, light contact wear to rank and regiment, good fine and scarce

Bonhams April 2010.

One of 46 El-Teb bars to the Regiment.

John Coultup was born at Dublin in December 1852 and enlisted as a Volunteer with the Royal Sussex Light Infantry Militia, service number '4774'. Attesting from there with the 10th Royal Hussars at Brighton on 13 December 1869, Coultrup saw four years of home service before being posted to India in 1873.

The Regiment was still there on the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878 and were divided between Browne's Peshwar Valley Field Force and Roberts' Kurram Valley Field Force (medal). 46 of the Regiment were drowned during a night crossing of the Kabul River on 31 March 1879 and the next month seven men were killed at Fateabad. When the Treaty of Gandamak was signed, bringing what proved to be a temporary end to the war, the Regiment returned to India, they did not return when hostilities began anew.

Coultrup was still serving with the 10th Hussars when the Regiment was ordered to Sudan, disembarking at Suakin on 19 February 1884. The Regiment joined the 20th Hussars as part of the Cavalry Brigade, with General Graham's expedition and advanced with them on the Mahdist army at El-Teb. The infantry advanced in a single square and took the Dervish charge head on with rapid fire, while the cavalry circled around them.

Unfortunately the cavalry charged prematurely, attacking a large force of Dervishes that had not yet been engaged. As a result they found themselves mired in a running fight with a determined enemy over broken and rough terrain which did not favour them at all. After a hard battle the Dervishes were forced to withdraw although the 10th suffered losses of 6 killed and 6 wounded.

Not present at Tamaai Coltrup was likely stationed in Suakin when the action took place, making him one of only 46 men from the Regiment to receive only the El-Teb clasp. Embarking from Britain at the end of March 1884 he arrived at Shorncliffe in April and continued to serve until August 1889 when he was discharged at Sandhurst. Listing his place of residence as the Royal Army Inn, York Town, Surrey he appeared upon the 1891 census as a boarder at 25 George Street, Brighton; sold together with copied research including census data, pension documents and medal rolls.

Further entitled to the Afghanistan 1878-80 Medal and Khedive's Star 1884.

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