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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 243

Pair: Private W. H. Murdoch, 1st Battalion, Royal Highlanders

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, 3 clasps, Tamaai, The Nile 1884-85, Kirbekan (977 Pte. W. Murdoch. 1/Rl. Highrs.); Khedive's Sudan 1884, unnamed as issued, heavy pitting, contact wear to regiment, good fine (2)

One of only 12 Tamaai clasps to the Regiment which largely received the El-Teb_Tamaai or El-Teb clasps.

William Henry Murdoch was born at St. Mary's, Leicester in 1862 and attested with the Royal Highlanders on 13 January 1882, listing previous experience with the 3rd Leicester (Militia) Battalion. Arriving in Egypt on 28 November 1883 he missed the Battle of El-Teb but was present for the Battle of Tamaai when the advanced of the Black Watch opened a gap in the British square. The Dervishes poured into the gap and were able to break the British formation open, leading to vicious hand to hand fighting.

Murdoch survived the action unharmed and joined the Battalion for their participation in the Khartoum relief expedition with General Earle's column. This force, numbering only 1,000 men found their path blocked by a strong Mahdist army dug in on the heights of Kirbekan on 10 February 1885. Despite the disparity in numbers they attacked, storming the position and driving the enemy off with serious losses.

Returning to Britain after the failure of the expedition Murdoch was sent to the Royal Victorian Hospital at Netley in July 1885, possibly as a result of his exertions. However he soon recovered and went on to join the 2nd Battalion at Aldershot in August. Serving for several more years he was transferred to the Army Reserve on 13 March 1888 and discharged entirely on 12 January 1894; sold together with copied research comprising birth certificate, service papers and medal roll.

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