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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 245

The Egypt pair awarded to Private T. Caple, Berkshire Regiment, who served with the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot during the Battle of Maiwand

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, dated reverse, no clasp (535. Pte. T. Caple. 1/Berks. R.); Khedive's Star 1884, unnamed as issued, light pitting and contact wear, very fine (2)

Note one of 19 men who served with the 66th in Afghanistan and the Berkshire Regiment at Tofrek.

Thomas Caple was born at Kidlington, Oxford in 1858 and joined the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment on 21 January 1877. Posted to India he joined them there on 7 April 1879.


With the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Afghan War six companies of the 66th joined General Primrose in Khandahar. These men formed the base of the British troops which marched out to take part in the bloody battle of Maiwand. The disintegration of the rest of the army saw the 66th fighting a brutal withdrawal in the face of the entire Afghan army. A number of them were caught in a walled garden and fought a famous last stand, The Last Eleven at Maiwand.

It is not clear whether Caple was one of the 266 men of the Regiment who survived the Battle or one of the 100 men who remained at Kandahar. He is however not entitled to the Kabul to Kandahar Star proving that he was not part of the two companies which marched to the city's relief with General Roberts. Certainly, he was present for the final battle outside Kandahar which saw Ayub Khan defeated.

Embarking at Bombay after the end of the war Caple arrived back in Britain in January 1881 and was present for the amalgamation of the Battalion in October. Now re-named the Berkshire Regiment Caple was drafted into the 2nd Battalion (previously the 49th Foot). With them he was ordered to join General Wolseley's Army in Egypt. Once there they were posted to General Sir Evelyn Wood's Brigade at Kafr-ed-Daur. Screening the British beachhead at Alexandria from Egyptian troops they engaged them on several occasions throughout August 1882.

Caple survived the fighting and returned to Britain that same year in September 1882 as an invalid. Serving for another year he joined the Army Reserve on 18 February 1883; sold together with copied research including Birth certificate, census data and medal rolls.

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