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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 246

The Egypt and Sudan medal awarded to Colour Sergeant J. Reilly, personally by Queen Victoria in the Ceremony at Windsor on 21 November 1882

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, dated reverse, 1 clasp, Suakin 1885 (987. Cr. Sgt. J. Reilly. 1st Bn. Berks: Regt.), pitting, light contact wear, very fine

Spink November 2004.

One of three such medals presented to men of the Berkshire Regiment by the Queen in 1882 as a mark of distinction.

James Reilly was born at Holly Wood, County Wicklow, Ireland in 1848 and enlisted with the 49th Foot at Liverpool on 29 December 1867. He was posted to India the next year, arriving there on 20 April. Promoted several times while stationed there Reilly was Colour-Sergeant by 9 February 1872. Returning to England in February 1873 he was married there the next year and continued to serve, being appointed a Canteen Sergeant in 1879, though retaining the rank of Colour-Sergeant.

Ordered to Egypt as part of General Wolseley's army the Regiment was posted to General Sir Evelyn Wood's Brigade at Kafr-ed-Daur. Here they screened the British beachhead at Alexandria from Egyptian troops and engaged them on several occasions in August 1882. It was likely for his actions here that Reilly was personally decorated with his campaign medal by Queen Victoria. This occurred at a ceremony on 21 November at Windsor Castle, with representatives of each Regiment who were seen to have distinguished themselves taking part.

Posted to Sudan in 1885 as part of the expedition under General Graham Reilly did not take part in the Battle of Tofrek later in the year. Returning to England on 31 January 1888 he was discharged in March, listing his intended place of residence as 23 Alma Terrace, Arthur Road, Windsor; sold together with medal rolls, pension records and an extract from the Naval and Military Gazette.

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