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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 247

A Battle of Tofrek casualty's Egypt and Sudan medal awarded to Private H. Paice, who was killed in action and listed as missing, his remains being found and buried two months after the battle

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 2 clasps, Suakin 1885, Tofrek (2446, Pte. H. Paice, 1/Berks:R:), good very fine

Note the Regiment suffered 22 other ranks killed and 29 wounded during the Battle of Tofrek.

Henry Paice was born Madley, Herefordshire in 1859, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Paice of Potters Green, Newent, Gloucestershire. Attesting at Reading with the 49th Regiment he joined the 2nd Berkshire Regiment on the Isle of Wight after the amalgamation in 1881. Transferred to the 1st Battalion in October 1883 he landed with them at Suakin on 30 January 1885.

Intending to advance on Tamaai Graham sent a column under General McNeill to establish a supply base at Tofrek, there they came under attack by a strong Devish Army.

The British began to construct a zariba fence, and half of the Battalion was ordered to occupy the south-western section. The rest were further north and east of the zariba outside the defences when suddenly a patrol came in reporting a large enemy force on their heels.

Half of the Battalion was stationed outside the walls and the other half in one of the redoubts, Paice was with 'E' company, part of the unit which was outside the walls. They rallied as quickly as they could and formed a square, repulsing repeated attacks by Dervishes. However Paice was probably never in the square, he was one of 2 men listed as missing but later found having been killed a little way from the main battle. A cavalry patrol located his remains along with 7 other men in the brush, they may well have been involved in gathering brush for the zariba and found themselves caught out of place and unarmed when the battle started.

It should be noted that Paice died before the Battalion received the 'Royal' title on 1 October 1885 and his medal is named as such; sold together with copied research comprising medal rolls, census data, pay lists and casualty rolls.

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