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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 253

A scarce Battle of El-Teb casualty's pair awarded to Private J. McCartney, 1st Battalion, Yorkshire and Lancaster Regiment

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 1 clasp, El-Teb (1762 Pte. J. McCartney. 1/York&Lanc: R.); Khedive's Star (1762. J. McCartney.), pitting, light edge wear to unit, light edge bruising, nearly very fine (2)

One of 36 men from the Regiment wounded during the action and as such there are 35 El-Teb bars to the Regiment, with most receiving El-Teb_Tamaai.

James McCartney was born at Shankill, Belfast in July 1852 and enlisted for the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot on 3 August 1869 at Belfast. He served with them for less than a year before being posted to the 65th (2nd Yorkshire) Regiment of Foot before being posted to India with them on 10 January 1871. Whilst there the Regiment amalgamated with the 8th Foot to become the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.

Posted to Aden on 1 August 1882 they were still there on 27 February 1884 when the war in Sudan saw them ordered over the Red Sea to Trinkitat. The Regiment joined Graham's force at Fort Baker and was part of the army that marched to El-Teb on 29 February. The original intention had been to evacuate the garrison of Tokar however it fell before this could be achieved and so the army marched on Osman Digna's positions at El-Teb.

Forming a square with the Yorks and Lancs on the left, along with a detachment of the Royal Marine Light Infantry the British advanced on the dug-in Mahdist army. Having suppressed the Krupp guns, taken from the Egyptian Army during the conquest of Sudan, the British came under attack by waves of Dervishes. The attack against the right flank was halted by the cavalry brigade leaving the centre and left of the square to take the heaviest of the enemy assault.

Managing to halt two attacks the Marines and Yorks and Lancs rushed the Dervish redoubt, carrying it at bayonet point. During the fighting McCartney suffered a slight gunshot wound to the head which saw him incapacitated during the follow up action at Tamaai. With the end of the expedition the Regiment returned to Britain, disembarking at Dover in April 1884. McCartney was discharged at Birr, Kings County on 2 August 1890; sold together with copied research comprising service papers and casualty rolls.

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