EGYPT AND SUDAN 1882-9, CLASPS, THE NILE 1884-85, ABU KLEA ‘7760. PTE. F. READER. GRENR. GDS.’
Frank Reader, a 21 year old labourer from Cauldwell, Burton-on-Trent, enlisted into the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards on 14 September 1881. On 26 September 1884, he left for Egypt with the Guards Camel Regiment and subsequently took part in the battle of Abu Klea. He was discharged from the Army on 13 September 1893.
While on its way to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum, the cross-country detachment of the British Desert Column, under the command of Sir Herbert Stewart (1843-1885), was attacked by the Sudanese followers of Mohammed Ahmed, self-proclaimed 'Mahdi' (guide, or redeemer, of Islam). The British square broke and was closed only after desperate hand-to-hand fighting. Stewart's men were victorious, suffering 168 casualties to the Mahdists 1,100. The battle was described by Winston Churchill as 'the most savage and bloody action ever fought in the Sudan by British troops’. This was certainly true, the battle lasting barely fifteen minutes from start to finish!
4 officers and 41 other ranks of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards served in the Guards Camel Regiment on the Nile, of whom 3 officers and 37 other ranks fought at Abu Klea.
Condition NVF, contact marks from star, suspension swivel loose. Sold with copy medal roll and service on CD.