EGYPT AND SUDAN 1882-89, 2 CLASPS, THE NILE 1884-85, ABU KLEA ‘4552 PTE., A SILCOX 2/RIFLE BDE.’; KHEDIVE’S STAR 1884-6.
Alfred Silcox was born in Marylebone, London, and was a Waggon Builder before enlisting in the Rifle Brigade on 12 September, 1881. He served in the Nile Expedition and was present at the action at Abu Klea with the Mounted Infantry Camel Regiment. Silcox was discharged at Winchester on 11 September, 1893, having completed his period of engagement.
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!
Only 1 officer and 14 other ranks of the 2nd battalion Rifle Brigade were present at Abu Klea with ‘C’ Company, Mounted Infantry Camel Regiment, making this a somewhat scarce medal.
Condition just a little pitting from star, otherwise GVF. Sold with copy service papers. Ex DNW 1995.