DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, V.R. ‘7TH. BDE. 3... SERGT. C. E. WALKLEY. 2/Y & 13 SEPTR. 1882’; EGYPT AND SUDAN 1882-89, DATED REVERSE, 1 CLASP, TEL-EL-KEBIR ‘344. CR. SGT. C. WAKELEY [SIC]. 2/YORK & LANC: REGT.’; KHEDIVE’S STAR 1882, REVERSE IMPRESSED ‘84 344’.
D.C.M. Recommendation submitted to the Queen 4 January 1883.
Charles Edmund Walkley was born in Brixton, London, in 1858 and attested for the 84th Regiment of Foot at Aldershot on 21 January 1876 under the alias of Joseph Burges. Promoted Corporal on 12 July 1877, and Sergeant on 1 April 1878, he reverted to his true name on 13 January 1879, and was advanced to Colour Sergeant on 4 August 1882. He served with the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment in Egypt from 5 August 1882, and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for saving the life of Sergeant F. Smith at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, 13 September 1882. Returning home on 7 November 1882, Walkley received his Egypt Medal from the hands of Queen Victoria on 29 November 1882, and DCM on 25th January 1883.
Unlike the 1884 5 Sudan campaigns where a fair proportion of citations/descriptions of what DCM’s were Awarded for, these are harder to find for the 1882 Egyptian campaign. However with Walkley a period newspaper give more details (full article included with research):
‘…Several reports have appeared in the Daily and other papers as to how Colour Sergeant Walkley won his medal, but as they are all more of less inaccurate we publish the true details. After the battle of Tel-El-Kebir, when the pursuit of the fugitive Egyptians was being ewnacted, an Arab who had been wounded in the leg but in other respects able bodied, was engaged in taking a quiet pot shot from behind a gun carriage at Sergeant Smith who is now in hospital. Colour Sergeant Walkley observed the danger to his friend and rushing up to the Arab managed to foil his intentions by bayoneting him through the wheels of the carriage. For this gallant act he was ordered to go to Osbourne on Thursday, January 25th, where he was decorated with the Distinguished Conduct Medal by the hands of the Queen. Colour Sergeant Walkley had previously received the Egyptian medal from the Queen, and when on this second occasion his name was called out Her Majesty made a gracious allusion to the former occasion which this gallant non-commissioned Officer had appeared before her…’
After the Battle of Tel-El-Kebir was effectively won and the main enemy positions were taken, the British Army carried on the advance pursuing the broken Egyptian forces. Defended villages were taken and small pockets of the enemy who were slow to retreat or wished to fight on were mopped up. The advance of the Infantry ending at the camp at Tel-El-Kebir station and the cavalry took over the pursuit. It would have been during these closing stages of the battle that Sergeant Walkley performed his gallant act that gained him the DCM.
A superb portrait photo of Walkley in dress uniform is held in the Queens collection. This was either taken when after receiving the Egypt medal from the Queen or just before receiving the DCM. A copy digital is sold with the group, however as it is Copyright I can only give the link to it on my sales listing itself, see; https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/2501581/colour-sergeant-walkley.
Walkley is also recorded as ‘destroying an enemy gun which had been holding up the advance.’ (hand- written note included with lot refers). However as yet I have found nothing to confirm this.
Walkley had further postings to Bermuda; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the West Indies, between October 1883 and December 1889. He was discharged on 26 April 1897, after 21 years and 96 days’ service. Walkley was clearly a very good soldier, he rose through the ranks quickly, reaching the heights of Colour Sergeant by the time he was 24. However as with many other soldiers he had a problem with alcohol and was regularly been court-martialled and reduced to the ranks for drunkenness over the course of his service. Indeed when discharged he held the rank of Private! He died on 29 July 1931.
Sold with copy service records, OMRS article on Egypt DCM’s (Walkley’s medals featured). Portrait photo of Walkley and excepts from the Regimental History for the 1882 campaign – some printed some on CD.
Condition; star/contact wear to obverse/reverse, naming worn in places, mainly around edges 8/9 and 3/4 o’clock. This less so on Egypt. Ex Spink, April 1999. A very rare Gallantry group being one of only ten DCM’s for Tel-El-Kebir and seventeen for the entire Egypt 1882 campaign. A very small number considering the size of the expedition.