INDIA GENERAL SERVICE, 1895, 2 CLASPS: PUNJAB FRONTIER 1897-98, TIRAH 1897-98 ‘LIEUT T. P. DOWDALL, 2D. BN. K: O. YORK: LT. INFY.’
Lieutenant Thomas Percy Dowdall, born in Liverpool in 1866, was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford, before attending Sandhurst Military College in 1888. Excelling in languages, he was Commissioned into the 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1889 and served with the Zhob Valley Field Force in 1890 under Sir George White during the Zhob and Zideryai expedition, and in the march to Vihowa. Promoted Lieutenant in 1891, between June 1893 and June 1894, he was in the UK on sick leave, before returning to India. Lieutenant Dowdall served with his regiment on the Northwest Frontier, taking part in the Tirah campaign of 1897-8 and was killed in action leading his company at Shin Kamar on 29th January 1898. During the action, Lieutenant Dowdall’s company had been sent to retake a commanding position that had been vacated in error and immediately seized by Afridi’s. Dowdall’s company had charged back up the knoll, driving the enemy back and gaining a footing. However the tribesmen fell back and then poured a heavy fire into the company. With the action not going well in other areas, the British were ordered to retire, however Lieutenant’s Dowdall’s company was so encumbered with casualties and under such heavy fire that withdrawal was next to impossible. A second company under Lieutenant Walker had been sent in support of Dowdall and positioned at a slightly lower elevation but this was then ordered up to help extricate the former. Before Lieutenant Walker’s company arrived, Dowdall led an assault on a sanger opposite him, during which he was shot dead at the head of his men. Although the tribesmen were driven out, they fell back to an even stronger position just 150 yards away and poured a devastating fire into the company and forcing them back. Three brave soldiers being shot dead in the attempt to bring back Lieutenant’s Dowdall’s body. Reinforcements eventually arrived and the 2 companies were finally able to withdraw, however Lieutenant Walker had also been killed and great many of the two companies were also killed or wounded…………………. SEE PDF FOR FULL WRITE UP
Condition GVF a rare Officer casualty medal for Shin Kamar. Sold with research both copied and on CD. Copies of Dowdall’s papers from the British Library have not been obtained but will no doubt well worth getting hold of.