Egyptian Medal, with bar for Alexandria 11th July, awarded to Gunner J. Dooley, 1882
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria with veil
Reverse, the Sphinx on a pedestal facing left
Egyptian Medal, 1882-1884
Victorian-period Egypt was technically a dependency of the Ottoman Empire, but in fact the Khedive, Tewfik Pasha, was effectively in the hands of Britain and France, for whom control of the Suez Canal was a strategic necessity. Egypt's shaky economic situation endangering this, in 1879 Britain and France took over government in an arrangement of dual control. This foreign influence was much resented in Egypt, and especially within the army. A Colonel by the name of Ahmad Urabi (Arabi Pasha) became the spearhead of the movement, which launched a coup in 1882. Riots against Europeans in Alexandria led to British intervention after some indecision, and the coup was suppressed by British arms.
This medal was awarded to Gunner J. Dooley of the Royal Marines Artillery, serving aboard HMS Alexandra when she bombarded Alexandria at the outset of the campaign. Another of her gunners won the Victoria Cross during this action. The engraver of the medal has misspelt the ship's name as the city's. Lester Watson acquired this piece at some point before 1928.