Egyptian Medal, with bar for Gemaizah, awarded to Pvt. A. Warrington, 1888Image["Egyptian Medal, 1888"]
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria with veilImage["Egyptian Medal, 1888"]
Reverse, the Sphinx on a pedestal facing left
Egyptian Medal, 1888
The serious weakening of Ottoman Egyptian power under foreign influence led to increasing attempts to shed Egyptian dominion in the Sudan, where in 1881 Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad ibn al-Sayyid 'Abd Allah was proclaimed as Mahdi (the legendary final redeemer of Islam).
Several serious defeats of Egyptian forces in 1884 by his forces led to a concerted British campaign in defence of Egyptian claims, but but despite a victory at El-Teb and another fierce battle at Tamaai, control could not be recovered. The British withdrew their forces to Egypt and to Khartoum, where General Gordon defended the city whilst awaiting a relief column that, beset by Mahdist attacks, arrived too late.
After this disaster Suakim, on the Red Sea, remained the last British bridgehead in Sudan, and was subject to a number of sieges. The Suakin Field Force, formed to defend this outpost, were repeatedly engaged by Mahdist troops without much conclusion beyond heavy casualties to either side, until the eventual complete British withdrawal in 1890.
This medal was awarded to Pvt. A. Warrington, of the 1st Battalion, Welch Rifles, for participation in one of these skirmishes, the Battle of Gemaizah. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.