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Date of Auction: 31st March 2010

Sold for £5,200

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

An extremely rare battle of Tamaai C.G.M. awarded to Private D. Drady, Royal Marine Light Infantry, who assisted in carrying Dr. Prendergast to safety with a ‘great number of rebels’ in close proximity: shortly afterwards his service record was endorsed ‘run’ but he ‘claimed the benefit of the Queen’s pardon’ in August 1887

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, V.R., 2nd issue (13th Co. Private Daniel Drady, R.M.L.I., H.M.S. Cleopatra), officially impressed naming, together with a modified Royal Navy Meritorious Service Medal, V.R., the reverse inscription now reading in engraved capitals for ‘Conspicuous Gallantry’ (Dan. Drady, Pte., R.M.L.I., H.M.S. Cleopatra), the first with edge bruising and contact marks, otherwise generally very fine, the last good fine (2) £5000-6000


Out of a total of 12 Conspicuous Gallantry Medals awarded for operations in Egypt and the Sudan 1882-89, four were granted for acts of bravery in the operations of 1884.

The following joint recommendation for Drady’s C.G.M. was submitted by Surgeon-Major Green, dated 16 March 1884, a submission duly endorsed by Colonel Tuson, C.B., who commanded the Royal Marines at El Teb and Tamaai, and Major-General Sir G. Graham, V.C., K.C.B., who mentioned him in despatches (London Gazette 6 May 1884 refers):

‘In the battle of Thursday last, while attending to the wounded, Dr. Prendergast was speared through the chest by one of the enemy and would inevitably have been killed had not these two gallant Marines carried him to a place of safety at the risk of their lives for there were a great number of the rebels close up to them.’

Daniel Drady was born in London in December 1859 and enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in December 1877. Having then served in H.M.S. Cleopatra from January 1881 until December 1883, he was embarked for the U.K. in the Orontes, but with the commencement of the Suakin operations early in the following year, he was recalled and placed on the books of the Euryalus. Subsequently landed with the Naval Brigade, he was present at EL-Teb and Tamaai, at which former engagement the Marines were positioned in the firing line and by their steadiness and gallantry contributed largely to the success of the day’s operations. But, as cited above, it was for his gallantry at Tamaai that Brady won his C.G.M., on which occasion the Marines were in the square of the 2nd Brigade, and assisted in forming the rallying line.

Embarked for the U.K. in the Jumna in March 1884, he was presented with his C.G.M. by Queen Victoria at Osborne House that August. In the following year, however, while stationed at Pembroke, he deserted, but his service record confirms that he ‘claimed the benefit of the Queen’s pardon’ in August 1887.