The Allan and Janet Woodliffe Collection of Medals Relating to the Reconquest and Pacification of the Sudan (18 May 2011)

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Date of Auction: 18th May 2011

Sold for £6,800

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

The rare and impressive K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., Sudan D.S.O. group of eleven awarded to Captain Sir Edward Colpoys Midwinter Pasha, Royal Engineers, one of Kitchener’s “Band of Boys” who helped build the desert railway and was awarded the D.S.O. for the battles of Atbara and Omdurman - he afterwards became Director of Sudan Railways and Steamers
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, K.B.E. (Civil) Knight Commander’s 1st type set of insignia, comprising neck badge and breast star, silver, silver-gilt and enamels; The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B. (Civil) Companion’s breast badge converted for neck wear, silver-gilt, hallmarked London 1912, in its Garrard & Co case of issue; The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s breast badge converted for neck wear, silver-gilt and enamels; Distinguished Service Order, V.R., silver-gilt and enamels; Queen’s Sudan 1896-98 (Lt. E. C. Midwinter, R.E.); British War Medal (Capt. E. C. Midwinter); Order of the Medjidie, 4th Class breast badge by Spink & Son, London, silver, gold and enamel; Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, 2 clasps, Khartoum, Sudan 1897, unnamed as issued, contemporary tailor’s copy clasps; Order of the Nile, 2nd Class set of insignia by Lattes, comprising neck badge and breast star, silver, silver-gilt and enamels; Order of the Osmanieh, 3rd Class neck badge, silver-gilt and enamels, this with several enamel chips, minor chips to the D.S.O., otherwise good very fine or better (12) £6000-8000


D.S.O. London Gazette 15 November 1898: ‘In recognition of services in Egypt and the Sudan, including the battles of the Atbara and Khartoum.’ Insignia presented by the Duke of Connaught at Atbara on 27 February 1899.

C.M.G. London Gazette 19 June 1911: His Majesty’s Coronation; Director, Soudan Government Railways.

C.B. (Civil) London Gazette 27 February 1912: General Manager, Soudan Government Railways and Steamers.

C.B.E. (Civil) London Gazette 8 January 1919: General Manager, Soudan Government Railways and Steamers.

K.B.E. (Civil) London Gazette 3 June 1927: Controller, Soudan Government, London Office.

M.I.D. London Gazette 30 September 1898 (Battle of Khartoum); 25 October 1916 (Darfur Rebellion); and 26 January 1919 (Distinguished services).

Order of the Nile, 2nd class, London Gazette 7 December 1917.

Order of the Osmanieh, 3rd class London Gazette 3 July 1906: Assistant Director, Soudan Railways (4th class, March 1902).

Order of the Medjidie, 4th class, London Gazette 7 October 1898.

Edward Colpoys Midwinter was born on 1 November 1872, son of the Rev. A. E. Midwinter. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 22 July 1892, becoming Lieutenant in July 1895. He was seconded to the Egyptian Army as Bimbashi in January 1897. Here he joined a band of junior engineer officers under Lieutenant E. P. C. Girouard, the youthful director of Kitchener’s military railways. He worked at the railhead of the line being built across the Nubian desert from Wadi Halfa to Abu Hamed and the Atbara on the heels of the advancing Anglo-Egyptian army in 1897-98, and was present at the battle of Omdurman, for which he received the D.S.O. He was promoted to Captain in 1903 and retired from the British army in 1907.

In 1906 he had been appointed director of the Sudan Government Railway, the designation of his post being changed in 1908 to that of general manager, and was so employed until 1925. As a member of the governor-general’s council, 1913-25, he had great influence on transport policy in the Sudan. From 1925 to 1932 he was controller of the Sudan Government office in London. During the Second World war he was Deputy Chief Fire Warden for the Borough of Wimbledon. He otherwise devoted his years of retirement to religious and social work. He died in Wimbledon, London, on 17 January 1947.

Sold with N.R.A. silver shooting medal, ‘The Cottesloe Vase’, 43mm, unnamed; bronze medal to commemorate the Opening of the El Obeid Railway, February 1912, 50mm, in its
Carrington & Co fitted case; and an extensive archive of original documents, including Commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers; Warrants of award for C.B., C.M.G., and C.B.E.; M.I.D. Certificate dated 26 January 1919; Turkish award certificate and related Royal License to Accept and Wear each of the 3rd and 4th classes of the Osmanieh, 4th class of the Medjie, and 2nd class of the Nile; Renewal Contract for attachment to the Egyptian Army; Appointment as Advisor to the Gezeira Irrigation Scheme; Passport (full and cancelled) dated 1920; and several letters from senior officials in the Sudan.