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


Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

Seven: Major E. D. F. Gee, Royal Garrison Artillery, who commanded Pom Pom guns in the Boer War before serving in the Mandal and Darfur operations: appointed to the command of 263 Siege Battery in the Great War, he was killed in action on 25 April 1918

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 (Lieut., 17th Coy. W.R. R.G.A.); 1914-15 Star (Capt., R.G.A.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oakleaf (Major); Delhi Durbar 1911, silver Capt., R.F.A.) engraved; Khedive’s Sudan 1910-22, 1st issue, 3 clasps, Mandal, Darfur 1916, Fasher, unnamed, some edge bruising, very fine and better (6) £2000-2500


Ernest Desmond Farrell Gee was born on 2 February 1875, son of Captain F. H. Gee, of Nelson Place, Youghal, County Cork. He served as a Lieutenant in the Waterford Artillery (Militia), December 1893-January 1900. He volunteered for service in South Africa, and departed Ireland attached to the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. With the battalion he served in Cape Colony, South of the Orange River, February-April 1900 and operations in the Orange Free State, April-May 1900, commanding a section of Mounted Infantry. Commissioned into the R.G.A. as a 2nd Lieutenant on 5 May 1900, he commanded a section of Pompom guns in the Orange River Colony May-July 1900, operations in Transvaal April-April & Dec. 1900, and operations in the Orange River Colony November 1900-December 1901. Promoted to Lieutenant on 3 May 1901.

He next served in Bermuda, February-March 1902, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1902 to March 1903. Gee’s next posting was Quetta, India. In 1905 he was serving with 26th (Jacob’s) Mountain Battery of the Frontier Garrison Artillery at Kohat, and by March 1908 he was with the unit at Abbottabad. He attended the Great Coronation Durbar of 1911, remaining in India until January 1913, when he left India for attachment to the Egyptian Army, being promoted to Captain on 5 May 1913.

In March 1914, Gee accompanied the camel patrol under Captain B. H. S. Romilly, D.S.O., Scots Guards, in the small expedition to the Nuba Mountains, including the operations at Mandal Sabai (Medal with clasp). He was promoted to Major in December 1915. He took part in the operations in Darfur 1915-16 (despatches London Gazette 25 October 1916), and those at Fasher, September to November 1916 (Two further clasps to Sudan Medal). For his services with the Egyptian Army in Darfur he was awarded the Order of the Nile, 4th Class (London Gazette 31 August 1917).

Major Gee left the Egyptian Army in August 1917, with the rank of Kaimakam (Lt.Col.), to take command of the newly raised 263 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He commanded this battery in France and Belgium until he was killed in action on 25 April 1918.

Witness statement reads: “Major Gee was killed on the morning of April 25th behind Scherpenberg Hill. He was off duty and in the cellars of a farm 100 yards in front of the guns. A tremendous bombardment opened at 2.00 am. I saw Major Gee leave the farm and go to the guns. There he went into a shelter cut out for the purpose next to the road. He was there with Lt. McDonald, and the guard on duty. They were blown up, and we could not get near them to get them out. One of the guard escaped - Russell I think by name - and gave information about those in the shelter. I was acting as medical orderly. (Gnr. A MacWilliam 127993)

He was originally buried at a point about two miles South South East of Reninghelst, and his remains re-interred in La Clytte Military Cemetery, Reninghelst, South West of Ypres, Belgium in late 1919.

With a folder containing copied research.