Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (6 July 2004)

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Date of Auction: 6th July 2004

Sold for £980

Estimate: £600 - £700

Military General Service 1793-1814, 2 clasps, Vittoria, Toulouse (W. Walker, Actg. Ass. Comy. Genl. [Lieut. 35 Regt.]) rank and regimental details privately engraved after official naming; together with Queen Victoria Coronation 1837, official medal by Pistrucci in silver, fitted with silver suspension, both medals fitted with ribbon buckles, edge bruising and much polished, therefore fine (2) £600-700

Footnote

William Walker was appointed an Ensign in the 35th Regiment on 23 June 1805 and served with the regiment in the disastrous campaign in Egypt in 1807. He was wounded on 21 April 1807, when his post was attacked by the Turks near El-Hamet. Every officer except Walker, and most of the men, were killed, and Walker and the few that were left were made prisoners of war.

‘The prisoners, with many others of the 78th and De Roll’s Regiment, were first of all confined in a large building on the right bank of the river Nile, where, under their immediate observation, the heads cut from their comrades who had been killed were skinned and stuffed, according to the custom of the Turks. They were then placed in the bottom of the boats, covered with straw, in which the prisoners had to embark, so that the survivors actually had to sleep on them during their passage to Grand Cairo. On their arrival at that city the heads were placed on pikes, and followed by the prisoners, surrounded by Turkish cavalry, led by the Pacha himself, and traversed the city in every direction, much to the delight of the inhabitants.

This must have been a fearful ordeal to undergo, as anyone who knows the extent of Cairo, and the weather there in the month of May, will understand. The prisoners were then confined in the citadel, where they remained until exchanged in the month of September, at least those who had not succumbed to the misery of their position.’ (
Historical Memoir of the Thirty-Fifth Regiment of Foot refers)

Following service with the Commissariat Department in the Peninsula, Lieutenant Walker exchanged to the half pay on 11 May 1815.