Medals to the Essex Regiment from the Collection of Jack Webb

Jack Webb

Come, listen to my story, lads,
There's news from over sea:
The Camel Corps have held their own,
And gained a victory!
Weep not, my boys, for those who fell:
They did not flinch nor fear;
They stood their ground like Englishmen,
And died at Abu Klea.
From Colonel Burnaby, by W. Stubbs

Having, since childhood, collected what I thought then were antiques, I soon progressed to army cap badges and books. With some of my first month's salary of £5 as a bank clerk in 1940, I bought my first medals, an Indian Mutiny and Afghanistan 1878-80 pair.

Volunteering in 1942 for the Essex Regiment, I naturally became interested in medals to men who had served in it and actively collected them. In 1948 I joined the 7th Middlesex Regiment and began adding the medals of the Diehards to my collection.

During the 1950s and 1960s medals were plentiful and cheap, although the money I had to spend on them was far from plentiful. Nevertheless, my collection began to grow in size as I began to learn more about what I was acquiring. About 40 or so years ago I discovered that medal rolls were available for study at the Public Records Office in Chancery Lane, which engendered a desire to increase my researches, especially to men who had been at Abu Klea and on the Nile. This eventually led to the compilation of my first book, Abu Klea Medal Rolls, published in 1981, which helped to disprove the many Egypt medals which had fraudulently acquired Abu Klea clasps, added either by the recipients or as a result of subsequent passage through the medal trade.

Having acquired at least one medal to each regiment present at Abu Klea, I haven't been able to add to the Egypt collection for nearly 20 years now, so I have decided it is time to offer today's generation of collectors the opportunity of acquiring medals from this part of my collection, including those of other Egypt campaigns from 1882 to 1889. Many of these are 'odd men' of the regiments involved, or have interesting stories behind them.

Meanwhile, I still maintain a deep interest in the City of London Imperial Volunteers (C.l.V.) of 1900 and continue to add to my knowledge of, and interest in, the men of that unique regiment.