Awards to Civilians from the Collection of John Tamplin

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Date of Auction: 19th September 2003

Sold for £400

Estimate: £300 - £400

The Ashantee campaign medal awarded to Doctor H. T. O’Reilly, Civil Commissioner at Elmina, Cape Coast Castle

Ashantee 1873-74, no clasp (Dr. O’Reilly, Civl. Commr. at Elmina, Cape Coast Castle, 73-74) minor official correction to last letter of ‘Elmina’, otherwise nearly extremely fine £300-400


Henry Thomas O’Reilly received his medical training in Dublin, where he became a L.R.C.S.I. in 1863, a L.R.Q.C.P., Ireland, in 1864, a L.M. in 1865, and in 1886 a F.R.C.S.I. He was also a M.R.I.A. Before going to the Gold Coast he was at Fairfield House, Sandymount, Co. Dublin.

O’Reilly went to Africa in the early 1870’s, and was an Assistant Colonial Surgeon at Elmina, and later a Civil Commandant. His services during the Ashantee campaign were brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, The Earl of Carnarvon, by Brevet Colonel F. W. Festing, Royal Marine Artillery, in the following terms: ‘Dr. O’Reilly, as well as being Acting Civil Surgeon, was for some time Civil Commandant at Elmina, and on all occasions was most active and zealous in the performance of several minor but important offices. He volunteered on more than one occasion to go himself amongst the disloyal people for the purpose of publishing proclamations, when there was considerable risk in so doing.’

O’Reilly subsequently returned to Ireland, and was at Fairfield House in Sandymount again, later moving to 58 Park Avenue. He died in 1898. Sold with some further research.