Medals for the Egypt and Sudan Campaigns from the collection of Colin Narbeth

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Date of Auction: 21st September 2007

Sold for £500

Estimate: £600 - £700

Five: Surgeon General W. G. Birrell, Army Medical Department

Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, undated reverse, 1 clasp, Suakin 1885 (Surgeon, A.M.D.); India General Service 1854-95, 2 clasps, Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89 (Surgeon, A.M.D.); Queen’s Sudan 1896-98 (Major, R.A.M.C.); Khedive’s Star, 1884-6, unnamed; Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, no clasp (Major, R.A.M.C.), all medals officially impressed in a later style, mounted as worn, good very fine and better (5) £600-700


M.I.D. London Gazette 2 September 1887.

William George Birrell was born in Penicuik, Midlothian, on 23 September 1859. Attending Edinburgh University, he gained the M.B. and C.M. in 1880. He entered the Army Medical Department as a Surgeon, afterwards Surgeon-Captain, on 30 July 1881. He was promoted to Surgeon-Major in July 1893, Lieutenant-Colonel in July 1901, Colonel in March 1911 and Surgeon General on 1 March 1915. He served in the Sudan campaign of 1885 and the Burma campaign of 1886-7, being mentioned in despatches for the latter. He then participated in the Sudan campaign of 1898. In the Great War, as a Colonel in the Army Medical Service, he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war in August 1914. Birrell was D.M.S., Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, during the earlier operations at Gallipoli, 1915. Surgeon-General Birrell died in the U.K. on 23 August 1918.

Sold with copied m.i.c. which shows entitlement to a 1914 Star, British War and Victory Medals, and some other copied research.