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eMedals-A Late Victorian Group of Four to the Rifle Brigade

Item: GB1859

A Late Victorian Group of Four to the Rifle Brigade

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A Late Victorian Group of Four to the Rifle Brigade

A Late Victorian Group of Four to the Rifle Brigade - Queen's Sudan Medal (1042. PTE: W. BAKER. 2/R. BDE:), Queen's South Africa Medal; CAPE COLONY, TUGELA HEIGHTS, RELIEF OF LADYSMITH, LAING'S NEK (1042 PTE W. BAKER, RIFLE BRIGADE); King's South Africa Medal; SOUTH AFRICA 1901, SOUTH AFRICA 1902 (1042 PTE W. BAKER, RIFLE BRIGADE.); and Khedive's Sudan Medal, KHARTOUM (1042. PTE. W. BAKER 2ND BATTN RIFLE BRIGADE SOUDAN CAMPGN 1898). Naming is officially engraved in italicized capitals on the QSM, officially impressed on the QSA and KSA and personally engraved on the KSM. Polished, mounted to a suspension bar with swing bar pinback, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Attestation Paper (dated 1891), Service Records, documentation taken from The Rifle Brigade Chronicle confirming his wounding in South Africa, along with various research papers. Footnote: William Baker was born in 1866 at Atherstone, Warwickshire. His trade was that of a Labourer and he was also literate. He had served in the Militia with the 4th East Surrey Regiment and was discharged by purchase. He signed his Attestation Paper on January 21, 1891 in London, enlisting with the Regular Army and joining the Rifle Brigade at the Winchester depot, at the age of 25. After training at Winchester, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion on May 1, 1891, remaining there until February 22, 1892. He was then transferred to the 1st Battalion and served in East India for almost three years. In addition to passing his 3rd Class army education on May 10, 1892, he received good conduct pay on January 27, 1893, and again on January 27, 1897. He was then posted to Hong Kong on November 30, 1894. After a two week voyage, he took up duties in the Colony for the next two years, before departing for fourteen months in Singapore on November 23, 1896. After his departure from Singapore, he was posted to the 2nd Rifle Brigade at Malta, arriving there on February 3, 1898. The 2nd Battalion were short of men, which meant that 500 men from the 1st Battalion were transferred to the 2nd Battalion. It was here at Malta that the Regiment prepared for the campaign in Egypt and Sudan, for the "Reconquest of the Sudan". After 159 days of training, they departed for Egypt on July 12, 1898. Armed with Lee-Metford rifles and equipped with blue veils and goggles, on September 2, 1898, they met an onslaught of charging Dervishes and defeated them, advancing to Omdurman, where they were taken for a triumphal march on the 5th. The Dervish totals were devastating: 11,000 killed, 16,000 wounded and 4,000 taken prisoner. The British had 2 officers killed, 7 wounded, together with 23 NCOs and men killed, 99 wounded. For his service in Egypt and the Sudan, Rifleman Jones was awarded the Queen's Sudan Medal and the Khedive's Sudan Medal with Khartoum clasp. Five days later, on the 10th, the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade were notified to move to Crete, to quell a rebellion which had broken out. Their task was to remove Turkish rule and occupy the island. They arrived aboard two ships on the 22nd, staying there a year, quelling various disturbances. Baker was transferred back to the the Army Reserve, Section B on December 31, 1898 but was recalled by special Army order on October 9, 1899 for active service in the war in South Africa. He was designated a Private and posted to the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade, soon seeing action with 2nd Battalion versus the Boers at Ladysmith. Rifleman Baker fought at the Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Ladysmith and Laing's Nek. As part of the Battle of Tugela Heights, at Pieters Hill, on February 27, 1900, he was wounded, along with many others, in addition to the 12 who were killed in the British victory over the Boers. It was noted by the Commander-in-Chief and remitted, that on September 12, 1901, Baker was drunk while on duty and was subsequently tried and sentenced by the Regiment for the violation. He forfeited one good conduct badge for his actions and returned to duty on December 12, 1901, all while still in South Africa. For his South African service, he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps and the two clasp King's South Africa Medal. Baker returned home on August 29, 1902 and was posted to the Winchester depot, until January 26, 1903, when he was discharged after having served twelve years. (BGR341)
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