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Egyptian Medal: CM.1225-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: Birmingham
Artist: Wyon, Leonard Charles
Artist: Pinches, John
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)




The serious weakening of Ottoman Egyptian power under foreign influence led to increasing attempts to shed Egyptian dominion in the Sudan, where in 1881 Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad ibn al-Sayyid 'Abd Allah was proclaimed as Mahdi (the legendary final redeemer of Islam). Several serious defeats of Egyptian forces in 1884 by his forces led to a concerted British campaign in defence of Egyptian claims, but control could not be recovered. The British withdrew their forces to Egypt and to Khartoum, where General Gordon defended the city whilst awaiting a relief column that, beset by Mahdist attacks, arrived too late.
One of the more unsual constituents of the relief expedition was a company of 384 Canadian voyageurs, expert raftsmen recruited to help get the whalers carrying the expedition up the treacherous rapids of the Nile. The irregular appearance of the Canadians was belied by their extraordinary labours with the boats, but most of them were allowed home after it was clear that Khartoum was lost. 2nd Foreman F. Delisle, one of the two commanders of the Caughnawaga Detachment appears to have been one of those who stayed, which allowed him to become of of only three of the voyageurs to participate in the capture of the Mahdist outpost at Kirbekan that earnt him the second bar to his medal. He was 50 years old at the time of the campaign.
Lester Watson purchased his medal at some point before 1928.
The Museum is grateful to Mr G. M. Stein for his researches and information on Foreman Delisle's part in the campaigns.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.2 mm
Weight: 42.73 g

Place(s) associated

  • Birmingham

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester


1884 CE - 1890 CE

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left with veil

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Sphynx on pedestal facing left

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1225-2009
Primary reference Number: 141319
Watson Catalogue: 119
Ordering: M-0108
Previous object number: LW.0108
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Egyptian Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-20 11:56:12

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{{cite web|url= |title=Egyptian Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-20 11:56:12|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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