Private William Williams

Private William Williams served in the 1st battalion Scots Guards during the 1882 Egyptian campaign at the battle of Tel-El-Kebir. He is entitled to the Egypt medal clasp Tel-El-Kebir and the Khedive’s Star. His enlistment number was 3717.

Private William Williams served in Egypt with Private James Stuart, you can read his story here.

Born August of 1859 in Cheltenham, Gloucester, England

Religion : Church of England Trade : servant Eyes : grey

Height : 5′ 7″ Hair: brown Weight : 138 lbs.

October 14th, 1876 : Enlisted in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in London. He tried to enlist in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in Gloucester on October 9th but he was turned back.

Served at home from October 9th 1876 until July 29th 1882

From his medical service record he was hospitalized in London in 1877, in Aldershott in 1878 and in Dublin in 1880.

July 30th : Sailed from Albert Docks in London, England on the ship Orient

Drawing showing the departure of the Orient (probably from the Illustrated London News)

August 12th : Disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt

The 1st battalion Scots Guards at Alexandria August 12th, 1882

August 18th : From Alexandria embarked to Ismaila. Arrived on August 22nd

August 24th : Guard’s Brigade were held in support at Tel-el-Mikuta. Started repairing railway and clearing the Canal.

September 12th : Guard’s brigade called-up as support to Graham’s brigade at Kassassin

September 13(early morning) : Battle of Tel-El-Kebir. Guard’s Brigade including the Scots Guards were held in reserve. By the time the regiment reached enemy’s parapet the battle was almost over.

Pictures of the Tel-El-Kebir battlefield – taken after the battle

1st battalion Scots Guards was part of the Guards Brigade with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards. They were all under the command of His Royal Highness Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s 7th child). The official history does not mention why the Guards Brigade were held in reserve but some historians are murmuring that Prince Arthur was invited by Garnet Wolseley, the commander-in-chief of the British Forces in Egypt, to participate in that campaign, only because of his political contacts he could bring him. It is also believe that the limited tactician hability of the Prince prevented him to be sent to the front lines.

I guess General Wolseley figured out it would have been a bad career move having to explain to Queen Victoria why one of her son had been killed in Egypt so he kept him in the Reserve Line.

Returned from Egypt on November 15th 1882 and continued to served at Home until October 9th 1888 completing his 12 years service period.

Typical Scots Guards uniform for the Egyptian Campaign of 1882

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography

Egypt Medal with the clasp Tel-El-Kebir

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