The Naming of Khedive's Stars

Khedive's Stars

Four different Stars were awarded, as follows:

Dated 1882 - for services between 16th July and 14th September, 1882

Dated 1884 - for services between 19th February and 26th March, 1884

Dated 1884-6 - for all campaigns between 26th March, 1884 and 7th October, 1886

Undated - for the campaigns near Suakin in 1888 and on the Nile in 1889

A clasp ("Tokar") was awarded to those who fought in the action at Tokar on 19th February, 1891. It was fitted to whichever Star was already in the possession of the recipient, or was issued fitted to an undated Star if none.

All Stars and the clasp were manufactured in Birmingham, England, by Henry Jenkins and Sons, which might explain why so many derivative medallions seem to have been manufactured using the same dies. It is understood that a small cache of Stars bearing the manufacturer's name impressed into the reverse surfaced in the Midlands during the 1970s. One might conclude that these were manufacturer's samples, and never intended either to be issued to to be worn.

Manufacturer's Stamp

Hitherto, no comprehensive study has been made of the naming of Khedive's Stars, with respected reference books stating that the medals of "various" regiments are "variously" found named in "various" fashions. As will be seen, it is possible to be a great deal more specific than this.

The following extract from Reminiscences of Gibraltar, Egypt, and the Egyptian War, 1882 (From the Ranks), by Sergeant John Philip (pub. D. Wyllie & Son, Aberdeen, 1893) explains why the Stars of men of the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry are all found to be impressed with their regimental numbers and initials, and may explain why so many other regiments chose to take similar actions:

[Autumn, 1883]

"Before we left Ramleh we were presented with the Egyptian medal and star. I remember reading the account of the same presentation made to regiments that had gone home before they received them. It was a glowing account, and, as a contrast, I will in a few words describe our presentation. The day previous the medals, in small boxes (with the name of the soldier they were intended for written on the lid) were carried round the companies in tin dishes - used for carrying rations and making Irish stews. Each man was told to bring a pin on parade with him on the next day. The Khedive of Egypt was to be there to hand over the medals to the officers.

"The appointed hour came. The regiment was formed up, and during the time the Khedive pinned the medals on the breasts of the officers we were busy pinning on our own. A speech from the general [Earle?] followed, and then we prepared to march past. The band (which was left behind at Malta had joined us a while ago) struck up a lively tune, and away went the 19th Hussars past the Ruler of Egypt at a slow trot. Then came the two infantry regiments, our regiment [2nd Battalion, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry] and the West Kent [1st Battalion, The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment]. There is no doubt we carried our heads high - adorned for the first time with a war medal (a coveted trophy by the soldier), and our pride was pardonable. But the Khedive expressed a wish to see us go past at the trot like the cavalry, so we were marched back to the original starting place, and to the merry music we began to double. One hand had to hold the rifle, the other the bayonet and scabbard, the medals danced on our chests, the pins lost their hold, and, before we got the command to halt, one half of us were minus our medals and stars. It was getting dark ere we got dismissed and back to the parade-ground to gather our lost decorations. Most of the medals were found; and, being made of silver, they were easily seen on the dark brown sand; but the stars, being of bronze, were not so easily detected, and many of them had to lie till morning. A difficulty also arose about the ownership of them, as they bore no distinguishing mark or name and those who were lucky enough to pick up one, it became his property. This was remedied afterwards by each man's initials and regimental number being stamped on them. In the morning they were all picked up, but, had a sand-storm arisen during the night, I am afraid many of the Egyptian stars would have remained buried amongst Egyptian sand for ever."

In addition to officers, petty officers and ratings of the Royal Navy, and officers, NCOs and men of the Royal Marines, officers, NCOs and men of the following battalions of the following regiments received one or other of the Khedive's Stars. Where named Stars are known, clicking on the name of the regiment will take you to illustrations of typical styles of naming, where available.


1st Life Guards

2nd Life Guards

Royal Horse Guards

2nd Dragoon Guards

4th Dragoon Guards

5th Dragoon Guards

7th Dragoon Guards

1st Royal Dragoons

2nd Dragoons

3rd Hussars

4th Hussars

5th Lancers

7th Hussars

10th Hussars

11th Hussars

15th Hussars

16th Lancers

18th Hussars

19th Hussars

20th Hussars

21st Hussars

Royal Artillery

Royal Engineers

1st Bn., Grenadier Guards

2nd Bn., Grenadier Guards

3rd Bn., Grenadier Guards

1st Bn., Coldstream Guards

2nd Bn., Coldstream Guards

1st Bn., Scots Guards

2nd Bn., Scots Guards

Royal Fusiliers

Liverpool Regiment

1st Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment

1st Bn., Somerset Light Infantry

1st Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment

1st Bn., Leicestershire Regiment

1st Bn., Royal Irish Regiment

2nd Bn., Royal Irish Regiment

1st Bn., Yorkshire Regiment

1st Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

2nd Bn., King's Own Scottish Borderers

2nd Bn., East Surrey Regiment

2nd Bn., Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

1st Bn., Royal Sussex Regiment

2nd Bn., Hampshire Regiment

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment

2nd Bn., South Lancashire Regiment

1st Bn., The Welch Regiment

1st Bn., Royal Highlanders

2nd Bn., Oxfordshire Light Infantry

2nd Bn., Essex Regiment

1st Bn., Derbyshire Regiment

2nd Bn., Derbyshire Regiment

1st Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment

1st Bn., Royal West Kent Regiment

2nd Bn., Royal West Kent Regiment

1st Bn., Shropshire Light Infantry

1st Bn., Middlesex Regiment

2nd Bn., East Lancashire Regiment

1st Bn., King's Royal Rifle Corps

2nd Bn., King's Royal Rifle Corps

3rd Bn., King's Royal Rifle Corps

1st Bn., Manchester Regiment

2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment

1st Bn., York and Lancaster Regiment

2nd Bn., York and Lancaster Regiment

1st Bn., Durham Light Infantry

2nd Bn., Durham Light Infantry

2nd Bn., Highland Light Infantry

1st Bn., Seaforth Highlanders

2nd Bn., Seaforth Highlanders

1st Bn., Gordon Highlanders

1st Bn., Cameron Highlanders

1st Bn., Royal Irish Rifles

2nd Bn., Royal Irish Rifles

1st Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers

2nd Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers

1st Bn., Connaught Rangers

2nd Bn., Connaught Rangers

2nd Bn., Rifle Brigade

3rd Bn., Rifle Brigade

Army Service Corps

Army Veterinary Corps

Army Pay Department

Commissariat and Transport Corps

Ordnance Store Corps

Medical Staff Corps

Army Hospital Corps

Army Chaplains Department

Military Police

Medals were also awarded to interpreters, to the Malta Auxiliaries, to units of the Indian Army and units from New South Wales.


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Last updated by Michael Hargreave Mawson on the 15th of February, 2021.

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