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Egypt and Sudan Medals 1882-1891 from

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Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200
ca. US$1,487 - US$1,784
Price realised:  £2,800
ca. US$4,163
Lot number 209, Views: 47

Egypt and Sudan Medals 1882-1891 from the Collection of Jack Webb Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, 1 clasp, Suakin 1885 (Lieut. R. H. Owen, N.S.W. Infy.) pitting from star, otherwise nearly very fine £1000-1200 Footnote 16 officers and 517 other ranks served with the New South Wales Infantry as part of the N.S.W. Contingent in Egypt during the Suakin 1885 operations. Robert Haylock Owen was born on 7 January 1862, at Wollongong, New South Wales, son of Percy Owen, solicitor, and his wife Eleanor Martha, née Haylock, and grandson of Robert Owen He was educated at Sydney Grammar School. In 1881 he joined the New South Wales Volunteer Artillery as a Lieutenant and in 1885, as a member of the New South Wales Contingent, took part in the campaign in the Sudan. On 28 April 1886, in England, he was commissioned in the Prince of Wales Volunteers, joining the 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, then stationed in Natal. He also served in the Straits Settlements and at Gibraltar and was promoted Captain in 1894. In 1900 Owen became Chief Staff Officer of the New Zealand Local Forces. He recruited, equipped and dispatched New Zealand contingents to the South African War. Promoted Major in October 1902, he retired from the British Regular Army at the end of that year, but continued to serve in the New Zealand Militia as Lieutenant-Colonel. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Owen was living in retirement near Wollongong. He was chosen by Colonel H. N. MacLaurin, Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force, to command the 3rd Battalion. Owen, aged 52, considered himself to be too old, but he accepted. His men referred to him as 'Dad Owen'. He led the battalion throughout its training in Australia and Egypt, at the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, and during the fighting that followed; he briefly commanded the brigade in May. Wounded on 22 June, he was invalided home and discharged from the A.I.F. in May 1916. He had been appointed C.M.G. and mentioned in dispatches. Charles Bean characterized him as 'a father to his men, a commander with the most gentle consideration', also 'gallant but anxious'. In fact, Owen was noted for calling down supporting artillery fire more often than was usual, though there is evidence that, on 15 May 1915, naval gunfire which he called for and directed, saved a difficult situation. However, there is no doubt that even by 1915 standards he was too old to be a battalion commander. In February 1917 Owen was temporarily appointed Director of Military Training and in May became Chief Instructor of the Officers' Training School, Duntroon. In April 1918 he was appointed an honorary Commissioner under the Repatriation Act. He was posted to the reserve of officers in 1921 and went to live near Bristol, England, with his wife and daughter. He died at Barnstaple, Devon, on 5 April 1927. His son, Lieutenant P. I. H. Owen, had been killed in action in Flanders in 1917. (Ref Australian Dictionary of Biography).

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Dix Noonan Webb
Title: Orders, Decorations and Medals (4 & 5 December 2008)
Date of the auction: 4 Dec 2008 - 5 Dec 2008
Address: Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton St, Mayfair
W1J 8BQ London
United Kingdom
[email protected] · +44 (0)20 7016 1700 · +44 (0)20 7016 1799